How To Have More Energy
If you are one of the many who hit a lull in energy in the afternoon or even wake up still feeling tired, you aren’t alone. The energy drain is so prevalent that an entire energy drink industry has cropped up around it. But is chugging sugar-packed energy drinks the only solution? And is the kick from a cup of coffee what we should reach for in the afternoon? There are other ways to boost your energy that don’t involve ingesting stimulants.
- Cut back on alcohol. Yes, it’s not always about what we drink, but sometimes about what we don’t. If you’re used to having a beer at lunch or a happy hour cocktail, cutting out the habit may help you avoid an energy slump. Instead, reach for some water which has been proven to battle fatigue which can often come a result of mild dehydration.
- Shorten your to-do list. Having too many obligations can be overwhelming which can raise stress levels. Being stressed consumes a lot of energy and can lead to a feeling of fatigue. If it’s possible, focus on the most important things you need to accomplish and delegate or just drop the rest.
- Exercise. Although it may be counter-intuitive since exercise means expending energy, it also gives you more energy to burn. On top of that, it can trigger the release of hormones that will give you a little lift as well as make your body more efficiently circulate oxygen. Over time, regular exercise can make you feel a more even level of energy throughout your day.
- Eat to fuel your body. It’s pretty common knowledge that eating food laden with sugar can lead to feeling sluggish. Beyond eating healthy though, you can specifically add in foods that boost energy. Foods rich in magnesium such as cashews, almonds, whole grain cereal, and fish can help your body break down glucose to convert it into energy.
- Go for a walk. The positive effects that result from getting up and taking a ten-minute walk can last for up to two hours. If you pop outside, the change in environment and possible addition of natural light can also stimulate the system.
- Make a plan. Plan through your day and write down what you’re going to accomplish. Once you see it in writing it is much easier to make the transition to acting on it. You’ll also spend less energy mentally tracking all of your to-dos.
- Stay away from toxic relationships. Feeling emotionally exhausted by your relationships can translate into real life fatigue. Take a few moments to think through the people who boost your energy and make an effort to surround yourself with them. Curate a circle of friends who make you feel good and support you.
- Go to sleep on time. It seems like an obvious one but so many of us stay up too late scrolling through our phones or thinking through what we need to do the next day. Make a bedtime plan and stick to it. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep to feel rested the next day.
- Take your breaks. I can’t tell you how often I hear that people skip their breaks at work because they feel like they are too busy. The work will still be there when you get back in 10 or 15 minutes, and there will always be something to do. Breaks are there for a reason. Take the and get your mind off your work for a moment.
Of course, if you have extreme fatigue that doesn’t seem to be relieved after a few good sleeps, it’s a sign that you should check in with your doctor. A prolonged feeling of low energy may be your body telling you that something else is going on. We can all feel sluggish when there is too much to get done and we are stretched too thin, but prioritizing your health as much as your other obligations is an important step in self-care. Doing little things to care for yourself every day adds up to a healthier and more energized life.
Sources: Harvard Health Publishing. “9 Tips to Boost Your Energy - Naturally.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/energy-and-fatigue/9-tips-to-boost-your-energy-naturally.
Bouchez, Colette. “Top 10 Ways to Boost Your Energy.” WebMD, WebMD, 20 July 2009, www.webmd.com/women/features/10-energy-boosters#1.