Everyone Needs More Energy In Their Day
Making the most of your life requires energy. Are you feeling lethargic or sluggish? Do you rely on coffee and sugar to make it through the day? I’d like to share some energy-boosting tips that will help you get out of your energy deficit so you can do whatever you want. No caffeine, no stimulants and no money… ready?
Choose whichever tip(s) resonate with you the most. Then apply these tips (no more than one or two at a time) and make them part of your daily routine for a month. You will notice a huge increase in healthy energy. The trick is to do just a few, so that you create sustainable positive change.
Sustained Energy, The Right Way
1. Eat right. Ugh, you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? Here are the basics of using food properly as fuel:
- Start the day off with protein and some fat, in addition to energy-producing carbohydrates. Stay away from simple carbs in the form of muffins, cereal and of course donuts. If you have a bagel, okay, but have some form of protein and fat with it to slow the absorption of the simple carbohydrates. This combination will keep you energized all morning.
- Eat small, frequent meals instead of the three coma-inducing meals you may be used to. Think “green means go” – the more veggies you can eat the more cellular-level nutrition and health you will have. That translates into more energy.
2. Work with your natural rhythms.
- Use peak energy times for complex mental tasks and physical activity. Don’t try to balance the checkbook when you’re in your natural midday lull!
- Save low-energy times for the mundane stuff.
3. Take a 10-minute power nap. NO MORE than 10 minutes or you will be left feeling groggy. Set a timer, and get up when it rings. No snoozing! A power nap takes the edge off in a most amazing way.
4. In addition to a power nap, take a few 10-minute breaks whenever you’re doing something big, whether it’s mental or physical. Oxygenate your brain with a brisk power walk. Stretch. Clear out the mental cobwebs with some social media time. Have a healthy snack. Drink some water.
5. Stay hydrated! Your heart has to work extra hard to pump thick, sludgy, dehydrated blood. The result is fatigue and poor physical and mental performance. Be careful what you drink, though. Stay away from stimulants like coffee or sodas; stay away from sugary and artificially-sweetened drinks, and never use alcohol as hydration. Your brain and your body depend on adequate hydration to function optimally. The brain is made up of spongy fatty tissue; this tissue shrinks when dehydrated, and its electrochemical activity becomes less efficient. Every organ requires water so don’t deprive yourself.
6. Socialize. Hang out with positive, upbeat people whose energy uplifts you. Laugh, smile, and have fun!
7. Meditate. It’s true, sitting and doing nothing will actually increase your energy. Chronic stress causes adrenal fatigue (resulting in an overall feeling of lethargy); even if your stress isn’t severe enough to cause overworked adrenal glands, think about how tired you get when you worry. Emotional stress is like carrying rocks around all day. Meditation helps relieve stress, lower blood pressure, relax the stress centers of the brain, and much, much more. Don’t know how to meditate? Here’s how:
- Choose a quiet, comfortable place to sit (no Lotus position required). Your hands can rest comfortably in your lap. Make sure you’re sitting upright, chest open, shoulders down and chin up.
- Close your eyes and turn them slightly upward to your “third eye” or the spot between and just above your eyebrows. This automatically starts to slow the activity in your brain.
- Bring your attention to your breath. Listen to it as you inhale through your nose; feel the pause; listen to it as you exhale through your mouth; feel the pause, and repeat. Try to keep your attention on your breathing. When your mind intrudes with any thoughts at all, acknowledge them, and return to your breath-focus.
10-30 minutes a day is all you need to activate your body’s parasympathetic nervous system which actually reverses the signs of aging and leaves you feeling fresh and vibrantly alive! Studies have shown that long-time meditators have an average biological age that is twelve years younger than their chronological age. How awesome is that?
8. Easy on the java. A cup a day of coffee won’t hurt, but more than that creates a chemical dependency that leaves you feeling useless without it. Constant stimulation leaves your body in a perpetual state of fight-or-flight (stress mode). Avoiding simple sugars and other high-glycemic foods will make it easier to drop the caffeine habit.
9. Get enough good sleep. Stress is the #1 cause of poor sleep, so make sure you fit meditation and exercise into your daily routine. For the best sleep, exercise in the morning and meditate in the evening.
10. Exercise daily! Get out there and move your body every day. I’m not talking running ten miles (unless you want to), but do something every day. Go for a walk. Hit the gym. Go dancing. Take a yoga class. It’s simple: MOVE IT OR LOSE IT. Do this for yourself, not because anyone is telling you to but because once you get in the swing of it (swing dancing, anyone?) moving your body feels good. Several short bursts of activity throughout the day are much better for you than taking the weekend warrior approach which leads to injury and heart attacks due to a sudden explosion of activity after a sedentary week.
11. Take 15 minutes a day to clean and organize your home and workspace. Doing maintenance like this is easy, efficient, and keeps energy-draining clutter under control. While you’re at it, simplify, streamline, get rid of anything you don’t need. Lighten the load and you’ll have more left in the tank for the fun things!
12. Say no more often. Stick to what’s important to you. It’s better to say no than to say yes if you’re going to resent every second of being someplace you don’t want to be.
13. Take mini-vacations. Stimulate your senses with travel. Add two days to a weekend every month or two; a four-day weekend is a real treat that is best repeated often!
14. Think positively. Negative thoughts and emotions drag you down physically. Look around and notice how vibrantly energetic positive people are, as compared to their depressed, negative brethren with their slumped shoulders, downcast eyes and sloth-like movements.
15. Splash cool water on your face whenever you feel your energy waning. Nothing is more refreshing!
16. Live purposefully. Have you ever seen a person who is living a life of passion complain that they are feeling “bleh” or “tired”? No! The life force is strong within anyone who is following their passions and living purposefully. Find what you love to do, and boldly go do it.
17. Use fresh, citrus scents and vibrant colors in your home.
None of these tips take much time or effort, and they cost absolutely zip-doodah, nothing. What these small time and energy commitments do, is help you create positive lifestyle habits so you can have more energy, every day, for the most fun things you can dream up.
I’m an active Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor who specializes in Senior Fitness and Functional Movement. Other interest include photography, travel, inspirational speaking and coaching others through any roadblocks that may be preventing full self-expression.
I firmly believe that nothing is more important in life than your health.
My mission is to continually grow, develop, and express myself fully in life while doing my part to help others discover theirs. Together we can help make the world a better place!