Have you been feeling tired or overwhelmed lately? If so, you most likely have had the experience of looking for energy “in all the wrong places.” I know I have.
An extra large coffee, a huge chocolate chip cookie, a few handfuls of M&M’s; these foods seem to call our name when we are depleted of energy.
Although they give us a temporary boost in energy, sugar, and caffeine eventually cause our energy to dip lower than it was before. These foods actually steal our energy.
What can we do if we need some extra energy?
Here are a few of my favorite food-free tips to help recharge your battery:
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Notice the rise and fall of your belly.
Relax your shoulders, neck, and head. Slowly roll your head and shoulders to help you relax more deeply.
Do this for a couple minutes or longer and then gently open your eyes.
Oftentimes when I do this simple exercise I notice I have been holding a lot of tension in my shoulders. Holding onto tension drains our energy. By rolling out my shoulders while closing my eyes and breathing I instantly feel more relaxed and energized. Try it out and see how it works for you.
Disconnect from Electronics
When we are tired it's so easy to zone out staring at our phones, surfing the web, scrolling through social media, or watching TV. These habits deplete our energy even more.
One of the times we get most sucked into electronics is at night when we really need to go to bed. Even though our body is tired, our mind has trouble shutting down because it is over-stimulated from all the information we are consuming online.
One of the best things you can do for your health and well-being is to have a cut off time for when you will stop using electronics. Consider ending electronic use at least an hour before you plan to go to bed. This will help you sleep better, and better sleep equals more energy.
Move your Body
Although it’s the last thing we want to do when we are feeling tired, moving our bodies is exactly what we need to do to increase our energy. Humans aren’t meant to be so sedentary. We are meant to move.
This doesn’t mean you need to go run 6 miles or spend an hour at the gym. You can increase your energy by simply getting up and doing 20 jumping jacks, marching in place, going for a short walk, or putting on your favorite song and dancing.
So go ahead and release some feel good endorphins and boost your energy with one minute or more of movement. Even if you are super-busy, everyone has a minute to spare. Get up and do it right now.
Drink More Water
I know you’ve heard this a million times; however, I had to throw it in here. Most of us do not drink enough water. This is especially true for those of us who start our day with coffee. If that’s you, please do your body a favor and drink an extra glass of water.
Bored with water? Make your water special by adding in some lemon, cucumber, oranges or berries. You could also have caffeine-free herbal tea to hydrate and energize your body.
Focus on Gratitude
When we feel burned out and exhausted, everything looks bleaker. It’s easy to fall into a downward spiral of doom and despair.
This is a good time to shift our focus on what’s going well. Noticing what you are grateful for improves your mood and increases your energy at the same time.
Consider keeping a gratitude journal where you write 3-5 things a day that you are grateful for. I like to do this in the morning before breakfast or at night before I go to bed.
Keeping track of what you are grateful for has a strong impact on your health and happiness.
This is my all time favorite way to feel my best. Being out in nature relaxes your body and instantly energizes you. Go for a gentle walk. Let the sun kiss your face. Feel the breeze on your body. Listen to the birds sing. Look around at all the beauty that surrounds you.
No time to go outside? Look out the window. Just viewing nature can boost your energy. If you are in a windowless office, consider bringing a houseplant, flowers, or pictures of nature into your environment.
Even though you might have heard these ideas before, we all need some reminders to take better care of ourselves. My hope is that you found one thing that you can implement to help boost your energy levels.
Life is a lot easier and a lot more fun when we have energy.