If you’ve just started and already feel like you’re exhausted, you aren’t alone. With a practically endless list of responsibilities these days, from taking care of the kids, deadlines at work, appointments, house cleaning, so on and so on, it’s no wonder so many people feel like they don’t have enough energy to get through it all no matter how many cups of coffee they’ve downed – or even how healthy and fit they might be.
Dr. Mark Liponis, the medical director of Canyon Ranch Health Resorts told Fitness magazine that many of us believe we can keep squeezing more into our lives if only we can find the right formula. That type of pressure, he says, “is unrealistic and overwhelming,” and that it can have the reverse effect of draining your energy.
How can you feel more refreshed, revived and ready to tackle your day?
Work with your body’s clock, not against it
By taking care of your most important tasks during the hours your mind and body are at their peak, you can accomplish more in less time. As we all have a natural ebb and flow of energy throughout the day – a bit sluggish just after waking with energy typically peaking during the mid-morning hours, waning in the afternoon and then peaking once again in the early evening before finally slowing down just before bed – understanding and working with this natural rhythm can help take the pressure off and prevent you from feeling drained.
Limit the quick fix
If you’re constantly turning to coffee or other caffeinated beverages, it can cause glucose levels to widely fluctuate – creating an unhealthy cycle of energy highs and lows and even clouding decision making abilities. It’s fine to enjoy an occasional afternoon cappuccino or piece of dark chocolate, but don’t make a daily habit out of it.
Instead, turn to a small nutritious snack that’s low in sugar, high in protein or fiber, and/or contains healthy fats like a handful of walnuts or a sliced apple with almond butter. Eating plenty of blue, red or purple berries can also help to boost energy due to their potent antioxidant power.
Don’t miss your workout
Remember that expending energy creates more energy. This is why people who exercise regularly tend to feel more energetic than those who don’t. If you’ve ever had to sit all day at a computer, you’ve probably noticed that you feel a lot more drained than on the days you’ve been moving quite a bit.
Physical activity is said to stimulate neurotransmitters like dopamine that create a feeling of greater energy. Workouts don’t need to be intense – activities like yoga are also restorative.
Drink plenty of water
Dehydration is a major cause of fatigue. It tends to creep up slowly before you even realize there’s a problem. If you don’t drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, it can result in constant sluggishness. Pay attention to how much water you’re drinking and aim for 64 ounces daily. After a week, see if your energy has generally increased.
Practice deep breathing to counteract stress
Stress is said to be one of the biggest energy consumers – even the little things like being stuck in traffic or hitting all those red lights can cause an energy crash. The body’s initial reaction to stress is to trigger the release of cortisol, which provides an adrenaline rush causing the heart rate to rise and muscles to tense, but before long energy plummets – and you’re left feeling drained and unfocused.
As soon you feel your heart start to race, take several deep inhales and exhales, focusing on your breathing until your body returns to a calmer state. Practicing meditation or deep breathing regularly can also help to prevent this reaction in the first place.
By following these tips, you might just find your energy levels returning – so you can feel revived, refreshed and ready to enjoy life again.
-The Alternative Daily