Do you have the energy you need as we head into the long days of summer?
It is not unusual to feel sluggish or tired once in a while. However, if you find yourself feeling this way day after day, it might be time to look at what is bringing you down and make some changes.
When you exercise, your heartbeat increases, more blood moves through the brain, more oxygen is absorbed by your brain cells, and you feel more mentally alert and energetic. Simply taking a 10 or 15 minute walk can boost your energy levels.
My favorite time to walk is after dinner just before sunset. Walking after dinner seems to keep me from going into a food “coma” so I have energy when I return home to do something I enjoy, like playing my guitar.
If you are confined to a desk during the day, you can still get moving by doing chair or desk yoga that includes simple movements like shoulder rolls, arm circles, side stretches, and more. Be mindful not to overdo it as too much exercise can deplete your energy reserves.
Sugar and caffeine can give you a short-term energy boost, but their long-term effects will leave you feeling drained. The key to maintaining energy levels is nourishing your body with foods that do not spike blood sugar and by staying hydrated with plenty of water.
Choose foods with a couple of ounces of protein to keep your blood sugar stable for several hours, combined with a complex carbohydrate to give you a boost of energy. Increase your metabolism by eating enough calories at regular intervals during the day. Try to have something small to eat every 2 to 3 hours. Examples: an apple with almonds, salad with berries and chicken, a banana and walnuts, plain yogurt and pineapple.
Energizing and nourishing herbs like Yerba Mate and Nettle, stimulate and feed your body. Make a sun tea and pour it over ice with some fresh lemon for a refreshing, energizing summer drink.
When you breathe from your diaphragm, also known as belly-breathing, your diaphragm presses against a nerve that sends a signal to your body to release serotonin. The central nervous system depends upon balanced levels of serotonin to allow the body to function at optimal efficiency. Deep-breathing is also a simple, effective way to help rid the body of toxins because it moves lymph through the lymph system. I typically do this breathing when I wake up each morning — 10 inhalations and exhalations before I get out of bed.
Change Your Routine
Take a different route to work. Go somewhere new for coffee or lunch. Try a new recipe. Pursue an interest you have been putting off. Changing things up can give you a fresh perspective and generate heightened interest. This provides stimulation to the brain and can make you feel energized.
Cut Clutter and Get Organized
Clean out that junk drawer, closet, or purse. Clearing out physical clutter can work to clear out mental clutter helping you feel less overwhelmed and making room for more positive and productive thoughts.
My garage tends to get cluttered and disorganized to the point I can barely fit my car in it. After getting rid of unused items and organizing my stuff, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. I had no idea how much it was stressing me out and draining my energy until I cleaned it up. Now I smile every time I return home and pull into the garage. It is very uplifting!
Similarly, removing clutter from your mind by making lists so you can focus on more important things will give you a boost. You don’t have to do it all at once. You will be amazed what you can accomplish by taking 5 minutes a day to clear away clutter and organize physical and mental areas of your life.
Count Your Blessings
Stop focusing on what you don’t have, and start appreciating the gifts in your life. Gratitude, along with joy and love, is a powerful mood and energy booster. One way to express gratitude is to make a list (mentally or written) of the top 5 things that make you feel grateful. Doing this upon waking in the morning or just before going to sleep at night help make it a regular practice.
Each morning (while doing my belly-breathing) I state my gratitude as a positive affirmation “I am happy. I am healthy. I am grateful.”
If you are feeling sluggish on a regular basis, you might also check out HerbalWise remedies for fatigue: Energy Herbal Tea and Liquid Herbal Supplement.