How to Have More Energy
The pace of life can be hard to keep up with. If we can’t keep up, we fear we’ll fall behind.
We live in a world that is go, go, go 24/7. And at times the pace of life can be hard to keep up with. And it seems that if we can’t keep up, we’ll fall behind. So managing and improving your energy levels can help you do well in school, work, family, and more. But instead of turning to stimulants like coffee, sugary snacks, or energy drinks (followed by jitters and crashing), try these eight things instead.
1: Spend More Time Recovering
This may seem counter-intuitive, but in order to find more energy for your tasks and to-do lists, make sure you spend ample time recovering from your responsibilities. Without enough recovery, you’ll never be energized enough to tackle all the things you need to do.
For starters, establish a habit of putting work away. Answering emails around the clock and working on the weekends is a quick route towards burnout. So start your recovery process by establishing strict work hours and sticking to them.
In order to get more recovery, be sure to set a consistent bedtime and wake time. Even on the weekends. Getting at least 7–9 hours of sleep each night will help your body recover well and give you more energy.
Also try stretching for 15–20 minutes each day. Sitting at a desk for hours on end can take a toll on your body. But stretching can help your muscles loosen up and recover from repetitive movements or a sedentary day.
2: Improve Your Nutrition
Our bodies are fueled by the food we eat. And if you aren’t getting enough nutrients, your energy levels will suffer. So strive to eat foods that are full of vitamins and minerals.
Some examples of nutrient-dense foods include fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Be sure to pack healthy snacks for work or when you’re on the run to keep your energy levels stable throughout the day. Filling up on nutrient-dense meals and snacks will give you more energy.
It’s also important that you drink a lot of water. Water is the most important nutrient your body needs, but 75% of American adults are chronically dehydrated. Not drinking enough water can cause fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps, lack of concentration, food cravings, and more.
You can also improve your energy levels by limiting foods that lead to energy crashes. Eating high-sugar low-nutrient snacks like cakes, candy, and cookies may give you a quick energy boost, but they can lead to crashing later on because of their high glycemic index. Similarly, drinking highly caffeinated beverages like coffee, soda, and energy drinks can also zap you of your energy later on and lead to crashing.
If you’re struggling with energy levels, take a look at your nutrition habits and see how you might be able to improve them and better fuel your body.
3: Move Your Body
Exercise has been shown to provide a boost of energy. It also keeps your body strong, making daily physical tasks less tiring. Exercise can also contribute to better mental health by releasing important, feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.
The CDC recommends exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week. When it comes to working out, there are plenty of exercises to choose from. Some examples include: walking, running, yoga, strength training, pilates, sports, boxing, jumping rope, cycling, swimming, dancing, and more.
Moving your body more each day can help improve your energy levels. If you’re feeling fatigued, try adding more movement into your daily routine.
4: Manage Your Stress
Too much stress can contribute to lower energy levels. Being in a constant state of fight or flight is very draining. Prolonged stress leads to several serious health problems, such as anxiety, depression, digestive issues, headaches, muscle tension, muscle pain, heart disease, weakened immunity, weight gain, and more.
In order to keep your energy levels up, you need to manage your stress. You can do this through journaling, meditating, yoga, exercise, spending time in nature, or working with a therapist.
5: Find Something To Look Forward To
It’s possible that there isn’t much in your life that you are excited about. Dreading work or feeling bored at home makes it difficult to feel energized about life.
So try switching things around to find more activities to look forward to. Try getting a new job. Save up for a fun trip. Declutter and get rid of stuff you don’t need. Try a new hobby. Adopt a pet. Renovate your home. Volunteer on the weekends.
If you have something to look forward to, you may find you have more motivation and excitement keeping you energized.
6: Ask For Help
It’s likely that this is a season in your life that may be overwhelming. It’s okay to ask for help in order for you to do the important, energizing things we’ve discussed above.
Ask for help by finding a babysitter, hiring a housekeeper, asking for assistance on a work project, or reaching out to neighbors for carpooling or help with yard work. Asking for the help you need can keep your energy levels high while navigating busy periods in your life.
7: Do You Actually Need More Energy?
Our society prides itself on being busy-bees and workaholics. But maybe you’ve taken on more than actually you need. It’s possible you don’t have enough energy because you’ve overextended yourself and overcommitted your time.
Sit down and evaluate all of your responsibilities. Are there commitments you could do without? Do you need your entire workload or can you delegate some projects to your coworkers? Do you need to be in the PTA and coach little league? Have an honest heart to heart with yourself and decide if all of your commitments are essential to your life right now. If not, it’s time to move on.
8: Talk To Your Doctor
If you’ve done a pretty good job implementing these things in your life, it may be time for a checkup. Work with your doctor to see if there is some underlying issue that is causing you to be low on energy. Managing your health with the help of your doctor can improve your energy levels.
Having enough energy to complete all of our responsibilities is important. Fighting fatigue may leave you feeling that you are falling behind in work or can’t enjoy spending time with your family.
But in order to feel energized and ready to take on your to-do list, you need to spend more time recovering, eating nutrient-dense food, exercising, managing your stress, finding something to look forward to, asking for help, sticking with only essential commitments, and working with your doctor to find a possible underlying cause.
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