Getting more sleep perhaps should be, but isn’t a part of this list.
Because let’s face, if you find yourself constantly feeling tired, the answer might be as simple as that: getting more sleep.
I don’t know about you (well…. I probably do..) but I find it really difficult to focus on anything important when I’m low on energy. Take procrastination, as an example. Most of the time when we procrastinate, we blame it on our low energy levels. You feel drained or tired (be it physically or emotionally) and you start putting things off. You look at your tasks, or things you planned on getting done and you think “nope, I think I’ll try this again tomorrow“. And, as you start putting things off and fall into this pattern of procrastination, you feel even worse for not getting anything done. Then, the anxiety and the worry kick in.
BUT, if you have an abundance of energy, you won’t be able to use your laziness as an excuse.
DON’T SLEEP…. TOO MUCH
We hear that we don’t get enough sleep, all the time, but did you know that getting too much sleep can actually leave you feeling exhausted? It’s argued that ideally, you should get anywhere between 7-8 hours of sleep- anything over 9 hours and you might feel more tired. I personally think that how much sleep you need in order to feel rested, really depends on your lifestyle. I can easily get away with 6 hours of sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. Anything longer than 9 hours (when I sleep in on occasion) and I have to deal with low energy levels, back aches and migraines.
EAT LIGHTER MEALS
Hey, it’s totally okay to indulge once in a while, but if you want to feel energized all day long, stick to real food. Before I went plant-based, Mondays were one of my least favorite days. You know why? Because Sundays were for overindulging with food and cocktails. Come Monday morning, I’d feel sleepy and drained. It’s hard to start your week on a positive note, when you feel like crap. Try swapping a few meals for lighter options, like a homemade skinny pizza, a veggie bowl or green tacos. Heavy breakfast can also leave you feeling sluggish, so swap that bacon-egg-and-cheese for something lighter to boost your energy.
TURN UP THE MUSIC
This is one of the best ways to instantly lift your mood and feel energized. Listing to music is scientifically proven to be a very effective tool for relieving stress and combating fatigue.
Dehydration can cause poor concentration, tiredness and fatigue, so drink up that water. You can experience noticeable fatigue, even if you’re only one percent below your optimal fluid level, this is why staying hydrated is important. I drink a big glass of water as as soon as I wake up. In winter, I love having warm water with lemon, first thing in the morning.
MUNCH ON SOMETHING HEALTHY
Don’t let yourself go hungry throughout the day- you’ll be less likely to make poor choices later on (ever went shopping on an empty stomach? Whenever I do this, I always end up buying like… a half of what the grocery store has to offer). I always carry some almonds and berries with me, so that I can easily snack on something healthy when I get hungry.
Go for a quick walk, a run or a hike, if you can. Fresh air can help you concentrate and readjust your focus.
TRY POWER NAPPING
I’m sure you’ve heard of power naps before- they’re scientifically proven to increase your productivity, cognitive function, enhance your memory and creativity and help you feel less tired. The key to successful power napping though, is the length of your nap.
TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS
I work behind a computer, then I come home and usually spend the rest of my day…. behind a computer, blogging. Having a “desk job” means that I HAVE to take frequent breaks. I take a quick walk around the office every 30-45 minutes and have a gentle stretch- this helps me stay more focused. Also, always take the stairs over the elevator.
Grab a quick shower, alternating between hot and really cold water. Hot water will help you release the tension, while cold water will wake you up a little, and help you feel energized.
MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE
If you can, try to rise early and exercise first thing in the morning. Being active first thing in the morning is one of the best ways to not only boost your energy, but to also feel more focused. If you can’t exercise in the morning, don’t worry- the most important thing is that you find time to squeeze in your workout somewhere during your day.
Your room, kitchen, your work desk- whatever your place of work is, make sure that it’s clean and organized- this will help you feel more motivated and it can also reduce any work-related stress. Decluttering your “digital mess” like old emails or unused apps can also prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
As a refreshing essential oil, or as a beverage. I try not to depend on coffee for my energy, but I love my peppermint tea- the aroma itself puts me at ease and helps me clear my mind. You can also massage a few drops of an essential peppermint oil into your wrists or add it to your morning shower- it stimulates mind and improves mental focus.
GET QUALITY SLEEP
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally got my sleep cycle under control. I used to suffer from occasional insomnia and often relied on sleep aids to help me fall and stay asleep. Getting “enough” sleep just isn’t…… enough- you have to get some of that good, quality sleep. I’m talking falling asleep with your TV on, waking up in the middle of the night having to turn your TV off, tossing and turning from being too hot. Each night, give yourself some time to unwind– let your body know that it’s time to to get some rest, so you can relax and have a restful night. If you do this routinely, you will have no trouble falling and staying asleep.
Is there anything you’d add to this list?