Lack of energy is a common complaint I hear in my practice, and yet, the solutions can be so simple! Here are 3 simple solutions to energize your mind and body:
1. Provide your body with fuel. Proper nutrition provides your body with adequate calories, vitamins, and minerals to fuel the countless reactions that take place in your body. Key tips to optimizing nutrition?
- Always, always, always have breakfast! This could be a hard boiled egg, some oatmeal with nuts, berries and seeds, or a smoothie.
- Have a serving of protein at every meal. Protein will help provide an energy source that will sustain your blood sugar and keep you feeling alert and energized. Healthy protein sources could be nuts and seeds, hummus, chicken, turkey, beans, lentils, fish, eggs, or a protein bar.
- Make sure you are eating enough food. Adequate nutrition delivers calories that serve as fuel for your body. If you don’t eat, your body doesn’t have the nutrients needed to produce energy, which makes you feel tired. So carve out time in your schedule to plan out your meals and snacks for the day and make sure you have a kitchen stocked with lots of fresh foods.
2. Catch your zzzz’s. Sleep is critical to our health and vitality. Sleep allows your body to heal and repair itself and recharges your mind and body. Turn your bedroom into your sanctuary. No one can sleep well with a cluttered bedroom that is messy and chaotic. 60-90 mins before bed disconnect from your laptop, tablet, TV, or smart phone and do not keep these items in your room. As you are starting to wind down from the day, dim the lights, play soft music, or light a candle. These things will all help develop an association in your body that let it know “it’s getting time to rest”. Your nervous system is not like a light switch that can be flipped on and off, so remove the expectation that you can work, work, work until bedtime and then instantly fall asleep. We are simply not programmed this way!
3. Clear your mind. Anxious thoughts and excess worry take up brain power. They use up energy just like running a marathon would…except you’re acting more like a hamster on a wheel that’s spinning and not getting anywhere. The best remedy for this is cultivating mindfulness. It’s an art and practice that can be learned by anyone and requires no tools, costs, or equipment. Just simply practice “being”.
How do you do this? Next time you are washing the dishes or brushing your teeth, rather than “trying to get it done and get through it”, try engaging all of your senses to help be present and notice things you may not usually pay attention to. If you are washing the dishes, ask yourself what the water and soap feel like and smell like. While brushing your teeth, notice how the bristles feel massaging your gums. As soon as you start learning to be “present” you stop engaging all the fly-away thoughts or the “monkey-brain”, stopping the vicious cycle of energy depletion.
Of course, there can be other causes of low energy, so it is important to work with a regulated health care practitioner to figure out the best ways to support your health. In the mean time, I encourage you to try and practice mindfulness around your nutrition, sleep and to work towards “being present” over the next week and I can almost guarantee you that you will experience more energy and your mind will be clearer and more focused!
Simply Healthy, Simply Strong