Having low energy is the worst! Feeling sluggish and fatigued can also make you feel depressed, down, and unproductive - not good! We all feel a little low energy at times which is fine, but there are definitely ways to kick start your energy back into high gear quickly!
Below are the top ways to increase your energy right NOW:
Light in general has a powerful effect on our body. Just getting ten minutes of natural sun light helps to energize our mind and body and decreases fatigue. Light shuts off the production of melatonin, which is the sleep inducing hormone produced by the body. If you feel like you are starting to get sluggish around 3pm, go outside to get some direct sunlight.
This one is already pretty well known, but it works! Caffeine kick starts the nervous system to increase focus and attention. Caffeine takes about 30 minutes to start having an energizing effect and it can take 60 minutes or longer to exert its peak effect, so don't worry if you don't feel energized immediately. Be aware that caffeine can stick around in your system for 6 hours or more so make sure you don't drink it too close to sleep time.
3. Avoiding Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates make you sleepy because they calm the nervous system and increase serotonin, the mood stabilizing neurotransmitter. Why do you think carbs are the main food of choice for stress? Because they calm you down.Carbs also spike your blood sugar and then bring it down sharply, leading to fatigue and low energy.Instead stick to protein and fat to keep you on an even keel and also to prevent blood sugar spikes and low that comes with eating carbs.
Exercise stimulates your mind and body and boosts neurotransmitters involved with focus and attention. This could be as simple as a ten minute walk, to a thirty minute high intensity interval training workout. Try it!
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of fatigue, and most of us are walking around slightly dehydrated. Aim for 64 ounces of water per day, more if you are working up a sweat with your workout. A good way to remember to drink water is having a glass as soon as you wake up, a glass before every meal, and a glass after every meal. Always bring a water bottle with you to the gym, if you have water available then you are much more likely to drink water during your workout.
6. Power nap
A 20-30 minute nap can actually boost your energy afterward. Just make sure you don't go longer than this because too long of a nap can get you into a deeper sleep which can make you feel groggy if you wake up in the middle of a deep sleep. Taking too long of a nap can also interfere with your night time sleep. Make sure to set an alarm to wake yourself up!
Laughing has been found to increase positive energy and boost happiness. Watch a funny movie or show or get together with a good friend for a good laugh.
8. Chew peppermint gum
Chewing gum has been found to increase alertness and the smell of peppermint has been found to help with attention and focus. Get the benefits of both by popping a stick of peppermint gum the next time you are finding your mind wander.
9. Cold shower
At the end of your morning shower blast some cold water on your face for at least 30 seconds. The cold water shocks the system (in a good way) to boost attention immediately. You don't even really need to test this, just think about splashing cold water on your face and you know this works to make you alert!
10. Deep breathing
Taking deep breaths increases oxygen to the brain and slows down your breathing. This decreases stress in the body by calming the central nervous system, and in effect allows for greater attention and focus.
11. Listen to music
Listening to upbeat music helps to boost your mood and your energy. If you are feeling sluggish, turn on your favorite artist and your headphones and get a quick energy boost. Click here for a list of upbeat tunes to get your energized.
Board Certified Nurse Practitioner in California. Blogging about health, fitness and mindfulness.