Feeling tired throughout the day is a common problem, especially if you're stuck at home or in an office. But you don't have to reach for another cup of coffee or energy drink to get back on your feet – in fact, you might be doing yourself a long-term disservice, even if you feel immediate benefits. Developing a caffeine dependence can make your sleep less beneficial, which leads to draining your energy long-term. Even worse yet, caffeine withdrawal can result in headache, fatigue, drowsiness, unhappiness, and brain fog. Here are some natural ways to increase your energy levels without compromising your health.
Going for a walk is one of the best ways to boost your energy levels. I find it rejuvenating, both mentally and physically, to get out of the office even for a few minutes. Exercise of any kind drives your body to produce mitochondria, which creates energy for your body out of food and oxygen. It can also boost oxygen circulation throughout your body, and increase hormone levels that can help you really feel the spike in energy. Finally, exercise also increases endorphins, which can improve your mood and help you feel more energized. Even just ten minutes of walking can give you a much-needed energy and mood boost.
Sunlight is essential for regulating our circadian rhythm, which helps us stay awake during the day and sleep better at night. If you're feeling sluggish during the day, try getting some natural sunlight for about 15 minutes (even if it's through a window). This can help wake up both your body and mind and provide an extra burst of natural energy. Sunlight also helps boost serotonin in your brain, which can boost your energy and elevate your mood. This becomes even more vital during cold winter months, when sunlight is at a premium and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) becomes more prevalent. Although it might feel like more of a challenge to get outside during cold weather, it's well worth the health benefits. There is even evidence that sunlight exposure can help lower your blood pressure and fight hypertension.
Being positive aids in the production of essential hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin, which helps to boost physical and mental energy. Additionally, feeling positive, optimistic, and confident helps to be more motivated and productive; this means you can get more done with the same amount of effort. There are strategies you can learn that can help maintain this effort, such as taking a "problem-solution" mindset to first identify stressors or frustrations and then look for the best path to solve them.
Being aware of your inner monologue and ensuring that you use positive self-talk and realistic language that drives you toward your goals will also help tremendously.
Dehydration can bring a myriad of symptoms that can crush your energy, including fatigue, sleepiness, and headache. It's an insidious condition that could affect your mood and energy levels without you even being aware of it. It's entirely possible to be dehydrated without feeling thirsty, having a dry mouth, or other symptoms that might compel you to drink water. Even mild dehydration can reduce your blood volume, which leads to low blood pressure. Making an effort to consume water throughout the day, even if you don't think you might need it, will ensure that your body has what it needs to face the day.
It's so easy to neglect breakfast, but doing so can set the mood for the rest of the day. Skipping breakfast can put you in an energy deficit, forcing your body to break down fat or muscle stores in a less efficient process, which can make you feel lethargic. It's a vicious cycle. I can't emphasize enough how important it is to start your day with protein. I take a scoop of Mdrive Start Protein every morning, and if I don't I feel "off" the rest of the day. You can also take in traditional breakfast items like eggs, milk, oats, cottage cheese, quinoa, and peanut butter. A combination of fiber, whole-grains, and protein will ensure that you start your day off right.
Although it might not always be easy with a busy lifestyle, prioritizing your sleep is incredibly important to keep your energy up. Being deprived of sleep means that your ability to perform complex tasks is impaired, and your ability to navigate these tasks becomes more difficult. You may also make poorer decisions when under sleep deprivation, which can endanger your health and safety. Everyone is different, some people claim they can function off of little sleep, not me. If you go hard during the day, you've got to sleep hard at night! Sleep is when your muscles recover.
While it's easy to rely on caffeine for an energy boost, there are other, healthier ways to get more energy during the day. Sleep, sunlight, exercise, and eating right are all great natural options that will give you sustained energy without the crash and potential health risks associated with caffeine consumption. If you need other inspiration on how to live your best, most energetic life, check out other articles at The Driven.
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