boost your energy naturally

With the constant go-go-go nature of today’s world, you can easily find yourself super tired and ready to pass out at any given moment. If this is you, never fear- you don’t need energy drinks and sugar injections to keep you awake! You can do it au natural with these handy tips:

1. Get a better night’s rest!
Yes, it’s true (and obvious!) that a good night’s sleep will help you stay awake and function optimally throughout your day. If you wake up often during the night or don’t get enough rest in general, you will be tired! It has been estimated that an adult person needs anywhere from 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night! Your body engages in important restorative functions during rest so its crucial to get enough of it! This is why savasana is argued to be the most important yoga pose you’ll do. 🙂

2. Brighten your life with natural lighting.
Artificial lighting can do two things- rob you of nutrients from the sunlight (vitamin D most notably) and make your body experience a host of other unpleasant effects like increased headaches, increased blood pressure, decreased productivity, increased physical stress levels, and even more serious ailments from disruption of the natural waking and sleeping cycles. Do you ever have migraines or headaches at work?  It might be from the light!  Instead of sitting under office lighting all day, try going out into the sunlight for breaks!  If you can sit near a window or better yet be outside all day– all the better!  At nighttime, block out the streetlights by closing the blinds, turn off the night light and back lights on the cellphones.  Try to use as few lights as possible when it’s night time at your house to gently bring your body down into sleepy time. If you can do these things, you’ll find that your body won’t be as stressed or whacked out from the lighting and you can focus better. Perhaps the thing that’s making you tired is the lighting!

3. Avoid processed foods.
Any processed food you can buy is taxing to the digestive system as they are usually high in fats, low in fiber, high in sugar and full of things you can’t pronounce! All this up, down, all-around with digesting food ultimately depletes your energy from digestion and then from the effects of poor food choices. Your body needs nutrients to perform vital functions within and if your foods aren’t providing those nutrients your energy will stagnate and diminish.
Additionally, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients in your food, it’s likely your body can’t figure out what to do with them! It takes extra energy to break down all the weird ingredients in processed food into something the body can recognize which means that you’ll be more tired after eating because of the hard work of digestion your body is engaging in. Or your body just stores the food as fat. The extra weight literally weighs you down and makes you more tired from all the something extra you have to carry around. The low fiber also means that whatever nutrients and energy you’ll get from the food you eat will peak fast– fiber sustains the energy over longer periods of time. This is why when you eat an apple, the high sugar doesn’t make you peak too high or crash too low. The fiber helps “time release” the energy contained within. Without fiber, even foods that seem to be low in sugar or “savory” tasting will still act in the body like straight sugar with a peak and crash.

4. Avoid sugar!
While it’s tempting to grab a mocha cappuccino in the mornings to boost your energy, sugar isn’t healthy energy food. Just as outlined above, your energy will peak super fast and then crash really low leaving you more tired than when you started your day! If you eat foods with a more sustained energy release or that are high in fiber (despite the high sugar content) you are going to get the energy boost you are looking for sans the crash! That means healthier options like apples, bananas, and other fruits. You can also blend smoothies using these ingredients with some greens like spinach for a more nutritious meal guaranteed to boost your energy with healthier options full of minerals and vitamins your body needs to function at its peak (without a sugary crash)!

5. Give yourself a healthy facial.
Sometimes washing your face can be uplifting and refreshing especially if you’re tired. If your eyes are baggy and saggy from lack of good sleep, a green tea or caffeinated tea facial can feel good and wake you up. Put some green tea bags over your eyes or wash your face with some green tea. The antioxidants are great for the skin and the tea is astringent which means it acts as great way to tighten your pores. Because of the caffeine you can even get a little extra rejuvenation through the absorption of the skin. Finally, the refreshing nature of washing your face and the air breezing across the damp skin is always helpful in waking up a bit more! And if you drink caffeinated beverages, this doubles as a good “pick-me-up” too! You can use old coffee and other caffeinated beverages as well as long as they’re natural and unprocessed. That excludes energy drinks, soda and other beverages you will never find out in nature.

6. Avoid caffeine
Though you can get the energy you need from caffeine, there is hardly a day that you actually need caffeine. Caffeine can be great with headaches and during some cycles the body is in but generally speaking the effects of this alkaloid on the system can leave you more depleted in the long term. In small amounts caffeine can give you a boost but drink too much and your body will be overly “jittery” and, if you’re truly tired or lacking in important vitamins and minerals you will just become more tired needing larger amounts of coffee or tea to keep you awake and alert.  This is a negative cycle which adds more stress to your body and depletes your already tired (and therefore stressed) body of vital nutrients and energy that it needs to function.  Caffeine is also a diuretic (it makes you pee) and by increasing the rate at which you urinate, you can lose water and the vitamins in your body more rapidly than you can absorb or use them. Try other things to wake your body up first and if nothing helps, then try caffeine if you absolutely can’t function without a boost. So if you’re kicking the caffeine habit or going to drink it anyway, you can use the leftover tea bags on your face either way. 🙂

7. Move around!
If you’re tired, the best thing you can do (aside from take a nap or go to sleep) is to move around! Do some jumping jacks, walk around the office, bust out some surya namaskaras (sun salutations) and in general Get Up and Move! This stimulates blood flow, it helps digestion, it reduces stress, it moves lymph, your heart rate rises, your brain and body function in more harmonious ways… there is no downside to just getting up and moving about!

There are lots of ways to boost your energy simply and naturally. Just some of these tricks can make a huge difference in your experience of life: less zombie, more person! It’s hard when you’re tired to show up for your job, parties, and whatever else. So do your best to make the kinds of changes that can help you be more YOU!. Being tired is no fun!

Just to review:

  • get more uninterrupted sleep
  • go outside more
  • turn off unnecessary lights at night
  • avoid processed foods
  • avoid sugary foods
  • tea bags on your eyes
  • wash your face
  • less or no caffeine
  • MOVE AROUND!

There are plenty more ways to boost your energy without crazy tricks.  Hopefully some of these help you out!  Any other tips or suggestions you’ve got? 😉

With energetic salutations,

Sarah

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