With so many daily responsibilities, it becomes even more important to manage your energy to make it through the day. These tips will give you the boost you need.
It’s true. We are all in an energy crisis. There’s work, school, family responsibilities, caring for a home, caring for elderly parents or children, and the pressure to get everything on the never-ending to-do list completed better, quicker, and more efficient than before.
Cartwheeling with enthusiasm through it all might be more of an aspiration than a reality. At the end of the day, we may be left with wishing we had more energy to do more, see more, and be present more.
Many turn to caffeine or energy drinks.
From late night studying to working the late shift, caffeine or energy drinks may give you the stimulant boost you want to get through it all, but they just don’t deliver on their promise of bringing you the real energy you need. So, instead of looking for ‘more’ energy and choosing stimulants as your liberation, focus on saying yes to these four simple areas to help you get better energy, more often.
1. CHOOSE REAL ENERGY
The word “calorie” is a unit of, you guessed it, energy! That means that when you are looking for energy, you must get it through calories – and to get calories, you must eat food! Choose whole foods in a balance of carbohydrates (which gives your body quick energy), proteins (which give your body communicative and power-energy), and healthy fats (which give your body sustained energy), and remember to eat in a frequent manner (such as every 3-4 hours or when hunger cues prompt eating). By eating frequently and choosing a balance of nutrients, it will help avoid the highs and lows of blood sugar to keep your energy more stable throughout the day.
2. GET BETTER SLEEP
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between the ages of 26 and 64 get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night (no less than 6, no more than 10). Along with numerous other benefits, sleep — specifically REM (rapid eye movement) sleep — helps restore and prep the body for handling social and emotional activities for the next day.
Can’t seem to fall asleep at night? Cut caffeine in the hours before bedtime, power down electronics before bed (or turn on “night-shift” on your phones and tablets), adopt a bedtime routine, and make sure your bedroom is a cool, dark environment.
3. EXERCISE FOR BETTER ENERGY AND SLEEP
According to a 2011 study, more physical activity means increased alertness, excitement, and enthusiasm. Struggling to make exercise part of your day? Do something you love – whether it’s walking on your lunch hour, biking with a friend, dancing on the weekends, or exercises during your favorite TV show – every little bit adds up! Worried that exercise might hinder your sleep? Some research indicates that physical activity helps support a longer duration of sleep and better quality sleep – even in shift workers!
4. ENERGIZE YOURSELF BY DOING WHAT YOU LOVE
Do activities you love – activities that give you a sense of purpose and energize you from the inside out. Even simply spending time thinking about the ones you love can improve energy, confidence and alertness. Spending time DOING what you love can be important too. Although it takes time and energy, research demonstrates that volunteering can foster a better sense of balance and may positively alter your health.
Stay inspired and energized, my friends!
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: KAROLINA GRABOWSKA
Tori Schmitt, MS, RDN, LD is a Ohio-based Registered Dietitian Nutritionist whose goal is to help others find positivity in their life and health. By sifting through the science and diet noise, she helps individuals enjoy the foods they love through a simple, balanced, and realistic approach. Learn more about Tori at YES! Nutrition.