Some Simple Steps To Boost Energy Levels & Keep Exhaustion At Bay
"We live in a culture in which people accept lagging energy as a fact of life," explains integrative medicine specialist and author Frank Lipman, M.D.
This hurried lifestyle is a mindset that starts early. "We're now primed to be fatigued from the get-go," says anesthesiologist Bradley Carpentier, M.D., who has studied causes of exhaustion. "Kids are loaded with after-school activities; high schoolers are busy getting into college, where they'll only get up earlier and stay up later. Then come careers, the iPhones and BlackBerrys, the 24-7 multitasking."
But that doesn't mean you're doomed to a life of chronic exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and endless fatigue. While stress and responsibilities are part of modern life, getting the proper amount of rest can go a long way in making you feel better, more energized, and more productive in your daily activities.
Start by following these simple steps:
Hit the snooze button.
Most adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Try to hit the sheets at around the same time each evening to keep your circadian rhythms in tune, your internal clock functioning properly, and your body feeling refreshed and rested.
Fuel up right.
Starting your day with the right nutritional balance is key to keeping you feeling full and energized throughout the day, and helps you avoid the late-afternoon crash. A healthy breakfast should include around 20 grams of protein and some healthy fat, both of which help boost energy levels. Instead of that sugar-packed muffin and latte, try some peanut butter or a handful of almonds stirred into low-fat yogurt for a delicious, sensible start.
Moment of zen.
Despite its bad reputation as a New Age gimmick, a 20-minute morning meditation session can be a highly relaxing, mentally recharging activity that actually improves focus and productivity. "Meditating in the morning can help clear your mind so that you can then do things faster and with more focus," says Dr. Lipman. "You can actually end up with more time."
Let your creative juices flow.
You don't need to log 18-hour days at the office to feel accomplished. In fact, having outside hobbies and passions often goes hand-in-hand with positive self-esteem. Think about what's appealing to you—cooking, writing, painting, scrapbooking—and devote an hour or two to it each week. You'll be surprised at how restored you feel when you accomplish something that's just for you. Plus, finding a healthy balance between work and play can help you keep your spirits up, energy high and stave off stress-related exhaustion.
So remember when you're feeling tired, stressed or there just isn't enough time in the day, it's time to take a deep breath, and make relaxing a priority instead. Because a little energy can go a long way.
[image via Brian Finke]