Let’s face it – we as a society are feeling drained. Exhausted. Demotivated. I see it all around me in my clients, my circle, my networks.
COVID has taken a toll on us, on top of all of the other “normal” responsibilities in our lives: working, parenting, cooking, cleaning, basic functioning, etc. Work-life boundaries have become blurry, and much of what we love to do to recharge, such as travel, still have restrictions.
The good news is there are easy ways to increase our energy to feel more motivated, happy and productive.
Before I dive in and share the simple tips to increase your energy, I want you to ask yourself, what would you do with more energy in your life? How would it make you feel? And, are you willing to make an effort to get it?
These tips aren’t rocket science – we all know them. We just forget about them from time and time and need gentle reminders. And, we need to consciously make an effort to follow these healthy habits, thinking about all of the possibilities that open up once we have more energy.
Increase your energy tip #1 - Drink water and lots of it.
The general rule of thumb for drinking water is to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day. Plus, add some more if you drink caffeine, alcohol or sweat to further replenish the hydration we lose through those activities. Try drinking a glass of water when you first wake up, which will kickstart this habit.
Increase your energy tip #2 – Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Experts tell us our bodies need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. We also want to aim for a 10 p.m. bedtime. Why? Research shows that between 10 p.m. and midnight, we release most of our human growth hormone (HGH), a critical hormone that helps us grow, repair cells, improve our metabolism, and even slow down our ageing.
Now, if you're a parent with young kids or work shift work, this is really hard to do, so you can just try and get the most amount of sleep you can when you can.
Increase your energy tip #3 – Eat well-balanced meals.
When we are tired, we crave sugar, caffeine and even alcohol, and those just put us on a blood sugar rollercoaster where one minute we're tired, the next we're energized, and the cycle starts all over again. This also impairs our sleep.
By eating well-balanced meals, we maintain our blood sugar levels which keep our energy levels more consistent. Carb-heavy lunches can especially send us into an afternoon slump, so trying to get whole grains, protein, healthy fats and fruits and vegetables is your best bet at every meal. Also, staying away from caffeine after 12 p.m. helps you to sleep better.
Increase your energy tip #4 – Make time for physical exercise.
Spending just 20 minutes a day moving your body can do wonders for your mind, body and soul. The trick is making the time and sticking with it. Look back at what physical activities you enjoyed when you were younger – can you bring some of that back into your life? If you're a parent, can you go play a game of tag or basketball with your kids a couple of days a week? Dance parties, hula hooping, skipping rope, a brisk walk, etc. are more great options. And, if you can combine them with listening to upbeat tunes, an inspiring podcast or an audiobook, even better!
Increase your energy tip #5 – Bring more activities into your life that bring you joy.
Many of us get busy with work, family or social outings and forget what activities bring us joy, outside of scrolling the internet and watching TV. I encourage you to make a list of activities that bring you joy that you can turn to when you're tired or stressed, and ideally, make a habit of incorporating them into your life regularly. This can be doing something creative like making art or playing an instrument, reading or writing, playing sports, learning a new language, etc. It can also be things that relax you, such as getting a massage, taking a bath, going for a hike. What's most important is that it's something you enjoy and has you present while doing it.