One of the most common concerns I hear from women is that they feel their energy levels are slipping lower and lower with each passing year. They ask me how they can have more energy to get through their days without feeling worn down, and blah. I mean, we all know the feeling, right?
But just because we no longer have the energy of a twenty-year old, doesn’t mean we have to resign to a life of yawning, cat-napping, and wondering if 8:00 pm is an acceptable time to go to bed (it, totally is, by the way.)
By changing a few of your daily habits, you can have more energy every day, so that you can be more productive, and have the energy to not only do what you need to do, but also the things that bring you joy and peace like a hobby you think you don’t have time for.
How to Have More Energy in the Morning
Having a good start to your day is vital to having a day full of positivity and energy. Have you ever hit the snooze button so many times that you had to rush out of the house, without taking any time for yourself? Yeah, me, too. We’ve all been there. How did you feel for the rest of the day? I’m willing to bet you felt unorganized, rushed, and probably grumpy to boot.
Starting your day off rushed sets off a domino effect that will make your entire day off kilter. This domino effect sets you up for a mumbled and jumbled sort of day. First, you don’t have time to relax and plan out your day, so you aren’t mentally prepared for the day ahead. Then, you don’t have time for a few moments of peace, so you feel anxious. Then, you don’t have time for breakfast, so you grab something you know you shouldn’t eat and dash. Then, you forget something important like your wallet or a report for work. Once you’re caught in the domino effect, it can be next to impossible to stop it from all tumbling down.
An energetic, productive, and good-vibes day starts with a good morning.
You Snooze You Lose
Resist the snooze button! I know getting up with the first alarm is pretty damn hard. But did you know that waking up and falling back asleep for a few minutes, only to wake up again zaps your energy? That little cat nap signals to your body that you are too tired to wake up. It will make you sleepier, and not just for the morning, but for the entire day. It can be hard as hell to flip this habit, but you just have to train yourself to get up as soon as your alarm goes off.
10 or 15 minutes can make or break your morning. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than you normally do, and make it a goal to wake up as soon as the alarm goes off.
Another benefit to waking up 15 minutes earlier is that these 15 minutes can be used as a gift to yourself—a gift of self care. Nothing zaps our energy more than stress, so beat stress to the punch by taking good care of yourself.
Easy flips to add into your morning routine to start your day off stress-free:
· Sit up in your bed, stretch and spend 5 minutes breathing deeply
· Write out your to-do list and get yourself psyched to cross everything off your list today
· Get on YouTube and do a 15 minute at-home yoga sech
Bump Up Your Energy with Some Morning Exercise
Getting your blood pumping in the morning is one of the best ways to flip from zzzzzzzzz to energized. Taking an early morning jog may not sound appealing at 6:00, but once you get used to it, there’s no going back. If you aren’t used to exercising in the morning, start off with small attainable goals. A 5,000-step brisk walk is perfectly adequate!
An early morning walk works double-duty toward your health and wellness goals—firstly, you get your body moving and fit, and secondly, you get to clear your mind. Win/win. During the day, we are all so busy that we forget to take time out for ourselves. If you get in the habit of exercising in the morning, you are setting yourself up for success.
Up-Level Your Morning Shower
Let’s flip from thinking about the shower as just a time and place to get you clean and presentable to the public. Let’s make a mini spa time out of our morning shower (or evening shower—I know people have some strong opinions on if they should shower in the morning or before bed. And your opinions are valid, girl, valid.)
Shower time is a great time to relax. Get that temperature just right and take a minute to feel the water wash over you. Water is therapeutic and does wonders for our souls. Mindfully breathe in the scents from your shampoos and soaps and give yourself some zen time.
While you are alone with yourself, and naked, use this time to be thankful to your body. Pass no judgement on your body. Tell yourself that you are beautiful, and you are grateful for your body. Tell yourself that you are full of energy and excited for the day ahead. Get your positivity vibes flowing! You deserve to love yourself. Get in the habit of doing this every time you shower. At first, you’ll have to remind yourself, but soon it will become a habit. Starting your day off with self love and a positive outlook will boost your spirits, which in turn, will boost your energy.
If you can handle a bit of zing in the morning, consider contrast showering (which is simply switching from hot water to cold water during your shower.) Studies show that contrast showering boosts immunity, improves blood circulation, regulates body temperature, enhances lymphatic movements and deepens breathing. A cold shower also has an effect on your mood by alleviating depression and increasing energy and wellbeing. The hot water brings blood flow to the skin’s surface while the cold water brings blood flow inward to the organs. This is beneficial for detox and circulation.
Some people alternate between hot and cold water in spurts to support lymphatic drainage, such as 3 minutes of hot water, and then 3 minutes of cold. Others, however, start with a hot shower and then ease the water temperature down, ending with 30 seconds under cold water.
How to Have More Energy with Clean Eating
Do I even have to tell you that starting your day off with a healthy breakfast is uber-important if you want to have more energy? Eat a breakfast that nourishes your body and your soul by choosing a breakfast that makes you feel proud for making a good choice first thing in the morning, is good for your health, and tastes great, so that your happy taste buds improve your mood, too. Avoid added sugar in the morning. The last thing you need is to experience a sugar crash! This is how many people zap away their energy!
Instead, aim for a breakfast that incorporates protein, as protein will fill you up so that you don’t feel hungry and start snacking before lunch.
Now, eating for energy doesn’t stop at breakfast! If you bring your lunch to work, hopefully you’ve prepared a healthy, clean eating lunch the night before so that you can grab it and go!
Eating for Energy Lunch Ideas:
Spinach and Arugula Salad with Lemon Turmeric Dressing
For the salad:
2 cups baby spinach
2 cups arugula
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup sprouts
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
sea salt and black pepper to taste
This will make enough for 2 lunch salads. Put 1 cup each of the baby spinach and the arugula in glass to-go containers, then put half of the remaining ingredients in each container.
For the dressing:
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground ginger
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a mason jar with a lid and shake until well blended. Put a single serving in a small to-go container and dress salad just before eating it. Store remaining dressing in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Veggie and Quinoa Mason Jar Lunch
1 head of broccoli, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp cumin
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Basic Quinoa Recipe
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water or vegetable broth (chicken stock works well, too)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water or broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat. Add quinoa and reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Allow to cool. Alternatively, quinoa can be made in a rice cooker, as well.
Spread chopped vegetables out on a baking sheet, drizzle with warmed coconut oil, and sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper. Use your hands or a spatula to mix and shake baking sheet so that the vegetables are all on one layer. Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
Depending on the size of the mason jars you use, this will make 2-3 jars. Fill each mason jar half way with quinoa. Layer on the veggies and squeeze a half a lemon over each serving of vegetables.
How to Have More Energy Throughout the Day
Learn to Identify Your Body’s Productivity Schedule
We are all wired differently. Some of us are naturally morning people, and some of us are night owls. Tune into your body and see when you are functioning your best.
Are you groggy in the morning, but in the late afternoon have a burst of energy? Then, try to schedule your exercise or your chores in the afternoon. Do you wake up early but feel too drained after work to accomplish anything? Use those morning hours to prep for dinner so that you can just pop it in the oven or have your slow cooker ready and full of goodness when you get home. Move your self-care time to the evening during the time you used to cook dinner. You do you.
Rule the Afternoon Slump by Being Prepared to Fight Against It
We all know what that afternoon slump feels like, when it’s about 3:00 in the afternoon, and you’re wondering how you’re going to make it to bedtime without falling asleep, face first, into your dinner. Most of us turn to coffee or sugar to get us over the hump, but let’s explore other ways to have more energy in the afternoon.
1. Take a 5-Minute Brisk Walk
Get moving, girl! 5 minutes is all you need to get a little movement into your afternoon. This is especially important for those of us who work at a desk. If the weather permits, take a walk outside and really be in the moment. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Feel the temperature of the air. If the weather’s bad or if you don’t have access to a safe place to walk in the afternoon, walk the hallways or take a flight of stairs. Getting your body moving and your muscles warmed up will give you a burst of energy.
2. Get Your Essential Oil Boost On
Diffuse oils that will awaken your senses and motivate you. Essential oils are a great way to shift your mood, calm or invigorate your senses, and more. For an afternoon pick-me-up try this recipe:
4 Drops Frankincense
3 Drops Peppermint
2 Drops Lemon
I love recommending this recipe because all the oils can be found in the Family Essential Starter Kit, so anyone with that introductory kit has all the oils they need, on hand, to make this oil blend themselves.
3. Do the 5 Sense Flip
When you are feeling sluggish and disconnected, take a moment to be in the moment by using a method I call the 5 Sense Flip. Observing more of the world around you nourishes your mental state. Check in with yourself throughout the day and ask yourself if you are actually living in the moment. Living in zombie mode is one of the best ways to zap your energy!
When you walk, feel your feet pressing into the ground, hear the sounds around you, feel the temperature of the air. Just be where you are and let all your 5 senses work for you. When you feel disconnected, a good trick is to implement the 5 Sense Flip: check in with your senses and ask yourself--What do I see? hear? smell? feel? taste? This is a great little flip to pull you out of the blah-zone and into living in the moment. Try it!
4. Have a Clean-Eating Healthy Snack
Of course, one of the best ways to boost your energy is to nibble on a healthy snack.
Although your body will be begging you for a caffeine injection or a sugar jolt, resist the urge, my friend. Instead, reach for some healthy, clean-eating snacks to help you fight the afternoon slump.
How to Have More Energy the Next Day
Skin Brush Before Bed
Skin brushing is easy to do, feels good and supports your lymphatic system, kidneys, and liver so that they can get to work and flush your body of toxins. This will not only make you feel healthier; it will help boost your energy.
How to skin brush:
· Get a skin brush (made for this purpose). They are super affordable.
· Always brush toward your heart with the flow of the lymphatic fluid.
· Start with the soles of your feet, move up your legs using a circular motion.
· Brush from fingertips to shoulders, then chest toward your heart in long strokes. Use small, gentle circular strokes in your armpits.
· Move in a circular motion counterclockwise on your stomach to respect the direction of digestion and encourage detoxification.
And there you have it! Now you know how to have more energy all day long.
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Do you feel like your energy levels are getting lower with each passing year? How do you fight the battle of the zzzzzzzzzs? Let me know in the comments below!