With what feels like a thousand things to do each day it is very common for people to feel exhausted midway through the day. With a culture of being busy, it almost feels like if you aren’t tired you are doing something wrong or not working hard enough.
But taking care of your body is so important and if you aren’t feeling exhausted all of the time you will be able to do all of the things you love with much more enthusiasm. Most of the lifestyle changes to get higher energy levels may seem like big changes, but you can take small steps to incorporate them into your life so it is not so overwhelming.
Believe it or not, doing things as simple as drinking more water in your day and listening to music could be all you need to boost the amount of energy you feel everyday and get your day going.
You might think that after a long workout you would feel tired and want to take a nap. Sometimes exercise can be tiring, but if you do the right kind it could help to wake your body and mind up to give you more energy.
Exercises to wake you up can generally be shorter and not as intense. However, short bursts of intense exercise can also be invigorating.
The National Health Service recommends a 5-minute workout in the morning. This includes an overhead stretch, knee to chest stretch, hamstring stretch, twist, chest stretch, trunk rotation, power walking, squats, side stretch, and a forward bend. The exercise can be whatever you want as long as it makes you feel good. Some other suggestions are taking a 10-minute walk, doing some light stretches, jumping jacks, and playing a sport like basketball or volleyball.
Caffeine has become almost a mantra to Americans. Drinking your coffee in the morning has become a ritual to get us through the day. Drinking caffeine can help to stimulate you to feel awake and alert.
Using caffeine is great as a kickstart, but it is a substance so using it every once in a while is okay because you can actually become addicted to it. If you are using it responsibly then you should know that there are actually different ways to get caffeine than from good old coffee.
Some other foods and drinks that contain caffeine include teas such as black and green tea, soda, chocolate, energy drinks, and caffeine supplements. The recommended daily amount of caffeine is 135 mg of caffeine daily. To put that into perspective 135mg is about 1 and a half cups of coffee.
So, you can continue to use caffeine as an energy booster, but know that there are other healthier ways to do this as well.
Get Good Sleep
Getting good sleep sometimes seems overrated. Who wouldn’t want to stay up the extra couple of hours to hang out with their friends or watch their favorite TV show? A balanced amount of sleep is pertinent to your feeling awake.
If you have too much or too little sleep it could leave you feeling restless and like all you need is to take a nap. The recommended time of sleep for an adult is between 7 and 9 hours of sleep, but everyone is different so you should listen to your body about what is right for you.
Getting better sleep can be hard, but setting a bedtime is one way to improve your sleep hygiene. You can even put it in your calendar on your phone so that you don’t have to think about when bedtime is. Another sleep hack is to cool down the temperature in your room. Having a comfortable sleeping temperature is key to a good night’s sleep, so adjust it so that you are comfortable and not waking up throughout the night.
Drinking water and other fluids always seem like such an easy task, but when you get down to it many people simply forget to drink water. Water in the body is so important for many things including lubricating your joints, balancing your blood pressure, regulating your temperature, keeping you moisturized, and more.
Water is necessary for the body and cells to function, so without them, it can leave you feeling sluggish. You may even be surprised to know that when you feel thirsty is when your body is already slightly dehydrated, so drinking throughout the day can help to combat dehydration and help to keep you awake.
Water comes from many sources apart from the water itself. You can find it in drinks like tea or juice, but try to choose ones that do not have too much sugar. You can also make drinking water more fun by putting fruit infusions in it to add taste and an aesthetically pleasing art piece to carry around with you. Some people also find it fun to make drinking water a game. You can log it in an app or simply make goal markers on your bottle to drink so much water by a certain time of the day.
Manage Your Stress
Stress happens to everyone, but how stress impacts you is unique. For some, when they are feeling stressed, their body is overloaded and there’s a huge energy difference from the beginning of the day to the end.
You only have so much energy, so spending it worrying about life can drain your energy stores and leave you tired and less able to face what is causing your stress. By managing your stress you can help to regain some of your energy and get your life back.
Some great stress management techniques are deep breathing, journaling, and meditation. All of these can help to reduce your feelings of being overwhelmed and instead help you filter through your emotions and bring you back to the present.
Simply try breathing in for four seconds, noticing the pause of the breath, then exhaling for six seconds. Anytime you are feeling stressed you can do this breath as many times as necessary to reduce your stress and hopefully leave you feeling more relaxed, yet awake.
Listen to Music
Have you ever been at a party when they play your favorite song and all of a sudden you are dancing in your chair or on the floor? When the song is over how did you feel? You likely felt like you have just finished a marathon and are on top of the world.
This feeling can happen again with your control by choosing music that makes you feel awake and happy. When choosing a good song for this you likely would not want to choose something slow like classical music or lo-fi.
Instead, opt for something like pop music or rock. Anything with an uplifting beat can help to lift your spirits and your liveliness for the day. Playing music could be helpful first thing in the morning, before a workout, or in the middle of the day when you need a little inspiration.
Eat Healthy Foods
When you are feeling tired it is easy to choose fast food, eating out, or prepackaged foods to eat. While it might save you energy from not having to put in the work of making it, it will not help to break the cycle of feeling tired. When you are working hard you deserve to have something that will fuel your body and help to replenish it from the hard work it has done. Since food is literally the energy source for our body, it is important that you choose foods that are healthy and nutritious.
Whole foods are a great starting place with fruits, vegetables, and grains that contain vitamins and minerals. If you have never cooked whole foods you can think of it as a fun activity for you and your family and friends to do together.
Learning a new skill, especially one that can improve your health is rewarding and very fun. You do not have to become a chef overnight. You can start with a simple step like making one meal a day or packing healthy snacks instead of eating chips or a muffin.
If you are feeling tired throughout your day, know that you are not alone. Luckily there are things that you can do to help to boost your energy, mostly in simple habit changes. Something as small as eating a healthy meal in place of a fast food trip, and drinking the right amount of water could be exactly what you need to feel more awake throughout your day.
If after trying these tricks or if you feel that something is wrong you should always talk to your doctor about feeling tired. If there is something else going on they can help to recognize it and get you on your way to feeling more awake and alive.
9 tips to boost your energy — Harvard Health
Caffeine | The Nutrition Source | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health