Everyone is familiar with all-out energy drain — that exhausted, day (or night) when no matter how enticing that new movie, fabulous shoe sale, or friendly barbecue, we just can’t psych ourselves up to go.
What can be harder to recognize is a low-grade energy drain. In this case, you may not necessarily feel the classic signs of exhaustion — like achy muscles or that all-over tired feeling. What you do experience is an increasing lack of get-up-and-go for many of the activities you used to love.
“You may also find it harder to concentrate on tasks, and, eventually, you can also find your patience grows short and your level of frustration rises, even when confronted with seemingly simple challenges,” says New York University nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD.
If this is starting to sound familiar, take heart. Energy zappers are all around us, some obvious, some hidden. The good news: There is a way around almost all of them.
Increase Energy With A Power Nap?
While crawling into bed and covering your head with the covers is rarely a practical solution to boosting energy in the middle of a busy day, taking a quick power nap can have restorative powers. A 2005 study performed by the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Hiroshima University in Japan found that just three minutes of stage-2 sleep provided recuperative powers not found in those the non-napping control group. Stage-2 sleep, also called light sleep, begins about five minutes after you lie down and typically lasts between 10 to 25 minutes, according to Helpguide.org.
Increase Energy With Water:
Your body needs fluid to function properly. Yet you’re constantly losing fluid every time you breathe, sweat, and use the bathroom. If you don’t replenish those liquids, you can become dehydrated, which can leave you feeling drained and fatigued. You don’t necessarily have to follow the “eight glasses a day” rule, but you do want to drink enough water to keep your body well hydrated. You can tell you’re well hydrated when you don’t feel thirsty and your urine is light-colored. Try to get to the fridge or water cooler for a refill every few hours. The walk there will also help you wake up!
Boost Energy With Cinnamon:
Cinnamon? Yes, Cinnamon! Cinnamon isn’t just for sprinkling into your apple pie. Research finds that just a whiff of this scented spice can reduce fatigue, wake you up and give you more energy. No cinnamon handy? Grab a mint from your purse. Peppermint’s sweet aroma is another fatigue fighter and will also give you the energy boost you are looking for.
Reducing stress levels is a safe way to boost energy. Stress depletes your body and mind of energy needed to operate properly by causing mental irregularities including burnout, tiredness and lack of focus. Stress can cause high blood pressure, heart disease and irregular palpitations, digestive irregularities, body aches and head aches, according to the Mayo Clinic. Implementing stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, pet therapy, laughter, massage, socialization, increased physical activity, playing a musical instrument or listening to your favorite music, yoga, tai chi or alternating muscle tensing and relaxing can help reduce stress and boost your energy levels.
Also emotions are surprisingly contagious. People who are constantly negative and down can sap your energy, while those who are always up and excited can give you a real lift. Stay away from energy vampires. Instead, surround yourself with friends who share similar goals and interests.
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