Let’s face it, in today’s rush-rush world we are always trying to cram as much as possible into our 24-hour day. Sadly, many people are turning to energy drinks and pills to help get them through their long days, when in actuality there are plenty of natural energy boosters that you could rely on to help you stay energized.
Just try these simple all day energy strategies provided by MSNBC to make sure that you wake up feeling refreshed, stay motivated throughout the day and are able to wind down and get a relaxed night of sleep.
Consistent wake-up time: Many people would think that sleeping in would actually give them all-day energy, but it is more harmful than it is helpful. Instead, opt for the same wake-up time everyday and get yourself into some light, whether you get your sunlight by actually going outdoors or just by opening up the blinds.
Reduce your carbs and add in more protein: While carbohydrates will give you that quick burst of energy, eating too many carbohydrates will actually drain you. Opt for getting a healthy mix of carbs and protein to feel more energetic throughout the day. Keep your daily intake of healthy carbs below 150 g. for example: five servings of veggies, two servings of fruit, three servings of whole grain carbs.
Skip your morning cup of Joe: Instead of downing your coffee first thing in the morning, opt for having an afternoon cup of coffee when tiredness typically sets in. Try having a half to one cup of coffee or its caffeine equivalent during the late afternoon when the pressure to sleep is high. Be careful not to do this too late as it may interfere with you being able to fall asleep at night.
Avoid grazing and eat your meals at consistent times: Believe it or not, your body runs on the food schedule that YOU set. When you skip meals your body suffers by going into shut down mode, like it does when it is time to sleep. Keep your meals consistent and at consistent times to avoid the daily drain. Grazing should be avoided, too, as it leads to overeating and over hunger.
Relieve stress through meditation: Because it may be hard to carve out set times to simply relax and meditate, try to do it when you have a few free minutes throughout your day. Even simply three minutes of mediation can reduce stress hormones that create body tension and constricted blood vessels. Find a quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted (even a bathroom if that’s your only option), sit down and close your eyes, listen to your breath as you slowly inhale and exhale, and when thoughts intrude imagine that they are like clouds floating in the sky. Practice these techniques and take a few minutes to rejuvenate through relaxation.
Power walk instead of power nap: While it may seem like a short little cat nap will help you through that afternoon slump, a short little power walk will be more beneficial. Because of the way the homeostatic and circadian systems interact, most people feel a lull 17 to 18 hours after they went to bed the previous night. Get out for a brisk walk if you are able to and your body will thank you for it. If you can’t get outdoors, sit by a window and bask in the daylight for some quick light energy.
Exercise to music: Exercise may be the most obvious way to increase your energy levels throughout the day, yet many people still avoid it. If you are having trouble getting the motivation to work out, try listening to music before exercising. Studies show that people who listen to music prior to and while working out, feel like they have exerted themselves less than those who don’t listen to music while working out.
Wind down before bed: Studies show that very bright light will increase brain activity and the light emitted by a computer monitor late at night can do just that. Watching television is better as most people sit far enough away from a TV to be unaffected by its brightness. Whether you choose to watch a little TV or read a good book, take the time to wind down before catching those zzz’s.