Have you been feeling more tired than usual lately? Do you find yourself having a slump at 3 p.m. and reaching for coffee or a sweet treat? This can happen from a lack of good sleep, insufficient physical exercise, poor nutrition, draining relationships, or a demanding schedule.
If you need a boost, and not one that comes from your triple espresso, here are some tips to increase your energy and stamina naturally.
Get Your B Vitamins
There are 11 different B vitamins, each providing specific benefits. Vitamin B complex—a combination of B vitamins in supplement form—can help increase memory, reduce heart-disease risk, decrease anxiety and stress, lift depression, and elevate your mood, all while boosting your energy.
Vitamin B-rich foods include dark green vegetables such as kale and spinach, protein from animal sources, and whole grains.
Vitamin B12 is a common deficiency that might be zapping your energy. This vitamin is mainly found in animal and dairy products and fortified cereals. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you may want to take it in supplement form.
Drink Lots of Water
Many of us are dehydrated. Before you go for sugar or caffeine at 3 p.m., have a glass of purified water and wait a few minutes to see what happens.
Drinking coffee can lead to dehydration, mood swings, and headaches. Decrease your coffee intake gradually, opting for water with lemon, green juice, or tea instead. Try white, green, or matcha tea for an extra antioxidant boost.
If you feel thirsty, it’s too late—you are already dehydrated. All of our body functions rely on hydration to work properly. Drink water consistently throughout the day, and you’ll notice your energy levels increase.
Load Up on Superfoods
Green juices are magical drinks with high levels of antioxidants, detoxifying agents, alkalizing properties, vitamins, and minerals.
Superfoods such as microalgae, chlorella, spirulina, liquid chlorophyll, and maca root are just a few energy powerhouses to kick-start your day with. Toss them in your juices or smoothies for an added boost. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with a doctor.
Omega-3 fatty acids, known as the “good fats,” can also help lower depression and improve mental functioning. Common examples include EPA and DHA, primarily found in certain fish, and ALA, found in plant sources like seeds or nuts.
Eat ‘Good’ Sweets
Avoid processed sugar and artificial sweeteners—they can make you feel sluggish. Use whole, non-processed sweeteners like maple syrup or honey instead.
Eat fruits and sweet vegetables such as beets, yams, and carrots to lessen your cravings for cookies and sweets. Or, if you still can’t shake your sweet tooth, eat a small piece of organic, raw dark chocolate—and savor it.
Boosting your activity level is a great way to spruce up your state of being. Begin with simple changes–take the stairs, walk to work or around the block, or do yoga. Start with 10 minutes a day and increase from there.
Making a daily commitment and sticking to it is key. You don’t have to make your workouts consecutive, either. You can slip in a few minutes here and there, and they’ll still add up.
Try changing your perspective by going upside down—do a handstand or put your feet up against a wall. It’s amazing how this simple shift can alter your mood and energy level.
Have Some ‘Me’ Time
When you are tired or stressed, your body and mind suffer. So be sure to get adequate sleep and recharge your batteries every day.
Meditate or focus on deep breathing for a few minutes a day. It can be as simple as taking five deep and purposeful breaths: Inhale for four counts, hold for two counts, exhale for four counts, and repeat.
For added relaxation, schedule a weekly date with yourself—5 to 10 minutes or an hour if you have it. Just commit to you.
Do what inspires you and creates the space you need to be yourself. Try yoga, writing, reading, walking, or listening to music. Take a bath, see a movie, or get a manicure or massage. Do whatever you enjoy. It doesn’t need to be elaborate. It just needs to be a dedicated time for restoring your energy levels.
Improve Your Relationships
People can be energy drainers, so it is valuable to notice who leaves you worn out and why.
Can you transform those relationships by changing your mindset, communicating in a kinder way, or setting boundaries? Can you limit your interactions or make sure they occur at a time when you can spare your energy? Or do you need to end the relationship altogether?
Surround yourself with positive, giving, and uplifting people whenever possible. No one can be perky and happy all the time, and it is important to be able to let go, vent, and share emotions. But remember, you can choose whom you spend your limited free time with. Choose wisely.
Christine Beal Dunst is the co-founder and CEO of Embody Wellness Company, specializing in creating customizable holistic wellness and nutrition programs targeted at life’s most important milestones: marriage, children, and career. For more information, visit EmbodyWellnessCompany.com.