Do you suffer from low energy? Ever wish you could plug yourself in and get a boost? Whether you’re exhausted by the end of the day or you’d like to ditch that cup of coffee at 2 p.m., it is possible to boost your energy. And it doesn’t have to be hard or come from a can.
Here are five easy ways to boost your energy naturally:
Hydrate. One of the easiest things you can do to increase and maintain higher levels of energy is to stay hydrated. I’m talking water here. Sounds simple, right? Yet a 2013 study by the CDC found nearly 43% of adults drink less than four cups of water per day. Less than four cups! That really surprised me. Luckily, this is an easy one to improve upon fast. And, it’s free! Although there’s no “hard and fast rule” on the amount of water adults need, eight 8-oz. cups is a good goal. (Personally, I shoot for 100 ounces a day.) You need more if you exercise regularly, sweat a lot or drink caffeinated beverages. Certain medications and foods can also cause dehydration so consider that, too. If you’re like me and the taste of plain water doesn’t rock your world, spice it up – lemon, lime and mint all work here.
Delegate. If you find yourself saying, “There isn’t enough time in the day,” more than once a week, you could probably benefit from off-loading some of your responsibilities. Entrepreneurs and moms of school-aged kids often fall into this camp. So how do you do it? Start by making a list of your priorities. Then ask yourself these questions:
1. What things are you doing that someone else could handle?
2. What on the list drains you?
3. Is there anything on the list you resent doing?
Maybe it’s asking one of your kids to unload the dishwasher or set the table for dinner. Or, maybe it’s asking your assistant to handle some administrative tasks you normally perform. If you don’t have an assistant, maybe it’s time to consider hiring one or hiring out some projects that aren’t your forte. As an entrepreneur, wife and busy mom of two young girls, I aim to hire out the majority of things in my business that don’t involve my primary purpose of teaching, coaching, writing and speaking. This includes items like graphic design, administrative tasks and customer service. In our household, my husband and I hire out laundry, cleaning, ironing, grocery shopping and lawn care. FiverrandElance.com are great places to start for business help, while care.com is a good resource for household help. Tell your friends and family what you’re looking for, too; it’s amazing how many times the right person shows up almost instantly when I decide to take action on something.
Declutter. Think of the last time you cleaned out your closet or a drawer. How did you feel? Like a weight was lifted off of you? That’s because it was! Decluttering — clearing your space of unnecessary, unwanted or unneeded things — is a fantastic way to boost your energy naturally. Why? Everything — from your laptop to that stack of unread books on the shelf to all that extra stuff in your glove box — is composed of energy. And keeping extra stuff around that you don’t need or use weighs you down. The fix? Use it, need it, donate it or toss it. Clutter clearing doesn’t need to be an all-day job, either. Here’s how to do it efficiently:
Head to your kitchen (typically a clutter hotspot).
Grab two garbage bags; one for recycling and one for donations. Use a third if you don’t have a garbage can in the kitchen.
Set a timer for 10 minutes.
Start in one area of the kitchen grabbing and sorting anything you don’t use (one year limit unless it’s a seasonal item), love or need.
Move your body. Ever hear the phrase, “A body in motion stays in motion”? Keep this in mind throughout your day. Make it a priority to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Walk, run, do yoga — or mix it up. Find something you enjoy and just do it. Your energy levels will go up immediately. Along with a dedicated time to exercise, you also need to take breaks frequently. I aim for what I call the “5-every-45” guideline — taking a 5-minute break for every 45 minutes of work. I learned this from memory coach, Jim Kwik. A related tool is the Pomodoro Technique, which is based on 25 minutes of uninterrupted work followed by a 3-5 minute break. After completing four pomodoros, you take a longer break, typically 25-30 minutes.
Watch your words. Your words are incredibly powerful. Do you refer to yourself as, a tired person with low energy? Do you find yourself saying, “I’m so tired all the time”? If so, change your story by changing the way you talk about yourself. Here’s how: the next time you find yourself saying, “I’m so tired all the time” try, “Up until this point, I suffered from low energy. But I’m changing that now.” Do this even if you don’t believe it yet. This is called, acting “as if”. Over time, your energy will start increasing — trust me.
~ Jaime Pfeffer