March 19, 2018
I tend to struggle with my energy levels. I'm one of those people who just naturally seems to need a lot of sleep - If I get less than 8.5 hours or so, I'm exhausted (literally!). I do believe that everyone has a 'magic sleep number' - for some people it's 6 hours, for others it's 9 - and some of us are more able to function on little sleep than others.
But as important (and lovely) as sleep is, sometimes it's just not possible to get our magic number every night - so I've intentionally left 'get more sleep!' out of this list. If that's just not possible for you right now, here are some other, alternative ways to boost your energy - quickly and naturally. I've tried them all, and they work beautifully for me - give them a try and let me know how you go with them!
1) Cut down on processed foods & refined carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates include white bread, white pasta, and anything that’s made with lots of white sugar (including most processed foods or store-bought baked goods). Because they don’t contain much fibre to regulate blood sugar, refined carbohydrates (as opposed to wholemeal) tend to cause ‘spikes’ in blood sugar levels, rather than a long-term boost – so you feel great for 30 minutes or so, then you feel even worse than before.
Instead, eat plenty of high fibre foods, including vegetables, wholegrains & protein – and if you have to have sweet treats, make them yourself using wholemeal flour (or almond/coconut flour) and a low-GI sweetener like honey or agave.
2) Inhale, exhale
The simple act of purposefully deepening your breathing can instantly increase your energy levels. It also relaxes the mind and the muscles in the body, reducing tension (and in turn, cutting down on the energy expenditure involved in keeping muscles tensed). To make it even more effective, incorporate aromatherapy into the exercise with an energy-boosting blend - try Tata Harper's Aromatic Energy Treatment.
3) Incorporate adaptogenic herbs into your routine
Adaptogens help to regulate the adrenal system, which is crucial for maintaining optimum energy levels and easing stress. The adrenal glands are responsible for producing cortisol, the body’s stress hormone – and adaptogenic herbs help to buffer this effect, exerting a calming influence and increasing energy and wellbeing. For easy adaptogen blends you can add to your smoothie/morning latte, try the Balanced Pantry range.
4) Dry body brush
Dry body brushing is an incredibly quick and effective way to boost the circulatory and lymphatic systems, increasing the amount of oxygen circulating around the body. (More oxygen = more energy!). Take 2 minutes to brush all over in firm strokes, always brushing towards the heart. Don't own a dry body brush yet? Here's the one I use and love.
5) Drink more water
A great deal of fatigue is caused by dehydration – and it’s so easy to fix! If you find it hard to get your 2 litres (8 glasses) a day, try adding something to make it more palatable – like fresh fruit or vegetables (strawberries, lemons & cucumber all add a fresh summer taste to plain water. Simply wash, chop & add – then keep refrigerated). Or, if you’re more into hot drinks, switch your coffee for decaffeinated tea, & get your fluid intake that way.
A real picture of me after 7.9 hours sleep.