If you had just one wish or a fairy godmother to grant you a bit of help, would you ask for more energy? A little more time in the day and the motivation to get more done? What if you could reclaim just an hour or two in the day? Or even just a moment to yourself? What if you had the zest to hop through your to-do list without crashing at the end of the day? We don’t have a magic wand and we can’t turn your pumpkin into a carriage, but we do have a few easy steps for how to boost energy. Start taking these simple steps and you might start to feel like your own fairy godmother.
Talk with Your Doctor
If you’ve noticed an onset of fatigue or just don’t have the energy you think you should have, you may want to consult with your physician. An article on the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center website talks about how we sometimes blame fatigue on our circumstances or specific conditions, when in fact we may be dealing with sleep apnea or other sleep obstructive issues. You may also find that your partner’s sleep routine is affecting your sleep. Snoring or sleep apnea in a partner can disturb your sleep cycles, even if you don’t notice it. Your doctor can help evaluate whether sleep problems are the root cause of your fatigue and discuss options for how to boost energy by getting a better night’s sleep. He or she can also determine whether there is another condition or deficiency contributing to your daily fatigue. Don’t settle for fatigue; talk with your doctor.
Improve Your Sleep Routine
If you have a hard time settling into bed at night after a busy day with lots on your mind, you may want to work on your evening routine. This routine will give your body clues that it’s time to start settling down and drifting off to sleep. Sip decaffeinated teas and avoid alcohol too close to bedtime. The AARP recommends munching on very light snacks, particularly fruits and nuts, before bed to get a full night’s sleep. Choose a book to read, rather than a brain stimulating movie or television show. Wash your face or take a bath. Settle into clean, comfortable pajamas. Treat your body to a cozy bed and let your cares wait until tomorrow.
Eating healthy, energy-packed meals at regular intervals throughout the day, will help you keep your energy up throughout the day. Learning how to boost energy may be as simple as making sure you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snacks in between – rather than letting your blood sugar and energy drop. Keep high-protein meals, full of fruits and vegetables on hand, so you aren’t tempted to work through a meal. If you tend to think “I don’t have time to stop and eat,” remind yourself how much more energy you will have and how much more you will get done if you make fueling your body a priority.
It may seem counterintuitive that expending energy can also fuel your energy reserves, but it’s true. The Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation lists moderate exercise as one of the best ways to boost energy. Choose the time of day when you tend to have the most energy and take advantage of it. Grab a friend if you need the accountability and company. It doesn’t have to be strenuous. An invigorating walk around the neighborhood might be just what you need. Get your heart pumping and you will find yourself with more energy throughout the day. Exercise also helps you sleep better at night so the benefits double!
Prioritize and Evaluate
What is it that is actually sucking the energy from your days? At first glance, it may seem like everything is wearing you out. Look closer. What tasks are the most exhausting every day? What most overwhelms you each week? What’s standing in your way from getting a full night’s sleep? What’s stopping you from eating well? What’s keeping you from getting some exercise every day? Evaluating the gaps in your routine and getting to the heart of your fatigue will help you figure out how to boost energy according to your personal lifestyle.
Once you figure out what’s keeping you from having the most energy you can each day, consider what you may be able to outsource. If you are stretched to the maximum every day without enough time to exercise, eat well, and take time for yourself, you may want to start to outsource some of your tasks. It can be hard to ask for help, but remember that you’re not being selfish. Your friends and family depend on your having enough energy. Asking for help will give you the energy you need to care for them better and more effectively. Learn how to ask for respite and start looking for things you can give up. Your body, soul, and your loved ones will be glad you did.
Energy is not some fairy tale dream. You can recapture some of that lost zest by making steps toward reclaiming time, caring for yourself, and prioritizing. It’s not magic, but it just might feel enchanting when you learn how to boost energy and get a new outlook on life!