Show of hands: how many of you opened up this article because, only moments before, you plopped down on the couch with your phone in hand, thinking about how tired you are? Many people struggle with a lack of energy these days, and while the reasons for it vary, the solutions tend to be pretty consistent across the board.
Whether you’re planning a wedding, taking care of a new baby, putting in hours at a high-pressure job, or anything in between, there are a few simple things you can do to naturally boost your energy levels. These tips and tricks will make you feel better throughout the day, which might make it easier to tackle your monstrous to-do list!
Simply Stand Up
The average American spends 13 hours of their day sitting down—at the office, in their cars, in front of the TV…you get the picture. Couple this fact with the eight hours a day we sleep (or, at least, we should be sleeping), and you’ll notice that 21 hours of the day can be spent sedentary! This lack of activity can cause your blood vessels to contract, limiting the blood flow throughout the body and quickly depleting your energy resources.
So, how can you combat this effect? GET UP! Whenever you start to feel lethargic, get up and walk or jump up and down for a quick rush of energy. If you’re working long hours at the office, take breaks and make sure you spend them moving (not watching YouTube videos or scrolling through Instagram). Also, try to build movement into your routine; if you walk around the block after dinner instead of heading straight for the TV, you’ll feel a whole lot better.
This is one of those tips that seems easy in theory, but hard in practice—particularly if you’re a high-strung person like me. If you spend most of your life overthinking and overwhelmed, the very concept of reducing stress can seem… well, stressful. However, managing stress is absolutely critical if you want to increase your energy levels.
See, stress is a byproduct of anxiety, and this emotion eats up our energy faster than aphids on a fresh, green leaf. If you want to feel more energetic during the day, you need to decrease your dependence on this emotion! How? Well, that’s up to you. Everyone manages stress differently; some meditate, some listen to music, some text a funny meme to their friends or significant other. Find what works best for you and make it a part of your regular stress-management routine—stat!
Most of us spend our days inside: we’re at home doing housework, we’re in the office working, we’re in classrooms learning and studying. All these environments are missing one key ingredient, which might explain our mutual mid-day slumps: sunlight! If you’re feeling tired during the day, getting some fresh air and sunshine can be a great way to revive yourself. Even 15 to 20 minutes in the sun can improve your mood and boost your energy levels!
Get More Magnesium
Everyone knows that eating a balanced diet is an important part of having a healthy body and mind (which includes having full energy stores to draw from each day). I’m sure most of us do our best to eat healthy foods, but if you constantly find yourself running on empty, you may be missing out on one crucial mineral: magnesium.
Magnesium helps with many biochemical reactions in our bodies, which help keep us going and feeling great. And when it comes to energy, magnesium is a star player, as it helps break down glucose and convert it into energy!
Most doctors recommend that adult women get 300 milligrams and adult men get 350 milligrams of magnesium each day, so make sure you’re incorporating this essential mineral into your diet. How? Simply snack on nuts like almond, hazelnuts, or cashews (even a small handful helps), eat a bowl of bran cereal in the morning, or add more fish such as halibut to your diet each week.
Drink More Water
You probably already know that drinking water is important for your health. You know you’re supposed to drink eight glasses a day. You’ve seen those water bottles with encouraging saying written down the sides, encouraging you to drink more. You probably even know that up to 60% of the human body is made of water. This tip may seem redundant, but I just can’t stress it enough: DRINK WATER.
Water is such an essential part of your body’s function that even the tiniest bit of dehydration can have you feeling lethargic and lazy—and when you’re a busy person with a lot on their plate, you can’t have those energy slumps! Make sure you’re drinking water throughout the day, and keep tabs on your body so you always drink when you’re thirsty.
So, the next time you feel yourself dragging through the afternoon, don’t ignore it (and definitely don’t reach for an energy drink). Try one of these natural energy boosters instead! You might find the trick you need to accomplish everything on your list.