You wake up, it’s dark outside. By the time you get off work you’re lucky if you get to see the last rays of a setting sun, and then, it’s dark outside again. The clocks are back and winter is coming whether you’re ready or not. Short days and long nights can wreak havoc on your sleeping schedule and if you’re like me, you’ll often find yourself feeling drained and tired — way before bedtime. Instead of going for an unhealthy quick fix like junk food and coffee, I have some simple natural energy solutions that will work wonders and unlike caffeine and sugar, they wont’ leave you crashing and needing more.
Keeping your energy level up throughout the day begins with the moment you wake up. The second that your brain is awake, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol; hormones that wake you up and make you alert. Snoozing for even a few extra minutes will slow the release of hormones and leave you feeling groggy and sleepy when you get out of bed. Simply put, when you wake, get up.
Now that you’re up and showering, you can try out my second tip. When your regular shower is done, turn off the hot water completely. Besides the fact that there’s nothing quite like icy water to wake you up out of a daze, this blast of cold will also boost your energy level. The nerve endings on your skin stand up, your heart starts racing and you start breathing rapidly as your body adjusts. All of that combined causes responses in your brain that the best cup of coffee in the world can’t match.
The next two things are obvious but their importance is often overlooked. Breakfast and lunch are your two main sources of energy for the day. Yogurt, fruit, oatmeal and breads at the start of your day will give you the carbs you need to get your brain and muscles going. And for that mid day meal, make sure you get your protein. Top that salad with some diced egg, chickpeas, and chicken or turkey. And avoid lunches that are heavy in fat; they can make you feel sluggish. For snacks, try kiwi or celery with peanut butter for a natural kick of energy. Check out these other energy boosting foods too – 10 Foods to Boost Energy
During that lunch break, get outside. Just 20 minutes a day of sunshine can do wonders to boost your energy – and your mood. Wondering why? Check this out. The Sunshine Vitamin.
Stimulate your brain with scents. Jasmine increases something called beta waves, which make you more awake and alert. Or take a whiff of an essential oil like peppermint. Studies show that smelling peppermint immediately improved both athletes running speed and office workers typing speed. Its scent increases motivation and concentration. For more on how scents can stimulate your brain, check out these 6 Scents.
Last but far from least, drink A LOT of water. Even being only slightly dehydrated can cause you to feel tired. Drinking water steadily throughout the day can do wonders for your energy levels, as well as for your skin.
These easy tips will help you get through the short-but-long days of fall and winter. Try them out and give your feed back, and if you have any natural tricks of your own please share those too.