If you find yourself feeling sluggish during the day or struggling to wake up in the morning, your first instinct is probably to turn to your coffee maker.And between hectic work days, toting kids around and endless commitments that suddenly fill your calendar, it’s no wonder you’re feeling drained.
We’ve got some natural energy boosters you can use and are particularly helpful for children and those who can’t have a lot of caffeine in their diet. These natural remedies can help you curb side effects of being tired, such as feeling short on patience or lack of concentration. Here’s what you can do to perk yourself up during the day, increase your energy levels and feel more energized.Get Enough Sleep
We know, this sounds like a no-brainer. If you’re feeling sleep deprived, get some sleep. Yet it’s estimated that only 20-30 percent of the general population gets an inadequate amount of sleep. A lack of sleep can leave you feeling lethargic when you wake up. Make sure to limit screen time and work activities an hour prior to bedtime to give your brain time to unwind. Instead, take a bath or read a book to relax yourself before you fall asleep. Keep your bedtime and waking time consistent, and be sure to eliminate caffeine after 3 p.m., as its effects can last as long as 12 hours.
People with busy schedules tend to be stressed or feel overwhelmed. When you crawl under the covers at night, thoughts of your plans for tomorrow, forgotten items on your to-do list or wondering how you’ll get it all done start to race through your mind, and it’s difficult to shut it off. While it’s probably not possible to completely remove stress from your life, restructuring different elements and activities may help minimize how much stress you’re experiencing. Some natural energy boosters to try include meditating or writing down what’s stressing you to calm your thoughts and reorganize them. Doing some calming activities is good for getting a more restful sleep—and for your mental health.
Exercise gets your blood flowing and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease. While getting up and moving around may seem like the last thing you want to do if you’re feeling tired, even physical activity as simple as a brisk walk can be a natural energy booster. When you wake up in the morning, start your day with a few sit-ups or push-ups to get your blood moving and give yourself an added boost. Starting the day off this way, believe it or not, will help you beat your afternoon slump more than endless cups of coffee.
Your diet plays a large role in how energized you’re feeling—just think about how tired everyone feels after eating turkey on Thanksgiving. The trick is to eat less carbs and avoid sugar, two ingredients that will leave you feeling groggy. While sugar gives you a short-term boost, it wears off quickly, and then you’re back to wanting to take a nap. Instead, fill your diet with vitamin B12, green tea and foods with low glycemic levels like beans, whole wheat bread and brown rice, which all take the body longer to digest while still providing a natural energy boost. Low glycemic foods keep your blood sugar at an even level, which will keep your energy levels from spiking and dropping.
One of the first symptoms of dehydration is feeling tired. That’s right, the source of your exhaustion could be as simple as not drinking enough water. You should drink about nine cups of water per day for women and 13 for men, according to the National Academy of Medicine. Don’t forget—a lot of foods hydrate you as well, such as fruits and vegetables. For a double effect, try eating an apple. Apples are both hydrating and awakening. They’re packed with all the right ingredients to give you a natural energy boost—Vitamin C, fiber and complex carbohydrates—all while stabilizing your blood sugar.
Peppermint Essential Oil and Rosemary
Essential oils are commonly used in aromatherapy and are great natural energy boosters. Dabbing some peppermint on your wrist can help you regain focus and stimulate your brain’s ability to concentrate. Add a few drops to your shower as an early morning natural energy booster or put it in a diffuser to breathe it in throughout your day.
Rosemary is another natural ingredient that can safely be inhaled for an instant perk up. The herb’s intense scent is commonly known as a stimulant to invigorate the mind and fight exhaustion and fatigue, both physically and mentally. It also improves memory retention and can provide a natural energy boost.
While these natural energy boosters are great ways to give yourself a pick-me-up, low energy levels can be a side effect of more serious conditions such as thyroid problems, anemia (iron deficiency) and depression. If your low energy levels persist, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss other conditions that could be affecting you. Find a physician at Fisher-Titus who can help you boost your energy levels and make sure it isn’t a symptom of a more serious underlying issue.