Self-made promises to hit the gym first thing in the morning fall flat. The determination to cook a healthy meal after work gets replaced with quick and greasy takeout. Finding the time to recharge seems impossible, and waking up is like a workout in itself. Sound familiar?
Life is busy, challenging, and leaves many feeling spread thin and spent. Before reaching full-blown burnout, try to slow down, make some healthy changes and get that energy back the old-fashioned way.
Start the day off right. Skipping breakfast leads to fatigue and irritability throughout the day. Make the most of a morning meal by choosing foods that combine complex carbohydrates, protein and a small amount of fat, like egg whites with whole wheat toast. It’s also important to rehydrate first thing in the morning. So before filling up that mug of coffee, drink a large glass of water.
Clear out the calendar. A jam‐packed schedule often leads to sleep deprivation and daily exhaustion. Take a hard look at all the commitments, and try eliminating the non‐essential activities and see if it creates more time to relax.
Pick up some new habits. To help get a deeper sleep and feel more energized throughout the day, try turning off the TV 30 minutes before bed; getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends; increasing physical activity in the afternoon; getting outdoors during the daytime; and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine in the evening.
Snack on healthier and more energy efficient foods. A well balanced and well-timed mini‐meal such as fruit, low‐fat cheese, and whole grain crackers will supply more sustained energy than an energy drink or a candy bar.
Bring back nap time. A 15‐20 minute nap can boost mental and physical performance as well as mood without interfering with sleep at night.
Get checked out. A simple blood test can check for iron deficiency anemia, liver or thyroid conditions and other common medical causes of fatigue. Treatment and prevention of these conditions is important for overall health.
Burn energy to build it. Expending energy in physical activity can actually generate more. Just 10 minutes of moderate exercise will leave the body feeling even more energized and ready to tackle the daily routine.