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Published on April 22, 2021

How To Have More Energy Every Day Naturally

How To Have More Energy Every Day Naturally

I use to work overnights at local hospitals as a social worker in the Emergency Room. My circadian rhythm or natural sleep cycle was very off—my body slept during the daytime when the sun was out. When I left the “graveyard shift life,” I had to train my body to naturally sleep again—at night, ya know, like “normal” people. It took some time for my body to adjust to having energy during the day and resting at night versus sleeping during the day and being alert at night.

People are often surprised when I tell them I don’t take adult naps throughout the day. I try to ensure that I get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep at night and for me, that’s enough.

Now, as a Breath Body and Energy Coach (yoga teacher, Usui Reiki practitioner, and psychotherapist), I help my clients understand how to maintain strategies to ensure that they have natural energy boosters throughout the day.

Here are seven tips on how to have more energy naturally.

1. Get Sun

Carve out some quality time with the sun daily! It’s recommended to get around 15 minutes of exposure, but just be sure to use sunscreen. Carrot seed oil makes for a great natural SPF.[1]

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For those of us living on the East coast, the longer and colder winter days deplete us of natural vitamin D, which is crucial and beneficial for our overall health. Deficiencies in Vitamin D impacts mental health including the onset of seasonal affective disorder or depression, impact thyroid issues (which can also cause fatigue), and impacts our overall energy levels (especially if you’re vegan or vegetarian).[2]

Make it a goal to get sunkissed or invest in a UV-led light desk lamp if you can’t get outdoors with Mother Nature. Be sure to follow up with your primary care provider for labwork to ensure deficiencies. Over-the-counter vitamin D and/or increasing foods with Vitamin D could also provide energy-boosting support if deficient.

2. Get Sleep

Like I tell my clients, a good AM or “morning hygiene routine” will never be successful without a good bedtime or PM “sleep hygiene routine.” Establishing a good nighttime routine will improve not just your morning routine but also alleviate fatigue throughout the day. If you really want to boost your energy during the day, it’s time to create realistic goals and habits as it pertains to how you start and end your day.

A good nighttime routine can include:

  • Calming tea like lavender or chamomile
  • Calming essential oils like lavender
  • Connecting to elements by taking a long bath or hot shower
  • Sensory deprivation: decrease lights/sound/any external stimuli to allow the natural melatonin in our body to increase for optimal relaxation. This means to stop scrolling, put your phone away, turn off the TV, avoid external stimuli or bright lights at least 40-60 minutes before bed, and put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode.
  • If you’re struggling with going to sleep due to worry or anxiety, try journaling before bed and brain-dumping what’s keeping you up. Create a list of things you can control and things you cannot control, and allow yourself to let it go for now and just worry about it in the morning. For now, allow yourself to pause and rest.
  • Establish a bedtime and stick to it! Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If you’re still struggling reach out to your medical providers for support.

3. Move!

Engaging in physical activity/exercise/working out or even mindful movement like yoga can truly help to boost energy during the day. Many people also find that regular physical activity can boost not only moods and energy during the day but also help support sleep at night.

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Like I tell my clients if you’re not into exercising or working out, try to find a physical activity you do enjoy like dancing, yoga, or even sex and self-pleasure! If terms like workout out, exercising, and/or yoga seem too daunting or intimidating, then reframe them to “physical activity” or “mindful movement.”

Whatever you do—just move!

4. Decrease Caffeine

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but decreasing caffeine and sugar intake can actually boost your energy long-term.[3]

I often have conversations with clients about their caffeine intake. In the US, overconsumption of caffeinated products is normal—I mean, we have 24/7 coffee shops! But the mid-day slump can actually be caused by your caffeine intake. If you’re loyal to your favorite cup of caffeinated joe or tea, then I recommend having a maximum ounce per day of caffeine you can consume in one day. I also recommend no caffeine after the late morning hours as this can also impact energy throughout the day as well as sleep or insomnia at night.

Also, try to avoid adding unnecessary sugars or dairy to your coffee like whipped cream. Be mindful of cold teas and other carbonated drinks and even chocolate candy bars and over-the-counter medications that have added caffeine in them and especially avoid these before bed.

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Remember that a good night’s sleep will support an energetic and productive day. And please, quit the energy drinks!

5. Aromatherapy + Essential Oils

Try diffusing mood-boosting or focusing on essential oils throughout the day like citruses, peppermint, and grapefruit. You can also use essential oil rollerball blends aromatically. These natural energy boosters can increase your energy throughout the day, especially during that 4th Zoom meeting.

Be sure to use pure grade essential oils (not from the dollar store), and ensure you dilute with a carrier oil like coconut oil or sweet almond oil if using topically on the skin.

6. Nourish Yourself

This is the most basic tip of them all, but someone needs to read this! Go eat!! Make sure you are nourishing your body well enough with at least three nutritional meals a day.

If you’re skipping meals and finding yourself more fatigued, it’s because your body is borderline in starvation mode, which means it will begin to preserve energy and nutrients in the body since it’s not sure when the next meal (nutrients) are coming.[4] This will most definitely impact your energy throughout the day, especially if all you’re feeding yourself is unhealthy, heavy, fast, fatty, fried, processed, and unhealthy foods. Additionally, audit your daily intake as some medications and mental or medical conditions can cause insomnia or fatigue during the day.

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7. Connect to Breath + Elements

This last tip sums up all of the above. Whatever you do throughout the day, just be sure you are connecting back to self—to your breath and the elements.

Connecting to elements through physical activity—like going for a swim in the water or hike in nature—can boost your energy throughout the day. You can also keep plants in your home aloe vera, bamboo, and cactus to help improve energy and air quality in your home or office space. Get your hands or bare feet in some grass or soil to really connect to boost natural energy from Mother Earth. Add alternative practices to your healing and self-care routine such as float therapy or cryotherapy to support your energy, stress levels, physical health, and mental health.

As you connect with elements externally, recognize that these same elements flow through us internally. Use this physics connection to intuitively and intentionally boost your energy throughout the day. All you have to do is get outside, go within, breathe, and connect.

Final Thoughts

If you’re struggling and need some support, don’t hesitate to seek support from a professional. Try to implement the above tips on how to have more energy and over time, you may find your energy and sleep routine improve greatly.

Remember that change in habits takes time. They won’t happen overnight. So, stay consistent, be patient, be compassionate, and be open-minded as you work to boost your everyday energy naturally! Namaste!

More Tips on How to Boost Energy

Featured photo credit: Peter Conlan via unsplash.com

Reference

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Iris Mendez

I help others manifest + co-facilitate healing by exploring alignment of the 4 bodies through breath, body, and energy work.

How To Have More Energy Every Day Naturally

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Last Updated on April 30, 2021

How to Stay Awake at Work Without Caffeine

How to Stay Awake at Work Without Caffeine

Coffee is a way of life for many employees. Caffeine gives them the boost they need to help them get through the day. But as we know, like sugar highs, eventually the caffeine boosts wear off. The million-dollar question at the office for many people should be googling is, “how to stay awake at work without caffeine?”

According to Gallup, a staggering 85% of workers are “not engaged” at work.[1] That means the majority of the workforce around the world view their work negatively or are doing the minimum required to keep their jobs. As a result, it should come as no surprise that people are getting tired at the office.

Perhaps, you’re like one of my clients. Every morning he starts off his day like many people all over the world. He heads into the kitchen, pops in a capsule in his Nespresso machine, and then sits in front of the TV while sipping his gourmet coffee. Then, throughout the day, he’ll have one or two more cups, especially if the Sandman is visiting.

According to The National Safety Council, 43% of workers are sleep-deprived so it’s not uncommon to see people with a cup of joe on their desk.[2] Add in the meetings that seem to drag on and the hours we spend in front of a computer screen and the battle for our focus is very real.

Caffeine has become the drug of choice for millions. People use coffee to jolt themselves back into focus. Starbucks has even made coffee hip and cool, not to mention pricey. But that doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Thankfully, there are better, healthier ways to stay awake.

Here are some tips on how to stay awake at work without coffee.

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1. H2O

We all know the importance of drinking water. What most people don’t realize is the effect it can have on our focus and productivity. If you’ve ever been on a 6-hour plane ride or longer, upon landing, your body feels heavy. The reason is dehydration. The adrenaline from the excitement of heading to Disneyland with our family can mask our lethargy for only so long. Once it wears off, our body will feel it.

The same thing happens at the office. The more dehydrated our body is the worse its functions. Headaches are largely linked to dehydration. Hydrating our body has numerous health benefits that are relatively unseen including the elimination of toxins from our bloodstream, improved digestion, lubrication of our joints and eyes, and increased concentration.

Just how much water should we be drinking? According to The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, women should drink about 2.7 liters a day, while men should drink about 3.7 liters.[3]

Despite knowing we should drink more water, many people don’t. Why is that? Simply put—boredom. It’s lacking in taste. Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew, or Monster Energy are what people turn to instead. It doesn’t hurt that they have caffeine in them either, giving them a double shot of energy in the form of sugar and caffeine.

How do we combat this? Easy, by making water “cool.” Liven up your water by adding ice cubes made out of 100% fruit juice or add wedges of fruits to your water infusing them with a hint of your favorite flavors.

Suggestion: Download an app or set up alarms to notify you throughout the day to drink water. Your body will thank you.

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2. Good Night’s Sleep

Like water, this should go without saying. It should, but with 43% of workers being sleep-deprived, it needs to be said, over and over again. Too many people shortchange their sleep because of work or fun.

For most people, there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything they want to. Burning the midnight oil before a big presentation or project is understandable but long-term, our body and performance will suffer if we push our body too hard.

A few years ago, the WSJ coined the term “sleepless elite,” referring to a small group of people that only need a short amount of sleep every night. Scientists estimate they make up only about 1% of the population.[4] You might be one of them. Only you know how effective you can be on a few hours of sleep. I’m not one of them, and chances are likely you aren’t either. I’ve only ever met one person who fit the bill, but the impact it is having on their body is still unknown.

We are all unique. Each of our bodies functions slightly differently, but for most people, seven to eight hours a day is needed for optimum performance. But it’s not just about quantity but also quality, which is why it’s important to have a 30-minute cool-down before getting into bed.

Turn off all screens. If possible, switch to yellow light. If not, simply turn down the lights. Turn off notifications on your phone. Do everything you can to make your environment conducive to sleep. Finally, reading a chapter or two in a good book to make yourself sleepy is a great way to get ready for bed. Doing these simple things will dramatically improve the quality of your sleep.

Suggestion: Create a daily cool-down routine to ensure the quality of your sleep.

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3. 80% Rule

In Japan, there’s an expression, “8 bun me,” which refers to eating until you’re 80% full. It’s actually a stroke of genius, especially for those looking to get more done at work. Knowing how to stay awake at work without caffeine is a real challenge for many people, but adjusting your diet is a great place to start.

When I first moved to Japan, I often found meals to be much smaller than those in America. I’m not going to lie, it bugged me at first. I found myself still hungry after lunch. Over time though, my body adjusted.

The problem with a full stomach is that it pulls blood away from our brain, which is why many people feel sleepy after lunch. Not feeling full after lunch will allow you to operate at a higher level at the office.

Most of us have been taught to have a light breakfast, a more robust lunch, and a big meal for dinner. Ironically, it should be the other way around. The problem is a big meal for dinner is something most people don’t want to change. Therefore, we should go to work on the other two meals.

For many people in the West, breakfast consists of a banana, cereal, or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. So, by the time lunch rolls around, it’s not surprising they’re hungry. The large lunch leads them to be sleepy in the afternoon. Instead, consider having a more substantial breakfast that will see you through the day. That way, lunchtime can be nothing more than a snack, allowing your mind to stay sharp until you finish up for the day.

Suggestion: A few small changes in your diet can lead to improved productivity at the office.

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4. Breathing

Breathing is another undervalued technique to boosting our performance. Patrick McKeown’s The Oxygen Advantage, James Nestor’s Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, and Wim Hof’s The Wim Hof Method: Activate Your Full Human Potential all delve into the power of breathing and oxygen.

Brendon Burchard, the bestselling author of Life’s Golden Ticket: A Story About Second Chances and the creator of High-Performance Academy, says, “I don’t hope to have energy. I generate energy.” He does this through a series of breathing and physical exercises and it’s remarkable how effective these are in helping us boost performance.

Suggestion: Take the time to learn how to breathe as it can an effective way to boost energy or relax your body.

5. Reward Your Body

Another long-term solution to help us stay awake at work is by rewarding our bodies. Our bodies work hard for us. The daily grind can take its toll on our bodies over time, which is why it’s critical to reward our bodies.

Massages are an excellent way to reduce pain and muscle soreness while improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure. Nice warm baths can also achieve similar results. Massages and baths help battle insomnia, reduce injuries and anxiety, help with joint pain, and much more.[5][6]

Suggestion: Schedule regular massages into your month.

Bottom Line

Learning how to stay awake at work is a real challenge for millions of people the world over. Many turn to caffeine in the form of coffee to give them the boost they need, but it’s a short-term solution for a long-term problem. Instead, we should focus on changing a few of our daily habits. The results will astound you and with any luck, you’ll be able to kiss the caffeine habit goodbye.

More Tips on How to Stay Awake at Work

Featured photo credit: Ilya Pavlov via unsplash.com

Reference

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