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10 Practical Ways to Boost Your Energy Level

10 Practical Ways to Boost Your Energy Level
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Admit it: you’re tired of being tired. Whether hitting your snooze button 34,521 times or spending your day combating brain fog, your energy level is in serious limbo. You’ve often wondered if caffeine’s available in an IV drip (or if you’re anything like me, you’ve Googled it!).

You’re done with chronic fatigue and quick fixes. Your Scarlett O’Hara moment is here, and you’re not going to take it anymore! But where to begin? Glad you asked! Here are 10 practical ways to boost your energy level and get more out of your day-to-day life.

1. Take a Nap

If you’re having trouble focusing, clock out for a 20-minute power nap. Find a quiet place to lie down so you can fall asleep easily, and set an alarm so your nap doesn’t turn into a coma. Make sure to take your nap early in the afternoon – any later and you’ll have trouble falling asleep when it’s time to go to bed.

Have enough sleep already? Try the next one.

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2. Exercise

I know, I can already hear the groans. Exercise when you’re tired? Say wha?! But it’s true: in fact, studies have shown that a 10-minute walk can rev you up for up to two hours! Exercise increases blood flow to all parts of your body, increasing your energy. Just make sure to avoid exercise up to three hours before bed, or you could be in for a restless night.

You’ve been doing a lot of exercises and look for more ways? Keep reading.

3. Drink More Fluids

Dehydration can make you feel tired, so make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. You’re not limited to water; you can also drink milk, tea and liquid foods to hydrate, such as soups.

Wondering what to do while drinking? Read the next point.

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4. Listen to Music

Throwing on upbeat songs during energy lulls is a great way to not only boost your energy level, but distract you from feeling blasé during not-so-fun tasks. Music engages the body’s sympathetic nervous system, which readies you for action when you’re facing a challenge.

Music alone can’t vent your anger? Try the next suggestion.

5. Roll With the Punches

Studies have reported our minds spin through about 60,000 thoughts a day, and 50,000 of those are negative. If you find your thoughts become very Shakespearean tragedy every time you’re placed in a hectic situation, be mindful of that and get into the habit of handling them in a more positive way. Doing so will lower your cortisol level (the stress hormone), and you’ll be able to perceive productive outcomes over dreadful ones.

Feel like it’s more of a time to calm down? The next 2 ways can help!

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6. Focus on Your Breathing

When we’re going through a stressful period, our breathing can become shallow. This causes fatigue and physical stress because of the lack of oxygen in our cells. By focusing on mindful breathing, you’ll keep your body running smoothly. Check out these breathing exercises for guidance.

If you can breathe well, why not go up another level and try to meditate?

7. Meditate

One of the most popular ways to boost your energy level: meditation. It lowers your heart rate, eases tension, and gives you an endorphin burst, which increases your alertness. Do your best to take a few minutes every hour to step away from technology and simply focus on your breath.

Good breathing helps to tune up the body, so does your diet. Check out the next 2 points.

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8. Cut Back on Caffeine/Sugar

It’s obvious why we go for that afternoon coffee or dessert: it spikes our blood sugar, giving us a sudden burst of energy to get through the rest of our workday. However, your energy will crash just as quickly once your blood sugar level drops back down, leaving you feeling like you’ve been hit by a freight train. Focus on snacks that contain fruit (their natural sugars take longer to metabolize), protein, good fats (such as in almonds and walnuts), and complex carbohydrates (such as those found in whole grains).

Read on to find out what your body needs actually!

9. Take B-Vitamins

Your grogginess may have to do with not getting enough B-vitamins. Thiamin, B6, B12, and riboflavin are all part of your body’s energy production. Take a daily supplement to help offset your fatigue.

Now you know how to have control of all your internal factors, but the external world has impact on you as well. Make sure you don’t miss the last point!

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10. Avoid Whiny McAlwaysComplains

There’s no bigger energy suck than people who are just exhausting to spend time with. Either they only get in touch when they want something from you, show up at your door and expect you to drop everything, or make Eeyore look like a ray of sunshine. Either cut back on communication with them, or cut them out of your life entirely.

How do you boost your energy level?

More by this author

Krissy Brady

A women's health & wellness writer with a short-term goal to leave women feeling a little more empowered and a little less verklempt.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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