October 8, 2019 // by Laura Malone
Life is busy. Whether you’re a working mom, stay-at-home mom, retired or somewhere in between, life is full of have-to’s and want-to’s. From the time we wake up to the time our heads hit the pillows, there are so many things vying for our time. How do we get it all done without crashing and burning every afternoon and giving up? The secret is ENERGY!
Energy gives us the ability to be physically and mentally active without collapsing onto the couch by 3:00pm or having complete burn out on life. It’s the ability to have patience with people and the interruptions that fill our day. Keeping our gas tanks full is key to having healthy relationships, success at work, willingness and ability to serve, creativity, hobbies and ultimately our happiness.
Energy is like the roots of a tree. They are there to keep the tree planted firmly in the ground and give the tree the nutrients and water it needs to produce the fruit it was designed to create. But energy is not just a physical thing. God made us physical, mental and spiritual and in order to live life to the fullest, we need energy flowing from all three of these areas.
Think about it. If we have physical energy but not mental or spiritual, we can physically get things done but we won’t because there will be no motivation or will. Keeping all three tanks full is vital for fulfilling our purpose and enjoying life along the way.
So, today I want to share Part 1 of my energy boosting routine that drives me to finish each day, whether good or bad, and tugs me out of the covers each morning to do it all over again. This routine keeps me charged to complete my usual to-do list but it’s also my arsenal against the uninvited energy zappers that pop up throughout my day. I don’t hit all of them every day, but hitting most of them, most of the time, keeps me going strong.
My Energy Boosting Routine:
- Eat, Drink Well – I’m listing this one first because it has been the most effective for me.
- Drink Green Tea – I drink a couple cups of hot in the morning and one over ice in the afternoon to beat the 2:00pm slump.
- Gluten Free – After discovering that gluten caused arthritic pain in my joints and muscle aches, I decided to cut it out of my diet. My pain went away, and I was surprised at some of the other benefits I experienced from eliminating it. Within one week of being gluten free, my energy level shot up and stayed more consistent throughout the day.
- Eat a Good Breakfast – One big reason most of us suffer exhaustion throughout the day is because our sugar levels are off. Protein, complex carbs and fat can help balance it all. I began eating scrambled eggs, toast and avocado every morning instead of my big bowl of oatmeal and I no longer hit that mid-morning crash.
- Eat Small, Frequent Meals Throughout the Day – Make sure they include protein, fat and fiber and don’t go back for seconds right away. Wait a little while to have the second plate and include several snacks throughout the day. I snack on things like cheese, nuts, dried fruit, apples and peanut butter and Kind Protein bars as well as gluten free crackers and hummus.
- Don’t Skip a Meal – I just can’t do this anymore. I crash hard and literally end up in the bed. This goes back to sugar levels. Just don’t do it.
- Decrease Sugar and White Starches – Some of you might want to click off this post about now but you hear this from health experts all the time because it’s true. Sugar and white starches cause crashes. Cut out or at least cut down on the sodas. Replace it with flavored sparkling water. The chef at my catering job just introduced me to Topo Chico with a fresh slice of lime and salt. Try it!
- Drink Water Throughout the Day – Don’t down a bottle of water in ten minutes. Our bodies can’t handle that much water at one time, and it gets wasted as you rush to the bathroom. Sip on it throughout the day so your body can have the time to use it well.
2. Sleep Well –
- Exercise – I’m mentioning this again in Part 2 of this post because it’s so important and can solve multiple problems. Now, I don’t get this in as much as I should. My part time job can be physically exhausting so if I know I’m working, I usually don’t exercise that day. But, if you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, make sure you’re getting some type of exercise every day to get your heart rate up. We sleep more soundly when we’ve had physical activity.
- Improve Sleep Environment – Studies show that most people sleep better when the room temperature is around 68 degrees. Also, light from screens increases brain activity and messes up your circadian rhythm so it’s best to not have a TV in your bedroom and stay off your phone an hour before you go to bed.
- Schedule in a 10-20 Minute Power Nap – Set a timer on your phone and go to a quiet place and lay down. I’ve found that I don’t even have to fall asleep. Just closing my eyes and resting my body re-energizes me for the afternoon.
- Sunday Nap – Sunday is our family’s day of rest. We have our morning and afternoon church activities and when we are home during the day, we don’t do our normal chores and activities. Rusty and I switch off taking long naps. It helps us catch up from the late nights during the week and when our busy Fridays and Saturdays hit, it gives me energy to know that Sunday nap is right around the corner.
- Essential Oils – Sometimes I diffuse cedarwood, lavender, frankincense and bergamot all together while I’m sleeping but my favorite one is putting one drop of copaiba under my tongue just before I lay down. All of these help me get into a deep sleep.
3. Exercise –
- Take a 10-minute Walk – I like to do this mid morning or mid afternoon to break up my day. It gets your blood flowing which carries oxygen to all parts of your body and re-energizes you. Its effects can last up to 2 hours.
- Choose an Activity you Enjoy – Make sure it gets your heart rate up.
- Morning and Afternoon Stretch – This is a game changer for me. I have a diagram on my phone with some of my favorite stretches, so I don’t have to think about them. You can find one you like on Pinterest and save a picture of it on your phone for quick access. On the mornings I make time to do them, I feel great. It only takes about 10 minutes to make a huge different in my mood and energy. You can do this in the afternoon after lunch when you hit that afternoon slump, too.
4. Get Outside –
- Vitamin D – It boosts your mood and keeps depression away which is a huge energy zapper.
- Lighting – The sun’s bright light wakes you up.
- Fresh Air – It stimulates the brain and provides oxygen your body needs.
- Nature – It’s calming and helps reduce stress which is a major energy drain.
5. Daily Detox – Helping your body detox frees up energy it would otherwise be using to combat the toxins in your body.
- Lemon Water – Drink one cup of hot lemon water in the morning.
- Fiber – Eat plenty of it.
- Essential Oils – Diffuse, put them on topically or add them to your food or drink.
If you’re struggling with low energy levels and motivation, I hope Part 1 of this post has given you some ideas on a few changes you could make this week. Next week, I’ll post Part 2 which includes the other eight Mental and Spiritual Tips that make this a complete energy boosting routine.
If you have some great energy tips to share, let us know in the comments below. We’d love to learn from you. And if you decide to incorporate any of these ideas into your week, keep us updated and let us know how you’re doing.