We’ve all had bouts of low energy on days we need to focus or get things done, leaving us feeling dulled and sluggish. Here are some quick pick-me-up ideas to boost your energy when you’ve not had enough rest, and you need to get through the day …
Important note: if you’re experiencing prolonged or extreme fatigue you should consider visiting your doctor. If you haven’t got access to reliable, affordable healthcare or insurance, look for a federally funded community clinic (find one near you – if you’re in the USA – here).
I’ve had mornings where I wake up and instantly know that I’m going to be battling with a lack of energy – and shortage of mental acuity – to accomplish and meet all my tasks and deadlines for the day. To give myself the best chance at beating the sluggish haze that could set in, I do these 4 things to boost my body and brain …
DRINK WATER AS SOON AS YOU WAKE UP | The best way to improve and help maintain good energy levels throughout the day is to keep hydrated and drink plenty of water – but if you’re struggling to wake up and know that your energy is going to be hard to jumpstart, instead of reaching for a coffee or other caffeinated drink, have a 16oz glass of water as soon as you get out of bed. It’ll help you wake up, flush out toxins and rehydrate you, among many other health benefits.
TAKE A CONTRAST SHOWER | A contrast shower (or bath) is when you alternate between hot and cold water. The sudden burst of cold water after you’ve had a hot shower will invigorate you and give you a big energy upgrade because it stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system as well as causing your brain to release endorphins. It’s really easy to do, you just take a hot shower as normal but for the last few minutes, turn the hot water to cold and enjoy a wake-up for your body and brain!
EAT OATMEAL FOR BREAKFAST | Oatmeal is incredibly nutritious and healthy and has many benefits, one of which is that it’s packed full of B vitamins which help to transport oxygen and energy-containing nutrients throughout the body. It’s considered to be one of the best breakfasts you can have. As a complex carbohydrate, oats take longer for your body to digest which helps keep your blood sugar levels more stable and less likely to cause an energy ‘crash’ than other processed, sugary breakfast foods. If you need your oatmeal to be sweet, avoid refined or processed sugar and go for natural sugar from things like maple syrup, honey or chopped up fruit.
USE LEMON AND SWEET ORANGE MIST | Any citrus-based scent is energizing because citrus promotes the body’s production of serotonin (making us feel good) and mentally stimulates our brains into feeling less groggy – lemon and sweet orange are particularly good at this. Using lemon and/or sweet orange essential oil in a diffuser create a room-filled aroma that will perk you up or, alternatively, use the essential oils to make your own body/face mist to spritz on yourself whenever you feel yourself lagging – if you don’t want to make your own, many brands of lemon or orange-based sprays are available to buy in stores.
So, the next time you wake up and you know that you’re going to need a boost, drink a glass of water, take a contrast shower, nourish with oatmeal, and refresh with a lemon or sweet orange spritz then go on to smash your day! Of course, none of these quick fixes is as good as having a healthy sleep, exercise and eating routine in place, but they will help perk you up when you’re dragging arse.
Do you have an energy booster that gets you out of a haze? How do you make sure you’re focused for your day?