A new year is upon us, and if you’re anything like me, the excitement of the holiday season has left you a little worn out.
But it’s a new year and a new you, right? While it seems like everyone has an ambitious new year’s resolution, I haven’t found much success when I commit to achieving new goals simply because of the time of year.
In recent years, I’ve instead focused on the little things I can do that will boost my energy after an exhausting holiday season, and in that way get the new year off to a great start and begin building better habits!
Here are a few proven ways to naturally boost your energy all year round:
According toHarvard’s report on Boosting Your Energy, one of the first symptoms of dehydration is fatigue. I try to keep a glass a tall glass of water at my desk all day long - usually in something clear so I can really see how much I’ve drank. If you’re not confident you’re getting all the water you need though, you can also set reminders on your phone to get your 64 ounces in each day!
It seems counter-intuitive (and a major struggle sometimes), but working out regularly will actually boost your energy in the long-term. A University of Georgiastudy on the effect of using exercise to treat fatigue found that prescribing 20 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise three times a week for six weeks led to increased energy levels. Interestingly, the low-intensity group, which was prescribed exercise equivalent to a “leisurely, easy walk”, experienced greater reductions in fatigue than the high-intensity group, which was prescribed exercise similar to a fast-paced uphill walk. Does it count if you’re walking leisurely to a cute cafe and back (treats and a flat white maybe in hand)?
Sleeping well is an important way to ensure that you have enough energy throughout the day. A Harvard Women’s Health Watcharticle on improving sleep notes that when our energy needs fall when we sleep, and recommends creating a sleep sanctuary free of electronics, napping only if necessary, avoiding caffeine after noon, and getting regular exercise (although not within 3 hours of bedtime) to sleep soundly. So, yeah that means no Netflix or Instagram scrolling before bedtime; good luck!
Try eating small,frequent meals instead of 3 large meals a day to reduce your perception of fatigue, as your brain has few energy reserves of its own and thus needs a steady supply of nutrients. A small snack of a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts will do the trick if you haven’t eaten in a few hours! This makes me feel like I can justify eating all day long now…?
Anytime you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, try breathing deeply. Diaphramic breathing, where you inhale and exhale slowly and fully, is proven to immediatelyreduce stress, which can be a major cause of fatigue as stress-induced emotions consume large amounts ofenergy. In addition to working immediately, deep breathing is quick,free (emphasis on that!) and can be done anytime, any place.
We hope that these tips help you boost your energy and get your 2018 off to a great start!
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