As I walked (yes, walked!) to the grocery store this evening, fog from the Pacific danced in the headlights of rush hour traffic and softened the glare of streetlights. To us in LA, this is winter. Time to put on sweaters and extra covers at night, even light a fire in the fireplace and say silly things like "boy is it chilly." Especially silly as my relatives back in Minnesota and Wisconsin have recently endured weeks of arctic temps multiple digits below zero. Wherever you live though, this time of year can seem a little low energy. The Holidays are over, the thrill of newly made resolutions has faded and spring is oh so far away. That's why I put together this short list of five simple things that can make a big impact on your energy and give you just that little extra boost.
Five Little Things You Can Do Today to Feel More Energized
Some of these tips might feel like no-brainers, but are you actually doing them? Here’s five easy things you can build into your daily life that will put that extra pep in your step.
Get Enough Sleep
Do whatever you can to get the sleep that you need. If you need nine hours of sleep, you must be vigilant about getting nine hours of sleep. Yes, occasionally we just can’t get what we need, but if you go months at a time getting less, you’re hurting your body. You’re not giving it time to heal and recuperate, which is what happens while we sleep.
Every once in a while situations come up and we have to make exceptions one way or another. It’s important to make sure we build in a day or two just for ourselves to relax after periods of less-than-optimal sleep times.
If you want to have more energy, limit sugar, coffee and alcohol. This may seem counter-intuitive, because coffee is generally thought to give people energy. One or two cups in the morning is fine, but if you find yourself drinking coffee later in the day you’re depriving yourself of precious rest time during the night.
Some friends and clients have told me that they can drink coffee and go right to sleep. This tells me that either they are so exhausted that it doesn’t matter how much caffeine they imbibe, or their body is so accustomed to stimulants that it’s almost immune to them. Either option is not ideal. Try cutting down on caffeine to a level where your body is still receiving benefit.
Drink Plenty of Water
Hydration keeps your body functioning properly, simple as that. Water helps flush out toxins and lubricate all our movement, and is especially important if you do drink coffee or alcohol. How much water per day? It is suggested that you take your body weight, divide it in half and drink that many ounces per day. So, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should drink about 60 ounces of water per day. At 10 ounces per glass, that would be 6 glasses of water.
Go for a Walk
Move that body! Our bodies are designed to move, especially to walk. In these days of cars and computers we don’t walk enough, so try adding even ten minutes of walking into your daily routine. A walk around the block will get the energy and blood flowing again.
A fun alternative to this is to take a five minute dance break! Bop around to your favorite tunes for a few minutes and your brain will feel sharper, you will feel energized and you might not even need your coffee.
Get at least 10 minutes a day without sunscreen, as it blocks some of the natural benefits of the sun. If you’re worried about getting a sunburn, choose carefully the hours you sun: before 9 am or after 3 pm is ideal for those with fair skin (10am to 4pm during Daylight Saving Time). Aside from the well-known benefit of helping our bodies make Vitamin D, getting some sun helps regulate your circadian rhythms, which will help you sleep better at night.
Implement these five little things into your daily life, and in no time you’ll be feeling much more energized and centered!