Imagine life where you wake up every morning feeling energized and ready to launch into your day both physically and emotionally restored. While this may seem like a far-out dream la-la-land...it’s more possible than you think - if you practice all the little things that add up to major returns in the way of your energy levels (& therefore happiness, productivity, and overall health!).
Here are 5 somewhat “underrated” yet effective ways to support healthier, stable energy levels throughout your day. Each are highly accessible and for best results, we suggest implementing as many as you can - every single day you can!
Help Your Digestion with Qigong
It might sound a bit silly, but qigong can be used to transform food into energy quickly and efficiently. The more you help your body process the fuel you put into it - the less energy it uses up in it’s regular digestion processes. Bonus: qigong (& tai chi) are very effective stress-management tools for total body & mind healing.
Harvard Health recommends eating foods with a low glycemic index — whose sugars are absorbed slowly — as they may help you avoid the lag in energy that typically occurs after eating quickly absorbed sugars or refined starches (1). Foods with a low glycemic index include whole grains, high-fiber vegetables, nuts, and healthy oils such as olive oil (ibid). In general, high-carbohydrate foods have the highest glycemic indexes. Proteins and fats have glycemic indexes that are close to zero (ibid).
Take Power Breaks
Our bodies are not designed to sit still at an office all day (even if that’s your comfy-cozy home office!). Taking mini-breaks to stretch - or even better, go for a quick 10-15 minute walk around the block - helps to refresh both our physical and emotional selves. You’ll likely return to work more productive, feeling fresh - and yes, energized! Exercise (yes, walking counts!) gives your cells more energy to burn and circulates oxygen. And exercising can lead to higher brain dopamine levels, which helps elevate mood. When walking, pick up the pace periodically to get extra health benefits (ibid).
Zap Stress At The Source
Stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy. Feeling less stressed often starts by first facing what’s causing the stress or anxiety in the first place. You’ve got to feel it to heal it! Whenever you start to feel those pangs of discomfort (wherever or however they show up in your body) - sit with it and try to name what exactly the issue is as best you can. Journaling can also help - no need to be fancy, just write down what you think is bothering you. From there, read/think about what you’ve just detected, and decide to alter the “script” to feel better (& more true) for you.
Limiting belief detected: I have too much work to get done today, I’ll never catch up.
Adjusted thought: I will prioritize my tasks, and get one thing done at a time. What’s most important will be accomplished, and the rest will have to wait.
Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
This is a blog post on it’s own right! In fact, we wrote about this very thing here. The important things to keep in mind are firstly prioritizing sleep (this might be a process of gradually adjusting your schedule accordingly), setting up your bedroom to suit optimal sleep (dark, cool, and comfy!), and avoiding stimulants after 2pm, and ideally any food 2-4 hours before bed too.
Increasing your energy is often a gradual process, but once you start to feel the shifts (although relative, can happen almost immediately!) - continuing to support healthy, balanced energy levels will get easier and easier.