How many times during the day do you find yourself saying, “I'm so tired. I just have no energy.” If you're like most women I know, you probably say this at least a few times a week.
Even though this is common, it doesn't mean that it's your new normal. Regardless of how many things you have on your plate, it is possible to feel more energetic and relaxed, without being more tired. Now, that doesn't mean for you to rush out and to add more things to you to-do list once you get that energy. But I am jumping ahead of myself.
Two Main Strategies to Boost Your Energy
There are two strategies to help increase your energy levels: the immediate strategy, which you are reading about here, and the long-term strategy. Both play a role.
The immediate strategy is great for an action-packed day. The one where you have back-to-back places to be, and lots of other things to cram in for home, school, and work. This is when you reach for the 4th cup of coffee you've had that day to get you through.
Some days are just that busy. And that's OK- some days.
But not all days.
Pick one or two (or even five) of these to do right now, but promise me that you'll work on keeping these days to a minimum, alright?
As you go through this list of techniques, it's important that you not only think about what you need in this very moment to get you through the rest of today, but also what tweaks you can make to keep your energy level up over the long-term. I'll walk you through that long-term strategy over here, and I promise to make it as easy as I can.
How to Boost Your Energy Level Right Now
Chances are, you found this post because you were feeling overwhelmed and exahusted, so you Googled “how to have more energy during the day.” I'm guessing that means that today is one of those days when you have a back-to-back schedule and you need some magical intervention to get you through it right now.
Here are some quick things you can do:
- Go on and reach for that 5th cup of coffee. I'm not counting anyway. You're the one who told me you had already had four cups.
- Open your purse and pop in a square of dark chocolate to slowly melt across your tongue. Savor those flavors as it spread across your mouth and oozes into every part of your mouth. Let that chocolate work some magic.
- Stand up. Yes, I know you're in a meeting and you're trying to hide your phone as it is. But it's a fairly common thing for pregnant women, and people who are tired of sitting on long plane rides, or someone who is known to be narcoleptic to do during a meeting. No one bats an eye. They wish they had some reason to stand up. Go to the back of the room and just slightly sway back and forth. Your eye contact will let the speaker know you're still paying attention. LiveStrong.com shares that even standing on one leg for a few seconds can help increase circulation of oxygen to the brain. Try standing up, because it works, alright?
- Splash some water on your face in the bathroom. Yes, the sink inside Target will do. Just make sure they have paper towels you can use to pat dry your face. You don't want to be the person hanging your face under the hand dryer who ends up as the latest GIF we send to our friends.
- Take a walk. If you don't have 30 minutes to spare right now, then walk out to the mailbox or go pick up a few sticks in the yard. Take the long way to the ladies room at work. Go grab something out of the car. I don't care if you grab a piece of trash from your car and throw it away outside. Tell your boss you left something in the car and go stretch those legs.
- Soak up some sunshine. The sun's rays emit the best way to get Vitamin D, which helps our mood and energy levels. Just 20 minutes of sunshine absorbed by your hands each day is like magic to your body. Keep in mind that if you have on sunscreen, that your body can't get that Vitamin D as easy. No, I don't want you to get skin cancer or more wrinkles on your fabulous face. But I do want you to have some pep in your step. So catch some rays, OK?
- Stretch. You don't have to know how to do yoga poses or those fancy things that athletes do. Just put your arms over your head and reach as high as you can. Bend over and touch your toes. Take your hands and just splay your fingers out in all directions at once. Computers and phones are cramping us up too much.We want to get the oxygen flowing throughout your body, especialy going to your brain. Plus, it will shake things up a bit.
- Pull out your gratitude journal. What? You don't have one? Well find out why you should here. And, yes, taking time to address your mental health actually helps to improve your physical energy levels, too. Our energy levels are connected, so when one is off, the other is off. It doesn't matter if it's your physical energy or your emotional self. So this is a different angle to try when you need some pep in your step.
- Meditate. Sneak off to the bathroom to hide from the kids or sit in your car for a few minutes (please crack a window if it's hot- heatstroke is not allowed here). Then take a seat- don't try to do this standing up. It makes it hard for your muscles to relax. Play some soft music without words or just focus on whatever faint sounds you hear- birds, the hum of a light bulb, the ticking of a clock, the sound of the kids fighting, whatever it is. Each time you have a thought enter your mind, say, “That's interesting. Back to the sounds I hear.” Closing your eyes allows you to hear things better. Do this for 3 minutes. Or 5. Or 10 for the really big shiny gold star. But you're extra busy today, so start off with 3 minutes. You can do longer on another day. Even though meditation is known for its calming effect, researchers have found that meditation helps improve brain function and energy levels.
- Read your favorite quote. Whether your favorite gem is a scripture, a hymn, a quote, or lyrics from a song on the radio, go to something that helps your mind to refocus on what's important. Your mind can get carried away with that list, and reading something that helps to ground you on what matters turns off the worry playlist and helps to start another one. Which reminds me of…
- Put on a playlist. Whether it's classical or nature sounds or happy music from the 80s that invigorates you and helps you to do things quickly from the beat of the base, put on some tunes. But not The Carpenters or Adele. I'm not trying to guide you towards depression today.
- Take some vitamins. A women's multi-vitamin is a great thing. Be sure to check your label to see if you need to take one or two in order to get the full day's requirements. But you may find that you benefit from some additional B Complex or Vitamin D. Both help with energy levels, and even can help lift your spirits.
- Eat a piece of fruit. This is nature's fast food, and not only is it fast to grab and consume, but it's a fast source of glucose (aka natural sugars). Glucose gives your cells energy to not only help you function, but also to help you think according to Harvard Medical School's Department of Neurobiology. Your brain uses half of your body's sugar to help its neurotransmitters to carry messages. Without it, those transmitters break down, leaving you feeling like you've ran out of gas on the side of the road.
- Grab a candy bar. Should you not have a piece of fruit in your desk drawer or at the bottom of your purse, add that to your shopping list. In the meantime, you have my blessing to eat a candy bar. Or a handful of any candy (as long as you aren't diabetic and that's going to send you into a coma- you don't have my permission to go against your doctor's orders, OK?). We just want to fuel your brain.
So, that's 14 quick and easy things that you can do right now to help increase your physical energy. You can find a checklist with all of these techniques to print off and post on your refrigerator or your file cabinet inside our free resource library. Pop in your first name and best email address in the boxes below and I'll share that super-secret password with you so you can grab it and those other fabulous helps, too.
Don't forget to hop over to walk through creating a long-term plan to help keep your energy levels up. I know today is one of those extra busy and demanding days, but this will help you to keep from feeling like this day after day.