How to Get More Energy

Post written by Warren. Follow him on Twitter.

Turn off the yawn. Turn on the energy.

Turn off the yawn. Turn on the energy.

Are you tired of being tired?

If you are, you are not alone. In fact, many of us are wound up so tight with stress, worry and fear we simply become zapped of energy every single day.

We’re currently living in a society that demands we’re constantly on the go-go-go.  From the time our feet hit the floor in the morning until our heads hit the pillows all too late at night, we’re being barraged with information and requests.  It’s a byproduct of living in such a technologically advanced age.  With email, cell phones, and Internet access, we’re available to the entire world practically all day long.  Add to that the 24-hour of cable television, and if a person didn’t have to sleep, he could be learning, shopping, and communicating around the clock.

Of course, this all takes its toll on our bodies and minds.  Let’s face it.  We’re just plain tired a lot of the time.

It shouldn’t be any big surprise when you think about the fact that we have more ways to save time (consider the microwave or the answering machine) but somehow have ended up with less actual time in the end. Even our leisure time is often scheduled to the hilt with television programs we “have” to see or social networking sites we “have” to check!

If you find your energy levels dragging, there are some things you can do about it.

Of course, the best solution would probably be to unplug ourselves from the media and technology that seems to keep us constantly distracted.  If you’re not willing or able to do that, however, here are some helpful tips on how to perk yourself up throughout the day.

1.  Avoid the “obvious” energy-boosting solutions. Many of us turn to caffeine and energy drinks in order to get a boost, but they really have a sinister side to them.  Get started with caffeine, for example, and you’ll find that you continually need more and more to make a difference in your energy level.  So-called “energy drinks” do pick you up for a little while, but you can expect a big crash at the end.  The crash will actually put you at a lower level than you would have attained if you hadn’t had the energy drink at all.

2.  Get the blood flowing. There is nothing wrong with taking a little break in the afternoon.  In fact, it’s so important that most jobs are required to give you one.  Take this time to walk around, maybe even step outside and get some fresh air.  Do a few stretching exercises, and you will find that not only do your muscles feel better, but you will be able to think more clearly, as well.  You can even practice some simple deep breathing exercises while you’re working in order to improve blood and oxygen flow to the brain.

3.  Eat the right things. We all know that diet can have a major impact on our health and energy levels, but many of us don’t know what are the best choices to make.  Try eating lots of berries, as the antioxidants are good for energy.  Vitamin C has been found to help stave off chronic fatigue, and the B vitamins help convert blood sugar to energy, so make sure they’re a part of your regular diet.  It turns out that getting plenty of fiber in your diet can also make a difference, as it smooths out the absorption rate of sugar to keep your energy levels from riding a roller coaster all day.

4.  Make sure you’re well rested. Sometimes the most obvious solution to a problem is the one we’re most likely to overlook.  If you find yourself feeling overly tired, it may be that you’re, well, overly tired.  Most of us need a full 6.5 to 7.5 hours of sleep a night to be fully rested.  If you can’t get this or you’re still feeling sluggish, a 15 minute catnap in the middle of the day can do absolute wonders to refresh and refocus.  It’s a good idea not to lay all the way down and get too comfortable, as you want to reinvigorate yourself, not settle into an afternoon coma.

5.  Keep things interesting. It’s generally a lot easier to devote yourself and your energy to a project when it’s exciting.  Sure, we still need to do the boring daily activities, but try interspersing them with things you enjoy or even trying something new.  The change of pace will help keep your attention level up.

6.  Get a checkup. If you find that no matter what you do, you still seem to be tired all the time, you should make an appointment with your doctor.  Not only will he or she offer advice on worthwhile lifestyle changes, but you will also likely get a thyroid test to ensure that your lack of motivation isn’t caused by something more serious.  Fatigue can be a warning sign for a number of medical issues, so don’t overlook the importance of ruling them out.

Our daily lives are growing more and more hectic, and we continually find ourselves scrambling to keep up.  Rather than looking around and appreciating where we are, we are instead always urged to look to the next thing and the thing after that.  We’re scheduled to within an inch of our lives, and heaven forbid we fall behind on that schedule and put everything else in jeopardy.

One of the most beneficial things you can do to increase your energy is to take a break and slow down the pace a bit. Meditate. Clear your mind and watch what happens. Or use your senses to clear away excess stress.

Make sure your overloaded schedule includes some fun activities, and even some “down time” to help balance things out.  Of course, there are times when we just can’t have complete control over our schedules.  When this happens, having a good diet, keeping things interesting, and getting plenty of rest are really important not only for increasing your energy, but also for overall health.

Take plenty of breaks to stretch and even get the occasional cat nap.  If you find that you just can’t get your energy level under control, however, it may be time to make an appointment with your doctor.

“Happiness gives us the energy which is the basis of health.” – Henri-Frédéric Amiel

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Posted on October 28, 2009

Happy Comments

14 Responses to “How to Get More Energy”
  1. Keeping things interesting is definitely the way to boost your energy levels! While it does expend a lot of energy in the process, at the end of the day, you feel a sense of fulfillment from trying something new and sleep like a baby.

    Now you have to convince me to cut out my 3 cups of coffee per day. Good luck :)

    Pete
    .-= The Tango Notebook´s last blog ..Near Death Tango Kills at the Philadelphia Screenplay Festival =-.

  2. Tristan Lee says:

    Hey Dayne. There is some great information in here. I agree that to get more energy, we should tone down things like caffeine and energy drinks and tone up things like fruits and veggies. :)
    .-= Tristan Lee´s last blog ..Saying Hello to a Stranger: My Awkward One Second Experience =-.

  3. Just what I needed today, Dayne! Thanks!
    .-= positively present´s last blog ..take a vacation (or a staycation!) from your life =-.

  4. Srinivas Rao says:

    Hey Dayne,

    Great post. Simple ideas that far too many people don’t apply. I have found that reducing caffeine intake and exercise are too ways to create tremendous energy boosts.
    .-= Srinivas Rao´s last blog ..Interviews with up and Coming Bloggers: Josh Hanagarne-World’s Strongest Librarian =-.

  5. Kenny says:

    Fantastic articles, and postings.

    This one hit home a little harder since there are many things that are so obvious that I am not doing, and by doing it, I can actually accomplish MORE in the day.

    Sleep deprivation, Lack of Exercise, Too much Caffiene, Too much Carbs, Monotonous activities etc are really cause for ‘slow-down’.

    We only get One Life-time, and we got to make the best of it, esp. for the folks who are past mid-life (center point of the age you expect to live)!!!!!

    Thanks again.

    Kenny

  6. Evelyn Lim says:

    Nice blog you have here and happy to visit it for the first time! Thumbs up to your tips on eating right and having enough rest. They are so obvious, yet we can easily miss out on these. And yes, I do take the occasional cat nap!
    .-= Evelyn Lim´s last blog ..Abundance Tapestry is Live =-.

  7. Eric says:

    Good tips. The one that seems most important for me is “to make sure you are well rested.” I really need a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep to be rested and ready for the day ahead. Also, as a sub category of the “Eat the right things” I would add don’t overeat. I sometimes have a tendancy to keep eating after I’m full, just because the meal is so yummy, but that sleepy feeling sets in soon afterward.
    .-= Eric´s last blog ..Walking across america – 10,000 steps at a time =-.

  8. Ross Welte says:

    Hi Dayne, Great post…I know about 30 people that I am sending this link to TODAY…all they do is complain about being tired :)

    I have to say though, you are right on about meditation. It is amazing the kind of energy that a clear and focused mind can bring to you! I have been meditating for about a month now and I have to say that the difference is huge!!! The physical and spiritual changes are amazing. I have been more productive, more creative, and definitely feel more awake and alive every day!
    Eating better and watching what else you put into your body makes a big difference too…but I think I will be a coffee guy for a long time to come:)

    Thanks for the post!

    ~Ross

  9. alternaview says:

    Great post…but…No Coffee???…I am going to have to work on that one. I know you are right about a coffee free life though. How about a Latte? That is a little better since there is a lot of milk involved right? :)

    It is so easy to just go from one thing to another and before you know it, you are trying to do things in record time in hopes of being efficient. It can be very draining and suck just about all the energy you have. Sometimes I just have to remind myself to SLOW down. I have noticed that if I don’t allow myself to ever reach that state of frenzy, I usually have much more energy at the end of the day.
    .-= alternaview´s last blog ..How to minimize your discontent simply by monitoring what you read, watch, and observe. =-.

  10. Nice pick me up. Also, don’t drink, smoke or take drugs. They wear you out in the long run.

    Remember too that energy breeds energy so if you’re feeling tired in the day go for a brisk walk or pump weights for ten mins to get your system firing again.

    Be careful not to hang out with any energy suckers either…. you know who they are!

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