I like to think of energy as the currency our body spends on mental and physical activity. We all require energy to perform throughout the day. In a nutritional sense we measure energy in calories. I feel that calories have a bit of a bad rep these days, but they are absolutely necessary and our bodies exchange calories consumed for energy in order to do life. But food and calories are not the only things that affect our energy levels, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, our hormones, our emotions, lack of fresh air... the list goes on. If you have spent any time engaging with My Goodness you will know I am into counting goodness not calories, and that I believe our bodies are the most incredible vessels, we have everything we need to live life well, but we have to make the choice to look after our bodies and fuel it right in order to do so. When looking at energy levels it's important to look at your mind, body and spirit and have a holistic approach. With this in mind here are a few quick tips on how to give your energy a natural boost.
Start breathing - When you first wake up, stand up and have a good stretch and breath really deeply for 2 minutes. Increasing the oxygen to your body helps to wake everything up, relieve and stress and anxiety, and tell yourself that you are going to make today a good day. Focus. Shine.
Move - We all know the saying "We reap what we sow", well it is absolutely true with energy, which is why people who exercise regularly generally have more energy than those who don't. I don't mean you have to start going to the gym every morning but by adding a few simple exercises to your morning routine that raise your heart level for 5 -10 minutes can work wonders for your day. It's proven to help your concentration and boost your mood by releasing all those positive endorphins!
Hydrate - Start your morning with a big glass of hot water with lemon in it. This gives your metabolism a kick start and alkalises your body first thing. Rather than your normal cup of coffee or fruit juice, which leads me to my next point...
Cut the caffeine - If you are a coffee addict, try cutting it in half. I think of running off caffeine like shopping on a credit card... you are spending what you don't have and it will catch up with you. Try and get your energy from better sources, really listening to your body is the key to looking after it properly.
Think thankful - Negative thoughts are emotionally very draining. Take time throughout the day to think about what you are thankful for. It can be super simple, just the fact that you have water to drink, or a roof over you head is reason to 'get grateful'.
Avoid processed foods - Your body is wasting energy just trying to digest the foods that you are feeding it leaving nothing left to do life. Feed your body foods that are going to fuel it full of energy, not drain it. Refined sugar and processed foods are just a no go. If you're needing a sweet fix, go for natural sources like fruit or dates.
Wind down - We have a stage of sleep called DELTA, this is the stage that the body is best able to restore and revive itself. If our stress levels are high, (whether they are stresses we are aware of like external situations, or stresses that we are unconscious of, such as the stress of our bodies trying to digest difficult foods), then it takes longer for us to reach this stage of sleep. We want our bodies to wind down to enter this phase of sleep quickly. Have a night time routine that you can do at least two nights a week and get to bed before 11pm. Write your thoughts down so they are out of your head. Have a night off any devices. Drink relaxing tea an hour before bed (not right before or you will be up in the night). Read a book or do something that you enjoy. This will set your next day up for an absolute win.
Mix it up - If you work in an office, try and go for a walk around the block after lunch. If you always walk one way to work or uni, try a different one. Doing something differently gives you fresh perspective on things.
These are just a few ideas, even if you just get one or two in to your life, you are making positive steps towards a healthier, happier you. Hope this helps!