I use to work overnights at local hospitals as a social worker in the Emergency Room. My circadian rhythm or natural sleep cycle was very off—my body slept during the daytime when the sun was out. When I left the “graveyard shift life,” I had to train my body to naturally sleep again—at night, ya know, like “normal” people. It took some time for my body to adjust to having energy during the day and resting at night versus sleeping during the day and being alert at night.
People are often surprised when I tell them I don’t take adult naps throughout the day. I try to ensure that I get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep at night and for me, that’s enough.
Now, as a Breath Body and Energy Coach (yoga teacher, Usui Reiki practitioner, and psychotherapist), I help my clients understand how to maintain strategies to ensure that they have natural energy boosters throughout the day.
Here are seven tips on how to have more energy naturally.
1. Get Sun
Carve out some quality time with the sun daily! It’s recommended to get around 15 minutes of exposure, but just be sure to use sunscreen. Carrot seed oil makes for a great natural SPF.
For those of us living on the East coast, the longer and colder winter days deplete us of natural vitamin D, which is crucial and beneficial for our overall health. Deficiencies in Vitamin D impacts mental health including the onset of seasonal affective disorder or depression, impact thyroid issues (which can also cause fatigue), and impacts our overall energy levels (especially if you’re vegan or vegetarian).
Make it a goal to get sunkissed or invest in a UV-led light desk lamp if you can’t get outdoors with Mother Nature. Be sure to follow up with your primary care provider for labwork to ensure deficiencies. Over-the-counter vitamin D and/or increasing foods with Vitamin D could also provide energy-boosting support if deficient.
2. Get Sleep
Like I tell my clients, a good AM or “morning hygiene routine” will never be successful without a good bedtime or PM “sleep hygiene routine.” Establishing a good nighttime routine will improve not just your morning routine but also alleviate fatigue throughout the day. If you really want to boost your energy during the day, it’s time to create realistic goals and habits as it pertains to how you start and end your day.
A good nighttime routine can include:
- Calming tea like lavender or chamomile
- Calming essential oils like lavender
- Connecting to elements by taking a long bath or hot shower
- Sensory deprivation: decrease lights/sound/any external stimuli to allow the natural melatonin in our body to increase for optimal relaxation. This means to stop scrolling, put your phone away, turn off the TV, avoid external stimuli or bright lights at least 40-60 minutes before bed, and put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode.
- If you’re struggling with going to sleep due to worry or anxiety, try journaling before bed and brain-dumping what’s keeping you up. Create a list of things you can control and things you cannot control, and allow yourself to let it go for now and just worry about it in the morning. For now, allow yourself to pause and rest.
- Establish a bedtime and stick to it! Try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If you’re still struggling reach out to your medical providers for support.
Engaging in physical activity/exercise/working out or even mindful movement like yoga can truly help to boost energy during the day. Many people also find that regular physical activity can boost not only moods and energy during the day but also help support sleep at night.
Like I tell my clients if you’re not into exercising or working out, try to find a physical activity you do enjoy like dancing, yoga, or even sex and self-pleasure! If terms like workout out, exercising, and/or yoga seem too daunting or intimidating, then reframe them to “physical activity” or “mindful movement.”
Whatever you do—just move!
4. Decrease Caffeine
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but decreasing caffeine and sugar intake can actually boost your energy long-term.
I often have conversations with clients about their caffeine intake. In the US, overconsumption of caffeinated products is normal—I mean, we have 24/7 coffee shops! But the mid-day slump can actually be caused by your caffeine intake. If you’re loyal to your favorite cup of caffeinated joe or tea, then I recommend having a maximum ounce per day of caffeine you can consume in one day. I also recommend no caffeine after the late morning hours as this can also impact energy throughout the day as well as sleep or insomnia at night.
Also, try to avoid adding unnecessary sugars or dairy to your coffee like whipped cream. Be mindful of cold teas and other carbonated drinks and even chocolate candy bars and over-the-counter medications that have added caffeine in them and especially avoid these before bed.
Remember that a good night’s sleep will support an energetic and productive day. And please, quit the energy drinks!
5. Aromatherapy + Essential Oils
Try diffusing mood-boosting or focusing on essential oils throughout the day like citruses, peppermint, and grapefruit. You can also use essential oil rollerball blends aromatically. These natural energy boosters can increase your energy throughout the day, especially during that 4th Zoom meeting.
Be sure to use pure grade essential oils (not from the dollar store), and ensure you dilute with a carrier oil like coconut oil or sweet almond oil if using topically on the skin.
6. Nourish Yourself
This is the most basic tip of them all, but someone needs to read this! Go eat!! Make sure you are nourishing your body well enough with at least three nutritional meals a day.
If you’re skipping meals and finding yourself more fatigued, it’s because your body is borderline in starvation mode, which means it will begin to preserve energy and nutrients in the body since it’s not sure when the next meal (nutrients) are coming. This will most definitely impact your energy throughout the day, especially if all you’re feeding yourself is unhealthy, heavy, fast, fatty, fried, processed, and unhealthy foods. Additionally, audit your daily intake as some medications and mental or medical conditions can cause insomnia or fatigue during the day.
7. Connect to Breath + Elements
This last tip sums up all of the above. Whatever you do throughout the day, just be sure you are connecting back to self—to your breath and the elements.
Connecting to elements through physical activity—like going for a swim in the water or hike in nature—can boost your energy throughout the day. You can also keep plants in your home aloe vera, bamboo, and cactus to help improve energy and air quality in your home or office space. Get your hands or bare feet in some grass or soil to really connect to boost natural energy from Mother Earth. Add alternative practices to your healing and self-care routine such as float therapy or cryotherapy to support your energy, stress levels, physical health, and mental health.
As you connect with elements externally, recognize that these same elements flow through us internally. Use this physics connection to intuitively and intentionally boost your energy throughout the day. All you have to do is get outside, go within, breathe, and connect.
If you’re struggling and need some support, don’t hesitate to seek support from a professional. Try to implement the above tips on how to have more energy and over time, you may find your energy and sleep routine improve greatly.
Remember that change in habits takes time. They won’t happen overnight. So, stay consistent, be patient, be compassionate, and be open-minded as you work to boost your everyday energy naturally! Namaste!
More Tips on How to Boost Energy
- How To Boost Energy And Peak Performance (Ultimate Guide)
- How to Get More Energy for an Instant Morning Boost
- Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time
Featured photo credit: Peter Conlan via unsplash.com
|HealthLine: How to Safely Get Vitamin D From Sunlight
|NCBI: Vitamin D and Depression: Where is all the Sunshine?
|PubMed.gov: Tolerance to behavioral effects of caffeine in rats
|HealthLine: Is ‘Starvation Mode’ Real or Imaginary? A Critical Look