Do you wake up tired most mornings?
Have caffeinated beverages become a necessity to help you get through the day?
If this sounds familiar, it’s time to ditch the quick fixes you rely on and come up with an energy management plan.
Getting started may seem daunting, but you’ll soon have the energy to keep going once you reap the benefits of a happier, healthier, and more productive lifestyle.
So what is energy management?
Think of your energy as a finite resource, like money in an account.
You start the day with a certain amount to spend.
The amount varies from person to person depending on factors such as age, sleep patterns, stress level, medical conditions, and lifestyle.
Activities and interactions take or deposit energy into your account.
Although you don’t always have control over which activities deplete your energy, you can take steps to deposit more energy into your account.
Follow these seven tips to increase your energy and live a happier, healthier and more productive life:
1. Eat nutritious foods
A healthy and balanced diet is at the heart of well-being.
But it’s common to think of healthy eating primarily as a tool for weight loss.
According to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains is necessary for optimal energy.
You really are what you eat.
Eat a variety of foods from all food groups to get a range of nutrients that will provide energy throughout the day.
Opt for fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens and nutrient-dense broccoli, as well as orange vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes.
You can choose from many types of fish and legumes for healthy protein options.
Aim to eat 3 ounces (85 grams) of whole grains, bread, rice, or pasta daily.
2. Sleep seven to eight hours a night
Prioritizing sleep is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for a successful, energized day.
Sleep deprivation can perpetuate serious health problems, as well as negatively affect your mood, motivation, and energy levels.
Getting quality sleep is a healthy habit that many people need to improve.
Most adults need at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night, so what’s stopping them from getting it?
Observe your sleep patterns if you have trouble sleeping.
Take note of how long you sleep each night, factors that contribute to your sleep or lack thereof, how rested you feel, and how much energy you have during the day.
Then try sleep strategies to improve your sleep, such as creating a relaxing and restful environment, minimizing light and noise, establishing a bedtime routine, managing stress, and turning off electronic devices.
Whatever you decide to start, be consistent.
Using the same sleep routine and sleep strategies will help develop your body’s internal wakefulness and can lead to better quality sleep.
With better quality sleep, people enjoy better health and emotional well-being, reduce their risk of disease, and be more productive.
3. Keep company with the right people
Maximize the time you spend with people you enjoy being with.
Connecting with other people who radiate positivity and have similar interests will excite and energize you.
On the other hand, people you don’t identify with or who have negative outlooks, complain often, or make bad choices will only drain your energy account.
Be selective about the company you keep.
It’s important to set boundaries and boundaries to protect yourself and conserve your energy when you’re around people who don’t fill your energy stores.
4. Avoid news overdoses
Consuming news is an important way to stay connected to what’s happening in the world.
It can be educational, entertaining and even uplifting.
Unfortunately, the news is too often filled with stories of suffering.
These stories can distort your view of the world and cause you to focus on your worst fears, instead of acknowledging the good around you.
You can’t completely avoid these stories, but try to minimize your exposure when you can, especially during tough times.
5. Exercise regularly
Do you feel sluggish in the middle of the day?
Have you ever been out of breath from simple daily tasks, such as grocery shopping or household chores?
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.
Contrary to what you might think, this will add to your energy account, not subtract from it.
Exercise relieves stress and tension, strengthens muscles and boosts endurance, and helps your body work more efficiently during other tasks or physical activities.
6. Do something meaningful every day
What gives you passion ?
Do you have a particular talent that you would like to practice more often or share with others?
Do something you love every day, even if it’s a simple act like cooking a healthy meal or listening to your favorite song.
Putting effort into the things that matter most to you will help you use and reserve your energy in ways that bring out the best in you.
7. Have good thoughts for others
Maintaining a compassionate mindset is another way to conserve energy.
A practical example of this way of thinking is called caring attention.
For example, try making eye contact with a stranger and smiling, while thinking “I wish you luck.”
This positive act can help you not to judge this person.
Judging others can cause us to judge ourselves, and this type of negative internal dialogue can be exhausting.
Take care of yourself
You’ll feel better with every step you take toward this important investment in self-care.
Here are some simple activities that will help you take better care of yourself:
> Watch your energy
Take your energy “temperature” at different times of the day, assigning it a number from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest energy level.
Pay attention to the details of your day so you can identify the people or events that impact you the most.
> Make incremental changes
Once you are aware of some of the people or events sabotaging your energy, consider your next steps.
Rather than tackling everything at once, choose an area that is important to you and be realistic with the goals you set for yourself.
For example, if disorganization in your home is a big source of daily stress, pick one wardrobe, closet, or drawer to empty every week, instead of overwhelming yourself with doing it all at once.
Then move on to your next goal when you feel ready.
> Plan and prioritize
Take note of the times of day when your energy levels tend to be highest.
Decide how you can take advantage of these times by prioritizing important tasks when you feel fresh and productive. – By Jolene Hanson/Mayo Clinic News Network/Tribune News Service
Jolene Hanson is a clinical social worker in psychiatry and psychology in Minnesota, USA.