Are you feeling sluggish or like you can’t get any energy no matter what you try?
We all have low-energy days.
Are yours starting to feel like they never end, or you have more low-energy days than not?
Can’t remember when you had a good day with a normal amount of energy that didn’t wear off by mid-morning or sooner?
It’s time to start figuring out what could be the problem.
Before you see a doctor to run a bunch of tests, here are some things to consider trying first.
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1 – Get enough good sleep
If you follow Mel Robbins (paid link), you may have heard her talk about work filling up the time you schedule for.
Meaning, if you don’t schedule an end time, work (including housework or chores) can fill up your whole day all the way until bedtime.
Don’t let it do that.
Take control of your schedule and take back your bedtime and pre-bedtime time.
Yet, an overwhelmed schedule isn’t the only thing that can disrupt sleep.
So many other things can cause us to lose sleep or not get enough hours. There are so many distractions in our lives and to our brains.
A great way to wind down before bed is to schedule some time to write in a journal.Check out the Journals on Amazon (paid link)
Not so that anyone might be able to read your most intimate thoughts, but as a way to (you may have heard this term, also) “brain dump.”
Meaning, get all the thoughts swirling in your head out onto paper.
This frees up your brain to know that you have safely parked all its concerns and thoughts onto paper. There, you can remind yourself of it the next day or some other time. So your conscious brain can release it, knowing the thoughts are safely written down for later
Your brain doesn’t have to worry about those or think about them.
This may be what is holding you back from sleep.
Brain-dumping also allows your subconscious to think of a solution to anything you may have been trying to find an answer to.
Other ways to wind down and be able to sleep are to use blue-blocking glasses (paid link) or avoid electronic devices within 2 hours of bedtime, no caffeine or stimulants later in the day, and get adequate cardio exercise.
For more on sleep hygiene, including why it’s important and for more tips, see this Sleep Hygiene article from the Sleep Foundation.
2 – Start using compression socks
Nurses and other hospital personnel who are on their feet a lot (or even who sit down) use them.
Compression socks/stockings. They aren’t just for heart patients.
You can get them from a medical supply place, or you can buy compression socks online (paid link).
The suggested compression level for mildly tired, achy legs is 8 to 15 mmHg.
For achy, heavy, or slightly swollen legs, 15 to 20 mmHg is the suggested compression level.
Once you put them on, you can feel the stimulation of blood pumping in your calves. It’s very helpful for keeping your energy from being drained right along with fluid down to the bottom of your body.
Caution: Do not exceed the above compression levels unless you’re under a doctor’s care and they have advised you to use higher compression. If you feel like you could use more support, please consult with your provider to see what’s best recommended for your personal condition and body.
3 – Boost/support your Adrenals
We all go through various stressors at times in our lives – some of us ongoing for years.
It keeps our cortisol levels high to be under constant stress. Our adrenals can get over-tapped and depleted trying to keep up with the body’s constant demand for cortisol.
Enter the need for adrenal support.
You can find cheaper Adrenal support pills from vitamin shops and online, but proceed with caution. They aren’t all the same and some will upset your stomach.
Dr Wilson has doctorates in both naturopathic medicine and chiropractic. He is acknowledged as an expert in stress management and adrenal function, and his is the line we recommend.
Once you start taking it, it may take 3 to 6 months to start really feeling like you’re returning back to normal energy levels.
Believe me, it’s worth it.
Check out the book. There are testimonies in there of people who use these adrenal pills and have put their body back into a better state and have gotten over severe allergies from using them.
4 – Exercise (cardio)
That’s right. Get out and get your blood pumping.
Right after you’re done, your body will have the rush of endorphins making you feel good. Calming your spirit and yes, giving you energy.
It will also relieve stress, preparing your body to rest and fall asleep easier, and possibly deeper. Here is an article on the benefits of exercise.
Not mobile? Try chair exercises. There are more and more YouTube videos for low-impact or chair workouts, especially in these stay-at-home pandemic days.
5 – Breathe
We don’t hear enough about the benefits of deep breathing.
When I was in the hospital bedridden and trying to keep my first child in as long as possible, a nurse told me to take 5 or 6 deep breaths, slowly in through the nose, slowly out through the mouth, each hour.
She remarked that we “forget to breathe.”
We do. We kind of hold our breath or shallow-breathe and don’t really deeply breathe in and out much.
She wanted me to do this to stave off hospital-acquired pneumonia.
Great idea, since as I well knew from working in the hospital, that’s an actual thing, and it’s pretty common.
Breathing this way, each hour if you can remember, also brings oxygen to our brains, which also makes us more alert. And have some energy.
Oh, and remember number 4 – exercise? (How could you forget, right?) There should be some deep-breathing involved there. Wonder if there could be a tie-in here? Hmmm…
6 – Lower your sugar intake
This may be the hardest one to consistently keep up with. Lowering our sugar intake.
There is a movie on Amazon Prime Video called Fed Up (paid link). It’s all about this topic.
They note in the movie how there isn’t a daily allowance for sugar grams on labels and how Americans have no idea how much sugar we consume, NOR do we know what’s a good amount to stay below.
I dare you.
Read your labels for added sugar (not natural sugar from fruit).
Can you consistently stay below 50 grams a day (to start off with)? How about 25 grams a day?
Goals to aim for.
I did this (the 50-gram a day or less challenge) for 6 months and lost 30 lb doing it.
I definitely had more energy and could walk farther for longer.
Much more spring in my step.
It did take about 3 days for my body to stop craving it and feeling hungry, and I supplemented hunger and cravings with extra nuts/healthy fats, and extra water.
YOU CAN, TOO.
And you will feel fantastic doing it.
7 – Back away from the TV/Electronics
I get it.
Binging your favorite shows on TV or Netflix can be fun sometimes.
But have you noticed that it literally sucks your energy dry to do that for hours and hours? It does.
We’re probably shallow-breathing the whole time, too.
Make a goal – set a timer.
Only watch for a certain amount of time, or scroll your social media for just a little bit, like 30 to 45 minutes.
It’s so easy to go down a rabbit hole on social media and before you know it, 2 hours have gone by and you feel drained, and possibly stressed because you didn’t get some stuff done you needed/meant to.
8 – Volunteer your time
Oh, but wait. “I’m an introvert,” you say.
Not so fast. So am I.
Volunteering is not just for extroverts.
There are so many opportunities and places that need help which are perfect for introverts. (And extroverts, too.) Places where you don’t have to be around many people, or you can be around lots of them.
The animal shelter or humane society.
Your child’s school.
Signing up to sponsor a child with Compassion triggers emails from them for volunteers needed at upcoming events and concerts.
Your church, I’m sure, has plenty of room for volunteers.
The local homeless shelter or food bank.
Just to name a few.
You don’t have to volunteer a full day at a time unless you can and want to.
Just a couple of hours a week or a month.
It’s all based on your schedule and availability.
But giving of your time will bring you energy. Helping others gives us energy.
That being said, don’t get yourself into a situation where you feel obligated and then it becomes a chore that sucks you dry.
Give with the right heart, and you will receive back more than you imagined.
Guard your time. Say ‘No’ more than you think you should (paid link).
Do give in this way only as much as you feel led to.
Not under some unspoken obligation where you may become resentful and possibly damage your relationships with others.
Don’t forget to make your availability clear up front.
If it happens to change along the way, don’t be afraid to let them know that you have to make changes.
9 – Declutter Your Space
We Americans have too much stuff.
It closes in on us, and if we’re not careful, we will need to either buy a bigger house or rent a storage space to house it all. This will cost us more money and increase our stress levels.
Why would we do that when we can schedule time to declutter and just do it regularly?
Having more space around you gives a subconscious signal to your brain and body that it can relax and breathe.
Too much stuff around us weighs us down emotionally and sucks our energy from us.
Please let us know in the comments if you’ve tried any of these and how they have helped you.
Every little testimonial from others is an encouragement to help your fellow humans on their journey through this life.
I’m rooting for you and can’t wait to hear of your successes!