We all want to have more energy. Energy to work, play and fulfill our dreams. If you feel tired, check out these tips to help give you an added boost of energy:
- Eat a complete breakfast with protein and carbohydrates. A donut and coffee in the morning won’t work. You need to add protein-rich food in your diet like milk, meat, fish or eggs to get more energy.
- Eat a normal lunch. There is a saying that you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Do not eat too much for lunch or you might feel sleepy afterwards. If you eat a lot, try walking 15 minutes to help digestion and keep you awake.
- Take two bananas a day to keep the doctor away. Bananas are, for me, the healthiest fruit. Two bananas can give you energy, potassium and the equivalent dose of half a multivitamin. It is a healthy and convenient power snack. Take a banana or two to feel recharged.
- Get your body moving. Sometimes our body works like a car engine. It needs a few minutes to warm up and get going. Walking can get the blood flowing through your veins and to the brain. Stomp your feet and raise your hands a few times. This will keep you more awake and alert.
- Drink eight to 12 glasses of water. On a hot day, a dehydrated person will feel weak, tired and sleepy. Drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
- Do only one thing at a time. Doing too many things at the same time is a sure way to feel fatigued and irritable. Focus on one thing at a time. Have a list of things to do and plan your day well.
- Open a book (and shut off the television sometimes). For relaxation, I find that a book is more intellectually stimulating than TV, which can sometimes lull you to laziness.
- Get energy from your surroundings. Get some morning sunshine (until 9 a.m. only). Fill home and workplace with beauty and color. Listen to music that energizes, but will not distract you.
- Surround yourself with positive and energetic people. Their positive energies can rub off on you.
- Always think positive. At the start of the day, read an inspirational passage from a book or the Bible. Think and believe that it will be a good day with many blessings to be received.
- Take a multivitamin. Sometimes our diets do not provide enough vitamins and minerals. Some people do not eat enough fruit or vegetable so a multivitamin can fill in these gaps.
- Do not rely on energy tablets, energy drinks, weight-loss drugs or prohibited drugs. They may contain caffeine or amphetamines to give a temporary boost of energy. However, in the long run, it can be harmful. Side effects include palpitation, anxiety, insomnia and nervousness. Limit yourself to two cups of coffee a day only. Learn to rely more on your body’s natural energy.
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Smoking damages your lungs and reduces the blood’s oxygen content. Lack of oxygen means less energy. Alcohol is a known depressant and will make you feel more fatigued. As well, excessive intake of alcohol leads to hangovers the morning after.
- Learn to say “no” when you do not have the time or money to join social gatherings. If you have too much work on your plate, or if money is tight, just say “no.”
- Go for easy power. One technique to have more energy is to go through your day in a light and easy manner. No pressure. Just take things easy. During the day, you can take a short nap or just close your eyes for 15 minutes. Relax and take slow deep breaths several times.
- Find your ideal body weight. Lose weight if you are overweight, and gain weight if underweight. If overweight, you will always feel hungry and sleepy. And your body has to spend twice the energy to move the added pounds around. If you are underweight, you need more nutrients to build up your muscles and strength. Eat a complete diet to keep you strong.
- Listen to your body. Our bodies have natural highs and lows (called circadian rhythm). There are times we feel tired (then limit your work for the day), and sometimes we feel energetic (do more work for the day). Go with your body’s ebbs and flows in energy. If you feel really tired, then just go to sleep.
- Sleep seven to eight hours a day. Sleep is a crucial energy booster and body healer. If you lack sleep, then you will surely feel tired in the morning. Elderly people may get away with five to six hours of sleep. But they can also take naps or rest during the day.
- Take a vacation. This is the best way to recharge. Spend a weekend at the beach and just do nothing. Plan your next vacation. Just thinking about your next vacation should be enough to relax you.
- Have a passionate cause. Having a concrete goal that requires your attention and commitment sharpens your mind and focuses your energy.
- Be in love. Have a lifetime partner. A happy and long-lasting relationship will give you all the love, support and energy you need.
- Pray and ask for strength. In times of weakness, there is always Someone who can give us that extra boost of vital energy. Pray for guidance, peace of mind and the strength to do your daily work.
Finally, if you are always tired for no reason, then you could be coming down with the flu or some other problems. See your favorite doctor for a check-up. — First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 28, no. 19 (March 1-14, 2016): 13.