Energy? What energy???
One of the most common issues that I hear about when speaking with patients is that they just don’t have the energy that they want or need to get through their day. There are a variety of reasons why energy is depleted but there can be some relatively simple fixes if we can determine the cause. If we look to the hydration, sleep, diet, exercise and stress in our lives we often can find a cause of the low energy and implement a plan to get it more optimal.
Lack of water in the diet can be one of the most common causes of low energy. We need water for almost every single job that the body performs and if we don’t have it, our body does not work at its best. If you don’t think that you are drinking enough try drinking half of your body weight in water for a week and see how you feel. If you feel better, this was the easiest of fixes!
Not getting enough sleep is also a very common factor in lack of get-up-and-go. While some variables cannot be well controlled (kids waking you, new puppy getting up in the middle of the night, etc) there are steps that we can take for better sleep. Create a sleep routine starting about 30 minutes before you go to bed. Turn the lights down low, no screens allowed and nothing more stimulating then a clothing catalog. Add in a bath or stretching routine to slow down the nervous system and you will be ready for bed. If you have trouble falling asleep consider trying our DHB Sleep formula to add in for a restful night and to wake feeling refreshed.
We have all heard the term ‘you are what you eat’ but putting that theory into context in your life is important as it relates to energy. If you are not getting enough calories or micronutrients in your food, you will not have the ability to make energy from your food. We need a baseline foundation of caloric intake plus good vitamins and minerals so that our body can use those molecules to create our energy. If you are eating too little or not eating foods that are nutrient dense (low calories, high vitamin content) you will never have enough energy. Try adding in at least 1 more serving of fruit to your daily routine; switch out some berries for your afternoon chip and salsa snack. Grab a handful of spinach or arugula to add to a sandwich or on some eggs; both greens pack a punch of nutrients. Also adding in nut butter like almond or peanut can add in needed protein and fats to pump up the volume of energy.
Exercise is hard when you don’t have energy. However, it can be very uplifting for your body if you don’t overdo it. If you are already fatigued, then doing simple stretching or walking can be enough to boost your cortisol enough to increase your endorphins. Adding in a daily routine can not only improve your energy but give you some much needed motivation as well. Be careful not to do too much or that instant energy will deplete fast and leave you wanting for the couch.
Fatigue is one of the most usual responses to long term stress. Our bodies have a great ability to adapt to short bursts of stress but over much time we can become depleted of the hormones that help to keep us bursting with energy. I did a blog on stress here that goes into much more detail but one of the best ways to support your body is to use adaptogenic herbs that allow for gentle adrenal support. These herbs, such as Ashwaghanda, Rhodiola, Lemon balm and Holy basil work in the body to either enhance or block cortisol, depending on the need. Our Zen tea has a few of these wonderful plants and you can sip it through the day to help control stress so that you will have all the energy you need.
Energy does not need to be an allusive, fleeting concept that is unachievable. It can be as simple as drinking your water, eating your greens and controlling your stress.