Fatigue is a common outcome of everyday busy life. Balancing career, relationships, children, school-whatever your life pre-pandemic looked like-fatigue was a normal response to the hustle of everyday life. When this pandemic began six months ago and schools, activities, careers shifted to at-home, many of us thought that we would catch up on extra chores, sleep, and projects around the house, maybe even a book or a few Netflix series. We thought that fatigue would be a thing of the past and that we would be energized. Though, for most of us, the opposite has happened. The majority of people I talk to are more fatigued now, regardless of being home, than they were when they were juggling carpools, commutes, and extracurricular activities. The truth is, the pandemic has sucked the energy out of many of us. This “new norm” as people like to refer to our current time, has most of us more fatigued than ever before. Decision exhaustion, constant pivoting, learning to navigate working from home, overseeing children’s education, making sure we staying healthy, keeping up to date on the newest health guidelines, safety procedures, and navigating safely going out into the world has taxed us in new ways. I don’t know about you, but I am tired and I keep my energy up, not only for my family and my work, but for my overall sanity and well-being.
Feeling energized is more than getting the right amount of sleep each night. If you are looking for a healthy energy boost, here are some of the tips that have worked for me, especially over the past few months.
- Eat fresh food: By this I mean, eat unprocessed, unpackaged foods as much as possible. Eating unprocessed foods is an easy way to increase your energy. Fresh foods tend to be richer in vitamins and minerals and less likely to be made up of extra sugar, fat and sodium, all of which deplete energy.
- Eat consistently: Skipping meals creates havoc on the body’s metabolism. Eating substantial meals and snacks every three to four hours ensures glucose levels stay constant, which keeps energy levels elevated.
- Drink plenty of water: Even the slightest amount of dehydration can make you feel tired. Staying hydrated also helps curb your appetite and decreases food cravings. To figure out how much water is right for you, take your body weight divided by two. This is the amount of water measured in ounces that you should aim to drink each day.
- Reduce caffeine intake: Although caffeine supplies a temporary rush of energy, too much caffeine creates a roller-coaster, up and down, effect on the body. Keep caffeine drinks to a minimum and be sure to cut caffeine intake within six hours of your bedtime.
- Exercise: Aside from ensuring adequate sleep, exercise may be the largest factor in regards to increasing energy levels. Generally, the last thing people want to do when they are tired is lace up their tennis shoes, however, research has shown exercise to decrease fatigue and increase energy levels. Its definitely mind over matter on this one, but the benefits are well worth it.
A few simple adjustments to your daily life can give you the extra boost you need to feel energized throughout the day, even during our current times.