Some of you who visit my Facebook page may know I’ve been battling severe iron deficiency as of late. I had no idea this was the case until a blood test as part of a routine physical revealed it a couple of months ago. But it sure did explain the FATIGUE I had been experiencing. Silly me…I just thought it was because I stay up too late! (Well, OK, that probably has something to do with it too.)
Anyway, I am now taking iron supplements and just got a B12 shot a few days ago…but am still feeling pretty exhausted most of the time. I guess it’s going to take some time.
When I’m really dragging…especially during this crazy, hectic time of year…I have occasionally resorted to “energy drinks” to pull me through. Problem is, they always make me feel SICK after I drink them. It’s very frustrating.
So I started doing some research on natural alternatives to energy drinks….and was pleasantly surprised at all the options out there! The majority of which I would never have thought of.
Here is a fairly comprehensive list of “Natural Energy Boosters” that I have curated from across the world wide web and am trying to use instead of drinks full of sugar, caffeine and chemicals:
Pump Up The Volume
Listening to music for about an hour a day can help reduce fatigue. Your mental and physical energy get a big boost every time you immerse yourself in music that moves you.
Color Your World
Yellow is the color most closely linked with a healthy mood; other happy hues…orange and lilac. Try using these colors on your walls or if you don’t want to paint an entire room, paint just your ceiling. Blue simulates the sky and brings the outside in.
The colors you WEAR also affect how you feel. Tap into red to help you exude confidence. Seek out orange for its playful, high-energy qualities. If you like wearing all-black, accent your outfit with these colors. Instant pick-me-up!
Take a Whiff
Jasmine increases beta waves, which make you more awake and alert. Keep a solid jasmine fragrance in your handbag. Or take a whiff of an energizing essential oil like Peppermint! Studies show that sniffing peppermint immediately improves both athletes’ running speed and office workers’ typing speed. Its scent boosts motivation and concentration. So grab an infusion of peppermint, whether it’s essential oil, breath mints, lip gloss, or hand lotion. Orange, lemon and cinnamon are also energy-boosting scents.
Take A Bite Out Of Life
Cool and tangy citrus flavors can up your energy by activating nerves in the mouth, throat, and nasal cavity that trigger a heightened level of brain activity. Chewing gum is another way to enhance energy. The muscle tension that comes with chewing can increase heart rate and alertness, and stimulate the nervous system.
Tap Your Thymus
Your thymus is located at center top of your chest, below the collar bone, between your breasts. When tapped it triggers the production of T-cells, boosts energy, relieves stress, and increases strength and vitality. Sounds strange….but worth a try! :-)
In The Blink of an Eye
Next time you’re fighting off the urge to doze off at your desk, try blinking more often. When reading, watching TV, or on the computer, blink 10 to 20 times per minute, rather than staring at the screen or page without blinking at all.
Take a few deep breaths when you feel your energy level dropping. Stop what you are doing and pay attention to your breath moving in and out of your body. By taking time to pause instead of rushing, hurrying and worrying, you give yourself a chance to rest and recharge.
Exercise With A Buddy…Outdoors!
Studies show that the energizing effect of exercise is boosted when done with a partner. Ditto when exercise occurs outdoors.
Turn Your World Upside Down
Even if you’re just leaning over to touch your toes, any inverted pose is energizing. It stretches out your back, and increases the blood flow to your head.
Write a Thank-You Note
Stress zaps energy, and it’s tough to be stressed and feel grateful at the same time. Think of things you’re grateful for (a coworker, a fellow mom or dad), then put pen to paper.
End Your Shower With a Burst of Cold Water
Your body responds more quickly to a cold stimulus than to hot, so a quick, short blast will perk you up.
Pull Your Hair
No, really… GENTLY take handfuls of hair and pull the skin away from your scalp to get blood flowing to that area of the head. This can relieve a lot of tension that can be very tiring.
Be Nice to a Stranger
When you do something kind, your energy goes up. Find lots of ideas for joining the acts-of-kindness movement at actsofkindness.org.
Have A Good Laugh
After a good laugh, you experience a momentary surge of energy, which—in addition to reducing stress and boosting immunity—can help your body regenerate more healthful cells over time. More importantly, a hearty belly laugh provides a shift in thought patterns that is very uplifting. So go ahead, yuck it up!
Buy blooms or grow them in your own garden. A study at Harvard Medical School showed that flowers not only make a room look prettier but also lift the mood of everyone around. It also showed that people who looked at fresh blooms in the morning reported higher energy levels for the rest of the day.
Don’t Skip Meals
Research has shown that people who eat breakfast have more energy throughout the day, and also report being happier. Furthermore, if you eat every three hours instead of just a few times per day, you are more likely to see your energy levels sustain themselves.
Drink Less Alcohol And More Water
Even being only slightly dehydrated can cause you to feel extremely tired. Drinking water steadily throughout the day can do wonders for your energy levels. Also, drinking alcohol close to bedtime will lead you to feel especially fatigued the next day. Alcohol interferes with your ability to sleep deeply, even if it may help you with the initial falling-asleep process.
Eliminate Energy Vampires
Ever get off the phone with someone and instantly want to hit the sack? Then you’ve been bitten by an “energy vampire,” someone who drains your lifeblood. Avoid them.
Let the Sun Shine In
Studies show that a mere 20 minutes a day of sunshine can do wonders to boost your energy—and mood. You can also get an energy kick from sitting near a light box for 45 minutes a day. It’s a pill-free way to increase alertness during waking hours.
Tidy Up Your Work Space
Clutter can sap the energy right out of you! Start by clearing everything off your desk and dusting and cleaning the surface. Now pick and choose carefully what you put back and where you put it. Keeping items to a minimum will boost your attention for the items that remain there.
Think Positive Thoughts
Scientists have proven that we have around 60,000 thoughts a day, and the vast majority of those are negative which robs us of precious energy. Try consciously replacing ‘I can’t’ thoughts with ‘I can’ thoughts. Practice it over and over for one week. You’ll be amazed at how much more energy you have.
Change It Up
Drive a different route to work, get a new hairstyle, try a different workout. Not only will you feel more energized, but studies show changing your routine makes you smarter, too!
Take a golf ball and roll it between your desktop and your hand, from the base of the thumb, where your hand webs out, down to the wrist. There’s a really sensitive spot there. Stimulating it will perk you up.
Sit Up Straight
Poor posture puts uneven pressure on your spine and causes some muscles to work extra hard, which makes them tight and tense and so they use up extra energy. You can realign your spine by simply lifting your rib cage away from the top of your hips.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST…..and the reason this whole list started……
MAKE SURE You’re Getting Enough Iron
Due to certain conditions such as anemia, women often feel fatigued. Getting more iron helps fight that condition. Ideally, you’ll get what you need from iron-rich food sources like kale and spinach, as well as whole grains, beans, red meat, fish and tofu. But if you’re like me and require iron supplements…talk to your doctor first.
There you have it….a whole list of ALL-NATURAL energy boosters to help get you through this crazy holiday season and beyond!
How do you keep going when your energy tank is EMPTY?