When was the last time you felt full of energy? Not just getting through the day bolstered by caffeine, but truly thriving?
If you’ve forgotten what that state of being even feels like, you’re not alone. A recent poll revealed that more than half of all U.S. women experience burnout with symptoms of brain fog, fatigue, and chronic stress.¹
For some of us, feeling tired isn’t just associated with crawling into bed at the end of a long day. In fact, for many, feeling tired is a near constant state - our new normal as stress levels steadily increase.
Fortunately, low energy and mental fatigue aren’t destined to become our default state simply because we live in modern society. Making a few key tweaks to your daily routine can work wonders for your energy levels and mental state.
Here are a few of the best ways to beat low energy and mental fatigue that you can start implementing immediately:
- Eat to Beat Fatigue - If you regularly experience that mid-afternoon slump, your first meal of the day may be the culprit for your fatigue. Breakfast is often touted as the most important meal of the day, because it helps determine both your energy levels and cravings for the remainder of your day. Breakfasts built on quick, easy carbs might get you going, but you’ll pay the price for that quick burst of energy later in the day.
Instead, opt for a breakfast that contains fuel for your body and brain to keep you going throughout the day: think protein, healthy fats, and fiber. You might enjoy a hearty oatmeal bowl with berries, nut butter, and a sprinkling of fiber-rich beeya seeds one day and a veggie loaded frittata (savior of the neglected produce drawer) the next.
- Rise and Shine - Disruptions in your circadian rhythm (your natural sleep/wake cycle) can have huge impacts on your energy levels throughout the day. As a society, we tend to not get enough bright daylight while the sun is up, then we surround ourselves with artificial blue light during our evening hours - leaving us both tired and wired.
One of the best things you can do to help guide your circadian rhythm is to get outside and feel the sun on your face (literally) first thing in the morning. Have your morning cup of coffee in the backyard or walk your dog as soon as you wake up. The sunlight will not only help you jumpstart your day, but will help you sleep better as well.
- Get Moving - It might feel counterintuitive to add in exercise when all you want to do is take a mid-afternoon nap, but when you’re feeling low you should get up and go.
Opt for low to medium-intensity exercise such as a brisk walk, a moderate vinyasa yoga class, or a 20-30 minute session on the elliptical to help boost your energy level without leaving you drained for the rest of your day. The more you add regular exercise to your routine, the better your energy levels and mental clarity will get.²
- Drink Plenty of Water - For better energy, just add water, seriously! Staying hydrated is key to our health for so many reasons, especially when it comes to our mood and mental state. Even mild dehydration can cause brain fog, mental fatigue, headaches, and tiredness.
You should aim to drink half your bodyweight (by lbs) in ounces. So if you weigh 128lb, your goal should be 64oz. of water per day. Try tracking your daily water intake on an app so you remember how much you’ve had and if it seems onerous to lug around a big water bottle all day, remember that herbal tea counts too!