It’s not about waking up early, but how you manage the daily struggles.
I heard that you’re running low on energy and feel tired all the time. How about you start waking up at 5:00 AM every day so you can meditate? Meditation is scientifically proven to improve your mood and boost energy levels after all.
And if you struggle to get to bed to wake up at 5 AM, all you need to do is get more out of each hour of your sleep. It’s really that simple!
Articles that list off a variety of methods to give you energy are dime a dozen, but the glaring issue with so many of them is that they don’t account for the nuances of energy. They are generic by design to fit what someone would typically encounter in their daily lives.
However, when it comes to what we actually face in our lives, things like meditation, taking a quick nap, or trying to get ourselves up earlier in the morning so we can go through some energizing routine is harder to do.
Managing your energy levels is more about learning how to deal with the daily encounters in our lives better than before. And all of that can be boiled down to various habits.
Deal With Daily Stress
Stress is all in our head but it can be a nightmare to deal with. Any kind of emotional stress can derail everything that you had planned for the rest of the day.
Beyond that, stress in general has a huge impact on our physical self. Naturally, there is a tonne of articles out there to help with stress, but I find coping with stress can be boiled down to finding something that can help you wind down and de-stress.
For a particular habit, you’re at the liberty to pick here but usually, the go-to suggestions are things like meditation, journaling or reading something.
Personally, I’d vote for anything that helps you center yourself. Watch some videos, play some video games, do a simple sudoku, go for a walk, touch some grass, or go to the gym. Whatever can help you cope is what you want to be going for.
Cut Back On Caffeine
Within a few years of drinking coffee, I became acutely aware that every person has their own tolerance for caffeine.
Mine was very small as even a single regular cup would give me the jitters for the entire day. It took a while for me to ditch coffee, but now I drink only water and the occasional cup of tea.
Water is most important and if you can replace a cup of coffee with some water, that’s ideal. If you can remove coffee from your system entirely that’s even better.
The reason being is that the spike in energy levels that coffee brings us is really just an illusion as several hours later you experience the crash and feel lethargic.
You can even speed up that cycle if you’re drinking too much coffee.
All in all, caffeine screws up your sleep cycle which in turn messes with your energy levels. Unless you balance it out with water drinking, it’s best to gradually reduce the caffeine you’re drinking and find some other energy-giving sources — whether that’s drinking more water or another habit.
And Have More Water
To expand on the previous point — dehydration is a pain and caffeine really doesn’t provide much. Sure my water app allows me to count coffee and tea as a water source, but I’m of the mind that you do want some natural water here and there.
Specifically, establish a sleep routine and don’t change it. I typically get to bed at 10 am and I wake up at 6. Depending on how my body feels sometimes I sleep in, and sometimes I wake up earlier.
Regardless, this routine is ideal for me and I have some other things that ensure that while I get to sleep around that time, I also get good quality sleep too.
The quality is most important as many people get the time mostly down, but never the quality. As a result, if you’re running low on energy, you can also look into sleep quality.
Things like getting a white noise machine, a better pillow or training yourself to sleep in a better position can make all the difference.
Also working on this habit can also help you figure out if you’ve got sleep apnea or insomnia. In those cases, check with a physician can help significantly in getting your sleep back on track.
Don’t Spend All Your Time At Your Desk
The decisions that we make over the course of the day wear down our energy levels, however, one of the bigger ones is the fact we sit a lot. I’m at a point in my life where I really don’t like being in cars for long hours. My legs cramp up, and I get really sleepy in them. I need a handful of breaks just to get out and stretch my legs.
Beyond that, I know firsthand from sitting at a desk most of my working life that sitting at a desk all the time can be draining. Especially if your chair is a cheap one.
You want to be making a point of moving your body over the course of the day. This doesn’t mean you need to get to the gym, but generally going for a walk, pacing around the office for a few minutes, or doing any form of movement that gets you away from sitting can make a difference.
And Don’t Be Around Screens All The Time
I’d say this depends on your body and natural sleep cycle because for me I can fall asleep pretty easily and I spend most of my time morning and night in front of a screen. I know others aren’t blessed in that manner and so it’s important to figure out how exactly your body reacts to being around screens.
The big reason to avoid screens comes down to blue light which tampers with our brains production of melatonin — the drug that makes us feel sleepy. If you know your body has a tough time doing that, then it’s best to limit screen time at night.
Beyond that, taking breaks here and there from screens can help out a lot since screens over the course of the day can give yourself eye fatigue. This would trigger headaches, making it tougher for you to concentrate.
Read also: 16 short unwritten rules of life
Eat Healthier Food
Skipping meals generally is not a good idea. Your body needs nutrients and the only way to get those is through food. The quality of nutrients is also important so if you opt for processed foods or restaurant food all the time, chances are that will also affect your energy levels.
It’s normal to miss a meal from time to time, especially if you’re not feeling particularly hungry. But it’s during those times when you can make compromises such as having a snack later or drinking some water to tide you over.
While overarching habits like meditating, walking, exercising, and eating energizing foods are important, the key to maintaining energy levels really comes down to how we respond to decisions and small events in our lives.
How do we manage our stress levels over the day? When is a good time to sleep, de-stress, eat, or move away from whatever you’re doing? The timing of those kinds of things and what we choose to do in those moments are important.
It goes to show that in order to have better energy levels, you need to have a higher understanding of your body and how you function.
Contributed by Eric S Burdon
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