Let's talk about speed. Does anyone else feel like they move at a turtle's pace while life zips on by? Do you feel as though you just celebrated Christmas and now you're planning your Memorial Weekend trip? Or maybe you go to work Monday morning and by the time you get home, you feel completely spent. Too exhausted to prepare dinner, you find yourself stuck on the couch eating Trader Joe's quick meals and then back to the couch until time for bed. Then morning dawns and you repeat the same process the next 4 days until the weekend comes back around. Okay, maybe it's just me, but I have had some concerns about my energy level. There were a few things I did to try to ameliorate this feeling which I'll discuss below. Life is simply too wonderful to let pass us by.
My energy level surged back to normal this weekend as I prepared to join my friends for the most anticipated social and sporting event in the Southeast - Queen's Cup Steeplechase! We had so much fun dressing up and attending this event. Not only was it a great fundraising event, but it was exhilarating to watch the majestic horses dash around the track. One thing I kept wondering at the event was why such a long pause between each race around the track? Why couldn't the same horses race again after a ten minute break? I still do not know the exact explanation, but I assume the level of their energy expenditure during one lap around that huge race track requires a considerable amount of time to recover. So maybe that is my problem. Could I be expending so much time and energy in work life that all my free time is spent recovering? How do I change this?
Things to do if you are consistently feeling low on energy.
- Take a moment to meticulously evaluate your diet. Certain foods can drain your energy, particularly starches, meats, and dairy. Try to limit the intake of these foods and increase your fruit and vegetable portions.
- Try juicing fruits and veggies for an instant energy-packed natural drink. Do it for a week to help detoxify your body.
- Increase your water intake. We do not realize how dehydrated our bodies may be. Our bodies are mostly H2O. The goal is to consume half of your body's weight, in ounces, of water per day!
- Exercise before you sit down on the couch. Even 15 minutes of mild to moderate exercise will give your body energy to stay active the rest of your evening.
- Get fresh air. Most offices are stuffy or ventilated with some type of circulated central cooling system. Working indoors all day can deprive your body of your body's needed nitrogen-oxygen exchange that only trees can provide. Spend some time going for a walk, looking out the window, or sitting on your porch inhaling the fresh air.
- Be sure you are getting enough rest every night. 8 hours is ideal. Anything less than 7 is putting your body at an energy deficit. If you have to cut out reality TV at 10pm, it may be worth the sacrifice.
- Be mindful of the time you spend on social media and on internet surfing. If the scrolling is not directly benefiting your life but in fact, stealing your time, deactivate or give yourself allotted times to check your 'gram.
- Try practicing meditation to tap into your stillness. It is energizing.
- Schedule a visit with your doctor. There are tests doctors can order to check for medical reasons you may feel chronic fatigue. Some common reasons include vitamin deficiencies, anemia and thyroid disease. I discourage my patients from diagnosing themselves and taking [insert your vitamin] complex. If you suspect you have a deficiency, go get the level checked.