Running on 'E'? 5 Tips for Increasing Energy

We all know life can get crazy. We live in a culture where working and going 24/7 is applauded. Let’s be real, we have jobs that are 40 hour weeks or more, many have kids, we have activities going on every night, we try to eat healthy, we try to get some sleep…let’s be honest sometimes were running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off!

It’s in these times that it’s easiest to neglect our health and even more important that we don’t.

Why? Because stress can lead to more stress which can lead to distress which can lead to a lot of health problems and often ends up with us in bed out of commission and at the doctors asking for a quick fix to get rid of all the headaches, fatigue, stomach bugs, sleep deprivation, colds, or even worse. For us women it messes with our hormone levels that increase anxiety, can mess with appetite, or even worse lead us to problems with miss flow which is really important to our bone health and health of the babies growing inside of you if you’re pregnant. Distress has a lot of implications and it can shut our body down. If you’re an athlete on top of it, you’re actually more likely to expect a more drastic response-you need to rest.

But how do we handle life when it gets crazy without letting it handle us?

I want to share some tips. These are things I strive hard to do, but don’t always succeed. They are often counter-cultural so it makes it that much harder to follow through with them, BUT if you do you will reap the benefits and so will everyone else around you. Getting sick and in bed doesn’t help you or anyone else who depends on you.

  1. REST. This is huge! I struggle with insomnia so I know this struggle all too well and it’s a BIG one if not the biggest. This one is probably the hardest too. It’s easy to get caught up in all we “have” to do and neglect getting those 8 hours of sleep or taking that time to just sit a read or stay in bed when are feeling sick. But I will tell you 9 times out of 10, if you can slow down and let your body rest you will recover and feel better. That may mean you don’t get something done, but that extra rest may mean you can get it done tomorrow instead of spending the next week in bed. It’s perspective. Remember the end goal. If you’re an athlete, this may mean taking a day off. Athletes are at an increased risk to get really sick if something hits-because you use your bodies at such a high level, rest is even more important and if your immune system is down, it’s not going to fight back as hard.
  2. EAT WELL. I know I talk about food all the time, but when we’re exhausted and our bodies are breaking down it’s even more important we eat a well balanced, nutritious diet. Get in lean meats, bright fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy fats and limit your processed food intake. Processed foods often increase inflammation in our bodies, when it’s weak it’s already inflamed, try not adding to that.
  3. TAKE THOSE SUPPLEMENTS. I’m not one to advocate lots of supplements, but when were wiped, it’s a great time to take them. It’s often harder to eat well and get in all of our vitamins and minerals because we’re on the go and don’t have time. So grab that multivitamin, take an Emergenc, pop some greens supplement, take a probiotic, and drink lots of water. Give your body the upper hand. You don’t have to take everything, but a solid multivitamin would be a great idea (especially one loaded with B12 and C). And drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.
  4. ACTIVE REST. Okay, I told you to rest, but I also want you to move a little. When we’re busy it’s easy to get out of our daily routines and habits of staying active. While it’s important you don’t push too hard, it’s also important you don’t just sit on your butt all day. Active rest, walking, leisurely bike rides, maybe a casual 30 minutes in a kayak, or maybe doing an easy little body weight circuit (like 15-20 minutes) is still really good for us. We were made to move and exercise (even if it’s light) releases endorphins which helps with stress. It can relax us and actually help us feel better and less stressed.
  5. REFUEL. So this is so important. Everyone is different and refuels differently. If you’re introverted like me you need time on your own, away from people and some peace and quiet. If you’re like my husband, you need people. You’re extroverted, so you need some good social time. Get out with a friend, grab a drink or go do some fun activity. Whatever it is PRIORITIZE it! It is SOOOO IMPORTANT. This allows you to relax and gain perspective. If you’re married communicate with your spouse and make sure you both are getting. Take a deep breath and relax. This allows us to function and handle stress better, without it, life becomes too overwhelming and we tend to snap. Know yourself. It’s so important to understand how we function and how to make sure we control our stress.

There are so many other tips I could offer, but these are probably the top 5 I do to help me when stress is high. When I don’t do these I find myself in a panic attack or losing control. Life does not have to control us. There will be stressful season and times where we can’t control anything, but we can control how we handle our life circumstances.

Keep being you and love today!

Lifestyle, RunningJo Butler