We call them energy muggers and they steal your energy, leaving you fatigued and unmotivated. So energy muggers, what is stealing your energy and how to get it back?
There are things in life that totally suck your energy right away from you. The good news is these things can be dealt with and you can regain your youthful energy (well most of it anyway)!
The first mugger of your energy is your digestive health or gut health. We talk about this a lot because it is so vital to your overall well being, freedom from chronic disease, energy and mood. Did you know 80% of your immunity resides in your gut? AND almost 90% of the serotonin (responsible for mood) is produced in your gut? When you eat poorly, stress a lot, and don’t exercise regularly, your gut suffers. In turn the rest of you suffers. Poor gut health is associated with autoimmune disease, diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, poor immunity, depression and FATIGUE! We won’t go into here the mechanics of how the gut works and breaks down when in bad health for time’s sake but trusts on this, it happens.
So how do you repair your gut health and digestion? First, ditch the refined sugar and processed and fast foods – or at least as much as possible. We know it is hard but start small and grow big. Start by ditching your soda (regular and diet), energy drinks, and juice (just as bad as soda btw) and drink good old water! Lots of it. Gussie it up with berries, citrus or cucumbers. But hydrate hydrate hydrate. Eat tons of plant foods. Take time to chew your food so your gut can really digest and absorb the nutrients. And get moving. Exercise in any form, will help aid digestion. Destress! Stress plays such a huge factor in your gut health and of course your overall health. This leads me to another energy mugger, equally as important as gut health. STRESS!
Stress is a huge factor in your energy and vitality. We all live with an under current of low level stress in our lives everyday. It is how we roll nowadays unfortunately. We over schedule, overwork, over eat over everything and our bodies pay the price. The constant release of cortisol and fight or flight we are living in everyday wreaks havoc on our systems both mentally and physically. Eventually our bodies from fighting this all the time, become fatigued, inflamed and then diseased. So it is crucial to figure out how to destress yourself. Some helpful ideas: Go to your happy place(s) as often as you can for a few minutes every day. Even if its a garden or sitting on your porch or the beach, find it an go there. Read a good book at night, not work related, in bed or on the couch or in your happy place. Just read. Totally relaxes the body and helps you get the good sleep you need to repair your body.
Meditation is a great release for stress. We tend to have a “squirrel” mind so if we can do this so can you. Just 5-10 minutes of guided meditation works wonder on stress levels and mood. Calm.com, Headspace and Simple Habits are great apps to get you started.
Try breathing. No really, try it right now. Sit down comfortably , release any tension in your shoulders, go on, relax them. Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, hold it for 7 counts and release through your mouth for 8 counts (thanks Dr. Weil). Repeat 4-5 times and then as often as necessary. Do this a lot when you are sitting in traffic.
Put your devices away! Don’t say yes to everybody when they ask you to do something for them, no really it’s ok to say “no” once in a while. Tell them it’s for your health. Go for a walk, even for a few minutes. Clears the head and gives you more energy. Check out the wellness tip sidebar here.
This brings us to one of the last energy muggers, exercise or lack thereof. People always think, when I exercise I get tired so how can it help me get un-tired? Our bodies need lots of energy to keep up with our crazy lives. They use food for energy. They also use exercise to make more fuel for our bodies, its a biochemical thing and involves mitochondria and such. The more we exercise the more energy we make for ourselves hence less fatigue. See how that worked. This is the hardest thing to get people on board with because they feel like to exercise they have to join a gym and go crazy and they “just don’t have the time”. This is so not true. Just move. Start a few minutes every day. Walk, run, jump rope, jump on a trampoline, just move. There is a site called ABE activity bursts everywhere, short little segments to get you moving, even at work, in the classroom ,everywhere! Also check out Burnalong, where you can do any video there depending on how much time you have and what you want to do. You can do with a friend in your own houses by connecting with each other. That is nothing compared to poor health and fatigue. JUST MOVE.
OK so to summarize: Poor gut health, stress and lack of exercise all rob your body of the vital energy you need to live a happy, disease free life. Eating well, having coping mechanisms for stress and moving are all great ways to combat this. Incorporate all this into your practice everyday and you will find you have energy abound. Ok now go to your happy place and breathe and eat something nourishing, then read and go to sleep 😊