Do you wake up feeling like you need a nap or feel tired after just a few hours of activity? Wish you could start your day with energy… instead of dread?
You’re not alone! If you were to ask a group of 10 adults about their energy levels, I’m willing to bet that at least half of them would report that they have either low energy or that they frequently struggle with their energy levels. And this is more than just a prevalent issue… it’s an important one.
Think for a minute: How would your life change for the better if you were able your day off with good energy?
Would you be happier?
Would you be able to get more done?
Would you be able to do things that you’re not able to do now (like go for a walk, do some yoga, or play outside with your kids)?
Would you be more open to opportunities that you turn down because you’re usually tired?
Having more energy can be an absolute game-changer! But how do you do it? That’s what this article will help you figure out! First, we’ll talk about some of the pre-work you should always do when you realize you have chronically low energy levels. Then, I will share some of the things you can do to give your morning energy levels a boost. At the end of the article, I’ll tell you about something I created to help you pump up your energy all throughout the day!
Identify the Cause of Your Low Energy Levels
Before we jump into how to create an energizing morning routine, you should take some to understand what may be causing your low energy problem. Below are 12 common reasons for low energy. Do any of them sound familiar?
- You don’t get enough sleep
- You don’t get enough RESTFUL sleep (e.g. you wake up several times during the night)
- You live under a lot of stress
- You’re going through some type of emotional trauma
- You don’t have enough protein in your diet
- You don’t drink enough water
- You are mostly sitting down throughout the day
- You don’t exercise regularly
- You don’t consume enough calories
- You consume alcohol regularly
- You have underlying health issues (e.g. depression, anxiety, thyroid disease, anemia, leaky gut, adrenal fatigue syndrome, blood sugar issues, heart disease)
- You take medication that causes fatigue
How to Improve Your Overall Energy Levels
Looking at the list above, it’s clear that there are some things you can do to improve your overall energy levels. Most of them will be pretty familiar to you. However, I find that we often need reminders to implement the things we already know we should be doing. With that being said, here are the main things you can do to improve your overall energy level:
Drink more water
There are several different opinions on how much water you should drink per day. A lot of people have learned that you should drink 8 cups per day. Some follow guidelines based on gender and/or weight. It’s also generally recommended that you drink more water if you’re very active (so that you replace the fluids you lose through sweating. However, the main thing is to drink enough water to keep your body hydrated. One simple indicator is your urine. The more obviously yellow your urine is, the more dehydrated your body is. Drink enough water and your urine will be light yellow or colorless.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
As with a lot of things dealing with your body and health, what you eat makes a difference. There are foods that can boost your energy levels. Some food to add to your diet includes apples, avocados, bananas, beans (especially black beans and black-eyed peas), beets, brown rice, cucumbers, dark chocolate, edamame, eggs, fatty fish (like salmon and tuna), goji berries, hummus, leafy green vegetables (particularly kale and spinach), lentils, nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews, and walnuts), oatmeal, oranges, popcorn, quinoa, seeds (such as flax, chia, and pumpkin), strawberries, and sweet potatoes. There are also some beverages you can drink to boost your energy levels. Of course, caffeine (which can be found in coffee and tea) is a go-to for many people. Green tea is an excellent option as far as tea. If you opt for coffee, be sure to keep it to no more than 4 cups per day.
Avoid energy-depleting food
Just as some food can boost your energy, there are others that can sap it. Here’s some food to avoid or limit: refined flour and processed grains (e.g. the kind that are found in white bread, white pasta, and white rice), food with added sugars (including those found in a lot of breakfast cereal and yogurt), fried and fatty food, salty food, red meat, and turkey. When considering beverages, avoid soda, and alcohol. Limit your coffee intake to no more than 4 cups per day. You should also avoid energy drinks since they often have a lot of added sugar that can lead to a spike in energy… followed by an energy crash.
It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise can actually boost your energy and combat fatigue. Some great workouts to integrate into your daily routine include walking, yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates. Even getting active for as few as 15 minutes of intense physical activity per day can be really helpful. However, 30 minutes of moderate activity is something that more people find manageable.
Get 8 hours of sleep
If you’re not getting a solid 8 hours of sleep per night, it’s time to make a change! Here are some quick tips on how to get better sleep:
- Create a sleep routine that signals to your body that it’s time to wind down for the night
- Avoid eating or drinking in the hour before bed
- Turn off all electronics and lights
- Journal or meditate before bed to empty your mind
- Create a quiet, restful environment (and pay special attention to temperature so it’s not too hot or too cold)
Develop healthy coping habits
Stress can do a huge number on your mind and body – including wrecking your energy levels. Find some ways to cope with stress in a healthy way. This could involve talking to a friend or therapist, exercising, meditating, journaling, or any other number of methods that make managing your stress feel… well, manageable.
See your physician regularly
Last, but not least… take care of your body by seeing your physician regularly. Don’t be afraid to bring up your energy struggles… your physician may be able to identify if there are underlying reasons for it.
How to Create an Energizing Morning Routine
Now we get to the fun part! Let’s talk about how you can create an energizing morning routine that works for you. I could tell you what I do each morning and encourage you to give it a shot. However, I believe that since every person is different and has different daily needs, it only makes sense that our optimal morning routines will differ. What works for me may not work for you (and vice versa). So, instead of telling you how to start your day, here are some things I suggest you implement in your morning routine – but the specifics are up to you!
Feed Your Body
Your body is the vehicle in which everything you do happens – you have to keep it fueled. Choose some energy-boosting food and drinks to fill your body so that you can power through your day. If you prefer something quick and easy to take on-the-go, check out my list of 12 Smoothie Recipes to Give You More Energy. You can also get some inspiration from the list of items in the eat a healthy, balanced diet section above!
Feed Your Mind
I don’t know about you, but I love to set aside a bit of time in my day for a bit of personal development. Whether you like to read a chapter from a book, listen to a podcast, or watch a motivational video, take some time to feed your brain for a few minutes to wake it up.
Feed Your Soul
I’m a huge fan of activities that make me feel better on the inside. Journaling, breathwork, and meditation are among my favorites. Choose an activity that makes you feel positive about the direction of your life that day.
Make time for a little bit of physical activity to get your blood and oxygen flowing. It will do wonders for your energy levels (as will a rejuvenating shower afterward!).
Another thing you can do in the morning is figure out your plan of attack for the day. Try not to overwhelm yourself by adding too many things to your to-do list. I recommend keeping it to 3-5 things maximum – and make sure at least one item is something dealing with an exciting goal of yours.
Get a Quick Win
Another thing I love to do is to knock out one of my to-do list items early. It doesn’t even have to be a big one. It just needs to be something you can cross of your list. Getting your day started with even a small win can give you a boost of energy… and motivate you to keep the momentum going!
I hope that this helps you to figure out why your energy levels are so low, what you can do about it, and how to create an energizing morning routine that works! Let me know how you’re getting on in the comments below! Also, be sure to download my FREE guide, 3 Easy Ways to Double Your Energy Today!