Spring is springing. But do the winter blah’s still keep you feeling exhausted?
If your fix is to drink coffee, pray to stay awake and repeat…here are the keys to finally unlock your energy potential.
In his book The 7-Day Energy Surge, fitness consultant for top executives, Jim Karas, recommends that you book a massage.
Why can this help you?
Daphne Metland, founder of The Good Spa Guide, told MSN:
“A good massage helps release toxins and waste from your muscles and allows your body to heal itself, preventing you from feeling tired, lethargic and run-down.”
Michele Naumann Carlstrom, licensed massage therapist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, agrees.
That’s why many people have to pee right after a massage, Carlstrom says.
(By the way, be sure to replenish all that lost liquid by drinking a glass of water after your massage.)
Can’t fall asleep at night? This can literally suck the life out of you day… after day… after day. Doctor Oz says up to 40% of us suffer from insomnia.
Today Joyce McNeill is a high-energy person. But five years ago, she didn’t know why she was constantly exhausted.
“Regardless of when I went to bed, I was always tired,” she said.
Then she found out she had sleep apnea. This condition narrows your airways during sleep and keeps you semi-awake all night.
A machine helped Joyce breathe better, but she still wasn’t getting enough sleep.
Three years later, when she had to get back surgery, she made another discovery…
Her orthopedic surgeon suggested that regular massage might help her back. And her sleep.
McNeill now enjoys massages a couple times every month.
“He was right,” she says. “It’s really been beneficial. The big difference is that my muscles are more relaxed.”
Great sleep can dramatically boost your energy level.
And massage can help you get great sleep.
More about sleep in a minute.
But right now, you may be wondering…
Since you can’t be on the massage table every time you get tired, what else can you do to energize?
Let’s talk about mornings.
Many of us wake up exhausted.
But the truth is, our morning routine can set the tone (make us more productive) for the rest of the day.
Here are a couple secrets to get your day started right.
(But be sure to check with your doctor on these before you try them. They’ll get you breathing deep and your heart racing!)
As we sleep, blood pools unevenly in our bodies due to our various sleep positions.
The result? Our blood doesn’t circulate as easily as when we’re active. So by just stepping out of bed, you’re allowing gravity to make your circulation worse.
Instead, when you first get up, try getting into a squatting, crouched position, bringing your heart down to your knees.
Then, explode up to a standing position. At the same time, throw your fists up in the air.
Sure, it might feel silly.
But as Dr Oz explains, this movement helps you get more of the blood that’s pooled over the course of the night back to your heart and head quickly.
The next Oz suggestion also might sound crazy, but more people are trying it. And enjoying the blast of energy that comes from it.
Step in the shower and turn the water on cold. (Or as Oz actually suggests, use mittens and ice water.)
Rub the cold water onto your arms, legs, and feet in a circular motion toward your core.
The cold constricts blood vessels and increases circulation to the heart, filtering out the bodily toxins that sap your energy.
Do this for 2 minutes (no longer than it takes to brush your teeth) …for huge results.
If anything, the cold water will wake you up! 🙂
Okay, you’ve changed your morning routine. But later on in the day…
How can you stay focused, energized and conquer the midday slump?
If you sit at a desk most of the day, try this…
First, breathe in deeply through your nose. Then exhale using 15-20 short, sharp bursts, clenching your stomach muscles to really push out each burst. Repeat three times.
Why does this help?
It’ll clear your lungs and get you breathing deeply.
If you sit for long periods, your lungs may need this help to get rid of extra carbon dioxide, which makes you sleepy.
Massage your ears to get instant energy.
Start at the lobe and massage up to the top of the ear. Vigorously rub your ears all over for about a minute.
They should start to feel warm and, very quickly, you should feel more alert.
Traditional Chinese medicine says this stimulates acupressure points on your ears and increases blood circulation, which gives you the energy.
Western medicine says it stimulates the reflex centers in the brain because the ears are packed with nerve endings.
I say… Why not? It works.
Get up and move!
Simple, but it gets your oxygen flowing so your mind and body can overcome the tiredness.
You can only handle about 45 minutes of sitting without becoming fatigued.
Any kind of physical movement will temporarily boost your alertness and energy levels.
Remember the crouch, jump and pump from the morning routine?
Or take a brisk walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks, push-ups or squats. Splash some water on your face.
You can even just stretch at your desk.
“Do just ten minutes, and the energy and focus will be much stronger afterwards,” says productivity expert, Carson Tate, author of Work Simply.
Can’t move a scheduled meeting? Go for a walk with your colleague.
Get creative and do whatever it takes. Make exercise a priority in your weekly schedule.
“If you exercise regularly, then your chronic levels of energy will be higher,” says Christopher Barnes, Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.
Don’t expect to be 100% on all day, says Tate. You wouldn’t expect to walk briskly for 8 hours. Don’t expect to focus or think strategically for that long either.
To beat the midday slump and be more productive, tailor your tasks to your energy level.
Most people are at their best in the mid-morning and late afternoon, says Barnes.
Why not sort your to-do list for your energy level?
Tate recommends doing your writing, decision-making and coding during high energy times. Save your emails, expense reports and phone calls for the lulls.
Do this and you’ll soon be ditching the caffeine.
But if you want real energy…
Your evening routine just might be more important than what you do any other time of the day!
You can’t borrow 10% from tomorrow (without consequences), even if you’re 500% done with today.
Few of us are getting enough shut-eye. About a third of the time, Americans get to work with less than 6 hours sleep.
“That’s just not enough,” says Barnes.
A 2009 study showed that people who got 5 hours sleep for 4 nights in a row had the same brain performance loss as people with a blood alcohol content level of .06.
“If you want to excel at anything, go to bed,” says Tate. “Sleep is the number one predictor of success.”
What to do?
Try drinking a cup of rooibos tea right before bedtime, says Dr. Oz.
It’s naturally caffeine-free. And this South African herb is loaded with antioxidants.
Oz says there’s some evidence it reduces tension, irritability and headaches. All the key things linked to the insomnia 40% of us have.
“Music is a great way to rev up or calm down,” says Tate.
Soothing music before bed can help you just as much as high energy music can add to your workouts.
And power down those devices!
Here’s a real shocker…
Working on your computer or phone late into the night kills your energy levels the next day.
Blue light from screens suppresses your body’s melatonin – the chemical that tells your brain that it’s time to sleep.
“It’s critical to avoid smartphones and tablets within an hour or two of going to bed,” says Barnes. “The worst thing you can do is use your phone in bed.”
Of course, if you absolutely must check your emails at night, then at least use apps like f.lux for computers or Twilight for devices. Or wear blue-blocking glasses.
Speaking of light, why not use a night light in the bathroom? Flooding the room with the overhead light tells your brain to wake up.
Now that you know what to do morning, noon and night for more energy…
There’s something else you really should know. Something we haven’t talked about yet.
You can either undo all the good from what we’ve talked about.
Or you can 10x your energy.
That’s the subject of our next article. Stay tuned.
But for now, why not commit to some new habits to get you energized?
Life takes it out of you. I’d love to help you put it back in.
How can I help you personally?
Call me at 303-920-2350 with any questions, concerns or to find out how massage and essential oils can make life better for you.
by Sarah Shropshire
LMT, Essential Oil and Business Consultant