With the recent time change, do you find your mental alertness and physical energy waning as the day goes on? Wish you could just crawl back into bed acting like Daylight Savings Time never happened?
Face the day full of energy with these useful holistic strategies. Each of them only takes just a few minutes to do and some are most beneficial in the morning, whereas others are useful during the day. So, start by giving one a try — right now. That way maybe you can actually enjoy that extra hour of daylight!
Quickly revitalize your mind and body by placing a few drops of refreshing peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball or tissue. The aroma increases alertness and enhances memory according to a 2008 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, so it’s a great essential oil to use throughout your day. By the way, you can also diffuse essential oil in an aromatherapy car, home, or USB-compatible personal diffuser.
For more useful ways to use peppermint essential oil, such as a digestive aid and to reduce headaches, read “Pep Up Naturally with Peppermint Essential Oil.”
2. Contrast Showers
Know how jumping into a pool of cold water instantly makes you completely alert? Get the same results first thing in the morning by doing a contrast shower, a form of hydrotherapy that involves alternating hot and cold water for several seconds each. The treatment will not only awaken you, but will increase your circulation and boost your immune system. See “5 Amazing Spa Treatments to Boost Your Immunity & Stay Healthy” for more details.
3. Deep Breathing
Feeling low on energy or stressed out? Take a pause to do some deep breathing. It not only gives you energy, but also calms the nervous system and prevents health problems down the road. Dr. Andrew Weil has a helpful article that shows you how to do three different kinds of breathing, including “Stimulating Breathing,” so check it out and learn how to use deep breathing as a helpful tool to enhance your overall health and well being any time of day, anywhere.
4. Dry Skin Brushing
Got two to three minutes to spare before you shower in the morning? Try this easy spa treatment using a natural bristle brush — the kind you find in any drug store — to give yourself a quick all-over body massage to awaken your nervous system and increase circulation. Want to know how to do it? Check out this post. By the way, if you continue to do dry skin brushing, you’ll be ready for “Bathing Suit Season,” because it also helps reduce cellulite and increase muscle tone. For more details see “Reduce Cellulite and More with Dry Skin Brushing.”
5. Green Tea
For a quick energy boost and increase in mental alertness, sip a cup of green tea. Green tea has significantly less caffeine than coffee according to this Mayo clinic article, which means you may be able to enjoy a few cups during the day without feeling “wired.”
It’s also full of health benefits. If drunk regularly, green tea may very well help control weight and even blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetes according to this 2013 study, so it may be an effective addition to any weight loss regimen. Multiple other scientific studies have shown that the major antioxidative polyphenolic compounds in green tea also have preventive cardiovasular benefits, anti-infective properties, cancer-risk reducing benefits, and more. So drink up! Enjoy some in the morning and early afternoon, but don’t drink it too late in the day or it may interfere with your sleep.
Tip: Add a squeeze of lemon juice to enhance iron absorption and naturally detoxify your body.
Take a few minutes out of your day to meditate. It will enhance your energy and help relieve stress. Choose a mantra specific to you or simply use the old standby, “so-hum.” Sit quietly and repeat it over and over in your mind. Think of thoughts and other distractions as clouds floating by. Don’t pay much attention to them, but let them pass. Do as little as one minute a day and slowly work up to 20 minutes twice a day over time to reap the full benefits, such as relieving stress and fighting disease.
Part of the reason the time change is so hard is because your natural circadian rhythm hasn’t adjusted yet. As this recent University of Liège study shows, light is essential to cognitive function and for adjusting our biological clock, so getting out of a dark house or building and into the sunshine helps your body get on track more easily.
Try spending about 15-20 minutes soaking up those warm sun rays. You’ll feel refreshed and energized and also manage to get your daily dose of Vitamin D as noted in a “Daily Dose of Sunshine Meets Your Vitamin D Needs.”
Drinking water is essential to ensure each and every cell in your body is functioning at its best. It helps transport essential nutrients and oxygen and carry away toxins and metabolic wastes — all essential to optimal energy.
If you don’t like the taste of regular water, try spa water, such as a refreshing cucumber-mint, tasty pomegranate-berry, or cleansing lemon water, which are all easy to make and full of a myriad number of health benefits as well.
9. Smart Smoothie
Instead of reaching for a nutrient-void soda for that instant sugar boost, give your body the sustenance it needs by sipping on a smoothie full of energy-boosting and healthy ingredients, such as greens like kale or spinach (or a greens powder), fresh fruits and veggies, immunity-boosting yogurt, electrolyte-rich coconut water, etc.
Tip: Protein prevents a spike in sugar levels, so be sure to add in a healthy source, such as a nut butter, ground seeds (e.g., flax), or protein powder (e.g., whey).
Did you know some yoga poses are especially beneficial for boosting your energy level? So, bust a few yoga moves. Prevention Magazine’s article, “5 Yoga Poses for Energy,” shows some easy ones that only take about three minutes each to do. Do all five if you have 15 minutes to spare or pick just a few to start. You’ll enjoy even energy and a keener mental focus.
Copyright © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2014 – 2015. All rights reserved.
Photos © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2014 – 2015