My top 10 energy boosters
My top 10 tips to boost your energy
Do you get a full night’s sleep, yet feel tired all day long? Do you feel like there are millions of thoughts going through your mind, but you can’t articulate a single one? Do you feel exhausted and drained, yet restless?
You may be running on a low, or feel like you’re about to burn out.
If your energy is running low, it’s time to recharge it before it’s completely gone.
Over the past few weeks I experimented with a few methods that are known to relieve stress and boost your energy, and here are my top ten
Recharge in Nature
A well-known approach to recharge when you’re running on low is to get outside and go for a walk.
Explore the area you are in, take some detours, climb to some hidden creeks, listen to the sounds of nature…
For me, being out in nature definitely helps me recharge my physical battery. Being active, and going for a walk helps me to avoid that afternoon slump I’ve come to dread, and keeps me invigorated and less fatigued even when I had a busy day.
To recharge mentally and emotionally, time in nature helps too – especially when I am out on my own, with no time pressure and distractions, and a nice and quiet spot to sit.
Take off your shoes, feel the earth below, and turn your focus inwards, gently observe your emotions and feelings and thoughts but also feel the sun (or rain) on your skin, the ground beneath your feet, smell the flowers and breathe the air.
Go for a drive
This is something a lot of my German friends do. On an autobahn with no speed limit. And while I can say from experience that a few hours going 200+ km/h definitely clears your mind, a word of advice: Stick to your ability to drive and obviously to the road rules and regulations wherever you are based. Common sense, really.
My favourite roads to drive if speed limits apply? Windy mountain roads. Ideally in a manual car.
Feel free, and focus on driving, and driving only. You’ll be surprised how quickly you get into flow and any worries disappear from your mind.
Journaling or Journalling (apparently the spelling is debatable) is a great way to put thoughts on paper, find some structure and clarity.
For me, it definitely helps to recharge my mental and emotional batteries. I can write difficult thoughts down and put them out of my mind for the moment – then revisit them later with a calmer mind. Sometimes, just putting thoughts and feelings on paper helps clear the confusion and come up with solutions for any current issues.
If I think of something important I usually make a quick note on my phone – then look it up in the evening and reflect on it.
I also often note the things I’m grateful for down – once you get into that habit, you realise how much there is to be grateful for and it helps to keep a positive mindset.
Take a bath
For me, it’s a surefire way to recharge all of my batteries.
Research has shown that a hot bath can relieve achy muscles and help to ease the symptoms of a cold ( I love to use arnica for the first and camphor bath oil for the latter). The touch of hot water on my skin has a very therapeutic, calming effect on me.
Being submerged in the tub, listening to your own heartbeat and feeling the warmth around you is also a perfect time to practise mindfulness and breathe deeply.
By warming your body up, your circadian rhythm gets strengthened which helps with general health and wellbeing. A study by Freiburg University in Germany showed that a daily hot bath can help with depression and anxiety and reduce stress levels. Testing this method myself, I can say, that being submerged in water (with my phone off and away) lets me relax, sleep better, and stop thinking about my worries.
My personal go-to when spending time in the tub is water hotter than 40 °C, a good book, a candle or foam bath with a pleasing scent, and of course, my little glow in the dark rubber duck and I usually spend about 30 min in there. By the time I get out, I feel emotionally calm, my mind is relaxed and my physical energy restored.
Breathing keeps us alive. It’s simple you’d think. Yet many of us don’t actually know how to breathe, or how to do it consciously and make our breathing work for us.
When I’m mountainbiking, I do what many athletes do – focus on my breathing. I keep it regular and rhythmic when pedalling uphill, and I take a few deep breaths just before heading into any hard feature on the trail to calm my mind and prepare my body.
Yet how can we translate that to “real life”? Those of you who practice yoga or certain sports will be familiar with various breathing techniques. There is such a huge variety out there that it’s worth experimenting with a few to find one that resonates with you and keeps you calm (or energized, depending on what you’re after). Here is a good resource to get a first impression of the many ways to breathe!
My verdict to use breathing to boost my energy levels: non-negotiable. Without oxygen, neither my physical, mental nor emotional batteries have a chance of recharging.
Read a Book
There are many different genres of books to read, and many reasons to do so. Whether it’s non-fiction such as self-development, history or science books etc. or fiction (think romance novels, crime thrillers, sci-fi novellas…) reading has many benefits.
To recharge my emotional battery, I rely on fiction. When reading, I escape to another world, I get immersed in what’s happening and can leave whatever is currently on my mind behind. I can get lost in some books for hours, lose track of time, empathise with the main characters in the books and surface after hours of reading calm and relaxed.
I used to commute an hour one way to my old job – reading a book (well, my kindle, but nothing beats a paper book) on the way home was a great way for me to separate work and family time, as it gave me time to refocus my mind.
My mental battery on the other hand thrives by reading non-fiction. Whether it’s a work-related book, self-development book or just random scientific magazines and articles -I thrive on learning and forcing my mind to think.
Both types also help me to recharge my physical battery – as reading forces me to keep still. Not sure about you, but I can’t read and run at the same time 😉
Cook yummy food
More and more research is made available on how diet affects our physical, mental and emotional health – and sparked the new field of nutritional psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. I personally can’t wait to see the results of all the studies currently underway.
Food provides the energy our bodies need to live – that’s no secret. Food intake is often measured by calories – and a calorie is a unit of energy.
Does cooking yummy food recharge my physical battery?
As long as it’s fresh and healthy food, absolutely.
Does it recharge my mental battery?
Absolutely – my brain needs fuel.
Does it recharge my emotional battery?
Oh yes, in multiple ways – depending on the type of food.
Comfort food cooked the way my grandma did when I was a young kid brings back awesome memories. Food I haven’t tried before (e.g. when travelling) gets me happy and excited.
However, nothing beats cooking together with friends and family. It’s fun to cook, and even more fun to eat what you made together, especially if it tastes yummy and makes you smile even more.
Give it a go and observe how different types of food make you feel – and let me know how it goes. What food makes you happy? What do you eat or drink when you need an energy boost? What’s your favourite recipe to cook with friends?
Do something active
There are many ways to be active and exercise. Individually or in a team, indoors, outdoors, vigorously or more gently – everyone has their own preferences.
Whether you go for a walk, surf or mountainbike ride, or you play rugby, soccer or tennis doesn’t really matter – as long as it’s an activity that gets you into flow. If you’re fully focused, breathing rhythmically and moving with purpose, and ideally slightly challenged by what you’re doing you won’t be able to let your mind wander or worry.
For me, mountainbiking is my choice of activity, and if it includes fully physically exhausting myself even better.
It sounds like a paradox, but once I am exhausted and feel accomplished, I am relaxed, my mental and emotional batteries are fully recharged and my physical battery, too. Despite being exhausted, I feel invigorated and ready to take on the next challenge, and an awesome by-product is that I get fitter with every ride.
Disconnect. Turn off your phone. Get away.
Every now and then that’s all we need – those spare moments when we don’t have reception, when can just be, with no distractions.
I spend last week in the Byron Hinterland, with no reception at the place where I stayed. My focus on these evenings was to listen to myself and meditate, to journal, read, practise injury rehab yoga and watch nature.
It may not fully recharge the batteries, but it can help to put your mind at rest, and to calmly think about anything that may cause the depletion of your energy without being disturbed by additional calls, messages or information overload, that may aggravate the thoughts currently on your mind.
Talk to someone
Sometimes you won’t be successful in recharging your batteries by yourself.
Sometimes, is easier to talk about the things on your mind, and bounce ideas back of someone to figure out how to get your energy back.
Whether that’s a good friend or family member, or a professional coach like me, having a chat with someone who listens and asks the right questions can help you see many things in a new light.
Research has shown that communication and socialising is key to a healthy life, and a study in the 70s has shown that being happy may be even more beneficial for our health than a healthy lifestyle (Dr. Bergmann 1979)
As certified health and wellness coach I am trained to ask the right questions, and will always listen without judgement. If you’d like to jump on a call with me to have a chat on how to get your mojo back – I am here.