Sleeping a full eight hours, and still finding yourself exhausted halfway through the day? You’re not alone. Many people find themselves taking naps during their lunch break just to make it through the day. They say, upwards of 25 million people suffer from persistent fatigue. But it doesn’t have to be like this. You can make life style changes that will increase your energy, and breathe enthusiasm back into your life.
1. Enjoy your breakfast without distraction
Leave your phone where it is. Whether its 30 minutes, or a few hours, learn to cherish your morning routine. Instead of scrolling through your social media applications, or checking what happened in the world overnight (usually very little), spend time connecting to yourself.
Cook yourself that healthy breakfast you always say you’re going to make time for. Or if you prefer a bowl of cereal; pour that bowl, and sit at the table. Without the distractions, you will find time to connect with family, or your significant other. Live alone, like me? Try being mindful while you eat. These small moments will make a difference.
2. Drink more water
With our growing health conscious community, everyone talks about the benefits of drinking more water. From healthier looking skin, to properly functioning intestines, to more energy. With that, I won’t dwell too much. The benefits are endless! Drink more water!
Pro-tip: Get a cute water bottle!
3. Smile at yourself in the mirror
I get that this comes off strange. “You want me to smile at myself when I pass a mirror?”
Yes! I do, and not just when you pass a mirror. I want you to make time for it. Set aside two minutes, whether its when you first wake up and are brushing your teeth (yes you can smile while brushing your teeth; try to keep the paste in your mouth). Right after you get out of the shower, or right before bed. The time of day doesn’t matter, as long as you do it.
Smiling on its own will improve your attitude. Smiling at yourself helps promote self-love! And who doesn’t need a little self-love!
4. Eat at least one healthy meal a day
Getting the right amount of nutrients is important for keeping your body going throughout the day. Start first thing in the morning to promote a positive view for the day, or at lunch to keep you going into the evening. Whatever meal you choose, make it a good one. Be sure to over do it on the vegetables, and get a piece of fruit in there. It doesn’t have to be extravagant; it needs to get the job done.
So, choose that salad, or the steamed broccoli over the side of french fries!
5. Go for a walk, Or get outside
First thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or after dinner, find yourself 10-30 minutes to get outside. Even if the sun isn’t high in the sky, those UV rays are still making their way to the earth. So soak some of them up!
Sun already set? Don’t use that as an excuse! Walking is not only a good way to get your blood flowing but it ramps up your metabolism and reduces inflammation. Not to mention, the fresh air will always do some good to clear your mind, and relieve some stress.
6. Call a friend/family member
On those days were you find it difficult to get off the couch. Pick up the phone and call a friend! Sometimes the simple act of checking in will break you out of your funk.
Other times, talking it out will do wonders. So make a deep connection, or reconnect with someone. Relationships are the bedrock to our happiness!
Just like drinking water, the benefits of meditation are endless! There are thousands of studies that show its positive impact on mental and physical health. From reducing stress and improving sleep, to increasing focus and improving relationships, and so much in between. So take some time between tasks, and practice your deep breathing.
Pro-tip: Check out my post, 4 Tips for Integrating Meditation into your Daily Routine.
8. Do Something Creative
Set aside some time for a little creative release. Write a short story, paint a picture, play a song on your guitar, anything that gets your right brain working.
Keeping your brain active has been said to help increase vitality and possibly generate new brain cells. So why not give it a try! Pick up that pencil, crayon or use your hands and make something.
Journaling is said to reduce stress, and release pent-up thoughts and emotions leaving you with a sense of clarity, and understanding. All things that will, with continuous work, improve your day-to-day life. It not only allows you to develop a self-awareness but gives you balance and self-trust.
Writing in a journal will allow you the space to reflect, and help you design the life you want to lead. How can that not be a good thing?
10. And lastly!
Hug Someone you love!
Physical contact is a great mood booster. The oxytocin that is released can help heal any feeling of loneliness, isolation or anger. Hugging builds relationships, improves communication, strengthens the immune system, and promotes an all around happy and healthy life.
There is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth”. The numbers might seem a little high for our society, one that pulls away from physical contact. But if you sit and think about it, how do you feel after you receive a hug from someone you love? From my personal experience, I can say that every time I move in for a hug, a ting of warmth fills my chest.
So walk around with that “Free Hugs” sign, and get those twelve hugs!