5 Energy Hacks For The New Year
If you feel absolutely drained from the past two years, you’re not alone. Between the ongoing global pandemic, political turmoil, and natural disasters, many have gotten familiar with lasting energy depletion and mental burnout. However, while we may not be able to change the state of the world, we do have a few handy hacks for getting the energy boost needed to get through each day.
1. Hydration instead of caffeination.
When you’re feeling particularly sluggish and eager to crawl back into bed, turning to a caffeinated beverage may be your go-to. However, caffeine can become more of a long-term problem than a solution. When we’re feeling excessively tired and fatigued, there’s a good chance dehydration is a contributing factor. Dehydration leads to a drop in blood pressure and less blood flowing to the brain, resulting in that drowsy, foggy feeling.
While caffeine acts as a temporary stimulant, many caffeinated beverages such as coffee and energy drinks lead to further dehydration. Once the short burst of energy wears off, you’ll likely find yourself feeling even foggier than before. Plus, too much caffeine intake throughout the day can mess up your sleep schedule and thus create a vicious cycle of fatigue. Next time you find yourself reaching for a caffeine boost, try drinking a glass of water or two first. You’ll likely find sustained energy from keeping your body properly hydrated throughout the day.
2. Breathing exercises.
When we become stressed, tired, or simply out of touch with our bodies, we may find ourselves slipping into shallow breathing. Shallow breathing tends to be centered in the chest, produces lower oxygen intake, and can contribute to increased feelings of anxiety. Deep breathing exercises are not only helpful for reducing anxious feelings, but they can also improve blood circulation and thereby support energy, focus, and mental clarity.
There are a range of breathing exercises you can practice throughout the day to recover some energy. These exercises can be as simple as focusing on breathing into your diaphragm and exhaling for twice as long as you inhale. Another common technique is the square breathing method, in which you inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, and hold again for four seconds. Finally, a slightly more complex but highly praised method of breathwork is the Wim Hof method. This method relies on repeated intervals of deep breaths and holding the breath. This breathing technique is also combined with cold therapy to help reduce stress, improve sports performance, promote physical recovery, and improve sleep patterns.
Regardless of the method you use, deep breathing is a simple, natural, and accessible tool you can use at any point throughout the day for enhanced energy.
3. Use natural light.
Ever notice how rainy days and dark rooms make you want to curl up in a cozy blanket and take a nap? There are physiological reasons behind this that are tied to your circadian rhythm. Essentially, your brain relies on light to signal when it’s time to be awake versus time to sleep. Natural daylight in particular is the primary signal in this system.
This effect has been proven to have a positive effect on mental health as demonstrated by a study conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. This study found that employees working in areas with lots of natural light reported higher energy levels than those working under artificial lights. If you’re able to, try setting up a workspace or activity space in an area of your home that receives an abundance of natural light.
4. Move your body.
This “hack” has been out of the bag for quite awhile - exercise is key in maintaining healthy energy levels. And, since we’re at the beginning of a new year, you may already have some new fitness goals in place for 2022. However, the secret is that you don’t have to exercise an hour a day and completely change your fitness level to enjoy more energy throughout the day. Even moving your body for just 10 minutes when you feel groggy can help immensely. This can be as simple as stepping outside for a walk (and enjoying the bonus energy from natural light exposure), doing jumping jacks, or even some gentle stretches and yoga poses. It’s all about increasing blood flow and endorphins, which are your best friends when it comes to feeling energized.
5. Nutrition and supplements.
If you’re looking to make long-term adjustments to your mental health and energy states, you can’t skip nutrition. There are so many important nutrients that we get from our diet in order to keep our bodies performing at optimal levels. A great place to start is with a critical mineral, magnesium, which is a key player in maintaining heart, muscle, nerve, and bone health and also assists with energy production.
Adaptogenic herbs are also valuable additions to your diet to support energy levels. Ashwagandha and rhodiola are two of the most common adaptogens and are used to support a healthy response to stress as well as support for energy, focus, and mood balance.† Luckily, you can experience the benefits of both of these herbs with Bluebird’s Adaptive Stress CBD Soft Gels.
Have any other go-to energy hacks we missed? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!