11 Ways to Level Up Your Energy
Couldn't we all use a little bit more energy, vitality and aliveness in our days? Well, today is your lucky day because I'm going to be sharing 11 big ideas and strategies to get you there! In my podcast episode, I shared 9, but I wanted to give a 2 bonuses for those of you who take the time to read the Blog! So, sit up straight, perk up' and let's get some more energy happening together!
Amplify Your Energy
Get ready to implement these simple yet effective strategies into your daily life and watch your energy amplify! We all want more energy, but the thing is, we don't own or "have" energy. Just like we don't have happiness, joy, peace, etc. We cultivate it and create it within ourselves - and we do that by setting ourselves up to have it on tap. Aligning our days with healthy and positive habits, rituals and routines makes generating more energy that much easier. I mean, if you set up the 11 strategies I share today in your life, daily, weekly, monthly...you will be bouncing off the walls! I can't be there with you making sure you are staying accountable, nor do I know your current situation or where you're at, but I do know that these simple 11 shifts and tips (if implemented and followed) will level you up and enable you to do more while feeling more alive. Let's get this energy train started!
1. H2O BABY!
Water, water and more water! For real though, you NEED to be drinking more water. All of us have been told our whole lives that 8 glasses a day or roughly 2 L a day is our body's requirement but,...that couldn't be farther from the truth *mic drop!* No wonder most people have to drink caffeine to feel energized in the morning- their bodies are so severely dehydrated! The research on water intake and requirements has been so conclusive in recent years (the old research was simply, inaccurate, but that's why science rocks! It constantly evolves and betters itself!) - I encourage you to do your own research too as I'm not a Doctor or registered Dietician, I can just tell you what works for me, countless others and what I've researched into for the past 8+ years.
The truth is, you need to be drinking a MINIMUM of 3-4 L per day, if not 4-8 L. If that sounds crazy to you, I get it. I too, was told water toxicity would happen to me if I drank "too much water" *eye roll.* Okay, let me get this straightened out here: it is almost impossible for you to consume too much water and your body will tell you if you are - please listen to your body and don't drink more than you feel comfortable with at a time. We've become so out of tune to our bodies - most of us just go through the motions, or are on autopilot so often that we forget to be mindful enough to notice how our body is feeling during the day. I am not saying water toxicity isn't a real or serious medical condition, all I'm saying is that it is rare and it's very difficult to drink "too much water."
If you're new to drinking loads of water, might I suggest adding lemon, lime, or ginger to your water? Maybe some ice? There's tons of water elixir recipes out there, from detoxes to ones that just simply taste good. I personally just drink plain water. I've tried and tested lots of "water" recipes and when I have the time, I like to spice mine up but a lot of the time I come back to just drinking plain ol' water, chilled in a 2.2 L water bottle which I drink 2 per day of minimum. If you don't drink enough water and are reading this, If I were you, I would up my water intake just 500 mL per day gradually for 1 week, then another and another until you hit the 3L to 4L mark minimum. If you are exercising and burning a lot of calories/sweating throughout the day, a good rule of thumb is to up it more to 4L to 6L. Notice how you feel the days you drink sufficient water, that will be enough to condition your body to do it, trust me! So simple, yet so effective because your body is craving it like crazy- give it what it so deeply desires!
Water Facts with Pooja: (cue cheesy music here)
Did you know that around 75% of Americans are severely dehydrated?
We are made up of more than 50% water. Need I say more?
Did you know that dehydration plays a factor in eye strain, headaches, fatigue, tiredness, dry skin, wrinkles, acne, brain fog, over-eating, early onset of aging, and digestive/excretory (sorry if that's tmi) issues to name a few? People!!! You gotta drink more WATER!
If your pee ain't clear, you ain't drinkin' enough water.
If you feel thirsty, a dry mouth or feel dehydrated, you are already severely dehydrated.
2. MOVEMENT & PHYSICAL EXERCISE
Physical exercise and movement is SO important. Like, beyond important! I talked about how this is also a key predictor in our happiness as one of the top 5 predictors in here. We all know we should be exercising, but if common sense was common knowledge, we'd all be ripped millionaires who live will we're 137. That is not the case! Common sense just isn't common practice and we tend to lack on the "practice" part when it comes to setting up new habits and routines that in the long run, will save us in so many ways. We tend to fail to look at the consequences if they aren't immediate, but this time, you won't :).
A lot of people think exercise makes you tired, when in actuality, it does the exact opposite. Remember how you feel after your workout, and on the days you don't feel like doing it, try it for 10 minutes and once you're all dressed in your workout clothes and doing it, I doubt you'll turn back. We release so many endorphins during exercise, and dopamine (the happiness neurotransmitter), not to mention, it makes us much more physically alert, productive and energized during the rest of our days. For these reasons, I'd recommend moving first thing in the morning but if that's not possible for you, honestly, anytime and any form of exercise is better than no exercise. Next time you do a workout, notice how you feel in terms of energy vs the days you don't or couldn't get to it.
Make it a priority though, because the benefits are too good to pass up, pinky promise?
3. GET OUTSIDE
This is also a happiness predictor as mentioned here. But going outside and spending time in fresh air or in nature doesn't just boost your happiness, it significantly boosts your energy. Other side effects include: more creativity, better problem-solving skills, feelings of calmness and a heightened ability to cope with distress. Um, yes please? I talk more about this in the above linked blog post and podcast show but I can assure you if you get outside, you will have much more energy when you come back inside.
4. MORNING & NIGHT TIME ROUTINES
Setting up and following morning & night time routines that you look forward to can change the game up! Doing this, enables your brain to have more "brain space" or resources leftover for energy. When you're living in a fluster or when things aren't known or planned out (our brain loves routine), we tend to use more brain space and decision making resources on figuring it out as we go every morning & night. I'm not saying spontaneous living isn't good, it's great to switch things up, but in terms of morning & nights, try to keep them for the most part, know-able. If you can stick to the routines you set up for yourself 80% of the time, you're winning! Watch how your energy elevates once you do this and practice it.
5. HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
I kind of mentioned this above, set up morning & night time routines you look forward to (for example, I love to look forward to my morning matcha or green smoothie, workout & meditation and at night I love looking forward to a night time herbal tea, cuddles with my pup & scrolling through quotes)! Looking forward to anything helps amplify your energy but have something you especially look forward to later on in the day (after your work day is over, and preferably unrelated to work, but if you want it to be related to work that's great to - you do you boo!).
In the morning is a great time to prime your brain to be excited for something later on in the day - I like to do this in the shower or while I'm drinking my morning tea or smoothie! It can be as simple as looking forward to cooking a new recipe out, taking your dog for a walk, watching a sunset, or spending time with your significant other. Maybe tonight, you are meeting a friend, or having a dinner? Perhaps, tonight, you get the house to yourself and are looking forward to some "you time" so you decide to take a bath and pamper yourself with a diy face mask. Whatever it is, look forward to it! Be excited about it throughout the day, tell people about what you're looking forward to doing later on and I'm sure it will lift your mood and energy!
6. ENJOY WHAT YOU DO & EXPRESS YOURSELF CREATIVELY
Enjoying what we do day in and day out is so crucial. Especially when it comes to work or what you do as a career or j.o.b.! Honestly, this is an entirely different topic I could go on and on about, but the long and short of it is: if you don't like what you're doing 8-9 hours a day, 5 days a week, please re-assess your situation and see if you can find something new you thoroughly enjoy. I don't know your current or personal situation so I'm not going to say that's possible for everyone, but it is for most! I'm assuming that's you since you have an internet connection to even read this blog. I'm going to be doing a blog(s) on this topic in the future for sure, but just ask yourself: if you really tried, could you move into a position or workplace where you enjoyed yourself if you dedicated yourself to doing it? The answer is yes, by the way…but I’ll leave going into depth on this for another day.
Now, the second part of #6 is to express yourself creatively. Now, if you don't get to do this at work, you can definitely do this outside of work time! Expressing yourself creatively skyrockets your energy levels and even allows you to enter flow states. Flow is when your brain shuts off inhibition and shifts from beta to alpha brain waves. I won't go into a lot of detail on flow here, but expressing yourself creatively can activate this state and it's a great thing because entering this state is a natural antidepressant, allows for problem solving and a heightened calm energy! Don't you find when you do something creative, you feel proud of yourself? You feel alive? Electrified almost? Ready to take on the World! Creativity and doing something that expresses it in your own personal way that you find enjoyable will raise your energy through the roof!
7. SCHEDULE IN SPECIFIC BITE-SIZED PIECES & TIME CHUNKS
Isn't is just so daunting when we open up our schedules and calendars and there's massive tasks or projects in there?! Just so vague and in huge chunks? First of all, I hope you schedule & calendar your life, because omg, I can't even get into how critical that is not only to your success, but to a balanced life. If you don't, you're not even in the game yet - I will 100% be doing future podcasts and blog posts on specifically that so keep a look out for that ;)!
Let's just assume you do schedule and calendar and use your phone or a journal or what have you as a tool and not just as a distraction device. The key here is to take a look at it and see how you are phrasing your tasks and to-do's/meetings/appointments etc. Say for example, you need to finish your website and work on it. Don't schedule a block of time saying "Finish website." Say a specific thing you need to accomplish that day on that project, like "Finish the testimonials page, or finish the graphics for the banners." Setting your schedule up into bite-size and less-vague pieces will enable you more energy and brain resources throughout the day. It will be less daunting and more elevating to see your calendar say achievable bite-size tasks that keep you on track, which will in turn, heighten your energy for the rest of the day!
8. FUEL YOUR BODY RIGHT
Do I even need to talk about this one? You're right. Let's skip it.
Just kidding, ha.
Now, I ain't no Doctor, Nutritionist or Dietician - I'm just sharing with you what I know you know too but maybe haven't put into place yet into your life. If you haven't explored this seriously before, might I be the one to tell you this is the sign you've been waiting for?! We have to be so cognizant of what we put into our bodies, because we literally are what we eat. In every sense. I know you know this, but do you live it? Take it upon yourself to research the best in nutrition, foods, energy and fuel. A good rule of thumb is to eat as natural as possible in terms of the least amount of processing done - essentially, from the Earth with the least amount of steps involved. You need to take this seriously because food and what we eat IS our energy. It's what our bodies use, consume and convert into energy that we, in turn, expend. If you feel yourself not being able to expend a lot of energy, look inward. Take notice more and follow the 80/20 rule, eat to fuel yourself right 80% of the time and you're golden. Don't aim for perfection, aim for real. You deserve to feel incredible, and your body deserves to feel good from the inside out. You so deserve this!
I challenge you to keep a food journal even for 1 week and write down how you FEEL after each meal you eat maybe 30 minutes after. Do you feel sluggish? Or do you feel energized? Take note and pay attention to how you body is feeling. This is a big indicator of if you are putting the right foods into your body or not. Try to aim for plant-based, whole, un-processed, nourishing foods as much as possible. Take the next week or month even, and focus on your diet. Don't follow a diet, have one! Eat to live, don't live to eat...because, food is either medicine for our bodies or poison. Choose what you want food to be for you.
Once you start fuelling your body right, you'll feel how amazing you were supposed to feel this whole time! You'll ask yourself, how you were even existing beforehand. You'll never want to go back to treating your body like a waste-yard, you'll start treating it right - and it will start treating you right, right back! And, don't beat yourself up for the past - it's okay. Forgive yourself and know that you didn't internalize what you already knew, but it's time now to do that and carry no more excuses onto why it should sit on the back-burner. If you didn't know better, you couldn't do better. But now that you do, do better, for you.
Think of our bodies like a car, cars can't fill up just with any liquid can they? They need a certain type of gasoline (let's hope this metaphor fizzles out soon with electric cars replacing gas-run cars though...yay Tesla! But for the sake of the metaphor, I'm keeping it in here) Imagine putting vinegar in your car or some other liquid...it wouldn't run optimally would it? You're the same way!
And to the excuse of that "eating good food is expensive..." Well, we vote with our dollar and the World works on supply & demand, so, as demand goes up for certain things over others, prices scale down. AND, if it's too expensive for you to eat right, then think about how expensive it will be for you to get sick? Loss of time, money, vitality, and maybe even, life. I'm assuming you're alive if you're reading this, but are you truly living? Sorry for being morbid here, I just really care about you, I hope you can tell I'm passionate about this and can sense I mean it with the utmost love & respect for you. If somehow you're reading this now, please do yourself the honour of fuelling yourself right. No. more. excuses. *Mic-drop!*
9. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO LEVEL YOU UP
Who you surround yourself with ends up becoming you. We are the average of the 5 people we most spend time with. Choose those people wisely and if you work by yourself or remotely, then level up with your environment, through music, motivational podcasts (see what I did there? shameless plug...ha!), your favourite playlist to get you amped up or even inspiring quotes! It's so important that you surround yourself with those outside of work time that elevate you and life you higher. And, if you don't have people like that or are saying they don't exist...you're not looking hard enough or you haven't started doing the things you love and you haven't started with you. We attract what we put out into the World. If you don't have that group of people in your life, start putting that energy out there more, start doing what you love more, start with you! As the great Mahatma Gandhi said famously, "Be the change you wish to see in the World."
10. POSTURE MATTERS
Posture, believe it or not matters a lot in terms of physiological energy. Sit up straight and feel the difference. I bet just reading this, you sat up straighter. Am I right? When we have good posture, we have a better flow of oxygen and energy throughout our bodies. Think to yourself every now and then, can I sit up straighter? Anytime you find yourself slouching, correct your posture and notice how you feel.
11. TAKE BREAKS
Taking breaks every 40-50 minutes during work time is life-changing! Pomodoro technique is great too, for focus, but also for timing your breaks out and for energizing yourself during work time. I personally, use my phone to set up soothing alarms every time I need to get up, move, drink some water, and maybe, close my eyes. I forget most of the time to take breaks when I'm working, so it saves me! If you're sitting most of the time and don't have a standing desk or standing job, this is especially important for you. You will actually end up getting so much more done with this technique, and you will have a lot more energy too.
Pssst. If you're wondering why I didn't mention sleep here, it's because that's coming in an upcoming podcast episode & deserves an entire blog post (as many of these topics above do too, and maybe, if you want that, they'll have their own dedicated shows & blogs too - so stay tuned!) If you want a say in what the future holds for The Happiness Approach & this blog, just fill out the form above ^ I love reading them!
Start Feeling Yo'self
I want to mention, a big part of these energy hacks or tips are in noticing how you feel. The more you notice it and internalize it, think about it and take the time to recognize it, the more primed and conditioned your body will be to continue on with the new healthy habit or routine/new hack you're trying to implement. Now, this isn't a habit blog post (I'll probably do one in the future though because I love this stuff!) but here's just a reminder to take these simple ideas to heart and take action. Only with persistence and consistency will you reap the rewards.
A lot of these go hand-in-hand. Once you start implementing one, the others will come easier! It's like a domino effect. Once you start exercising consistently, you'll want to start eating better - because you're have so much more energy from those things, you'll be able to do all the other things to set yourself up for even more energy! And so on, and so on...There will be a big shift in your life, inside & out and I can't wait for you to level up!
Sending you BIG love today & always!
My whole heart, ♡
The Happiness Approach Podcast
Want inspo-on-the-go? Listen to the audio version of this blog post here ♡
In this podcast episode, I share with you 9 big simple yet effective strategies to level up your ENERGY (+2 bonuses if you read the blog or show notes shhhh...!) Listen in now if you want your energy raising through the roof!
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Today's QT's: Quote-ables & Takeaways from today's podcast episode & blog ↴
“Energy begets energy. The more you set up your life to generate more of it in the right ways, the more it'll amplify.”
“Leave each room you enter at a higher level than it was before you showed up.”
“We don't have energy, we create it.”
“Your energy introduces you before you even speak.”