Rev Up for a Fantastic Summer

As summer approaches, your thoughts focus on what you’ll be doing as the weather warms. You think with pleasure of the upcoming possibilities: barbeques, picnics in the park, outings to the beach, frolicking with your family and pets in the back yard, an exciting vacation, and more.

But how are you going to muster up the energy to add all these fun activities into your already busy schedule? After languishing in the cozy house all winter, just thinking of this flurry of activity tires you out!

Try these tips to pump up your energy for summer fun:

  1. Make a commitment to yourself. Look in the mirror and make a vow that you’ll take part in more activities this summer. You’ll worry less about keeping the house and yard in meticulous form and doing the laundry and washing the car on the same days every week. Commit to enjoying a summer full of interesting recreation.
  2. Consider your options. Your kids want to take that 4 hour trip to the new theme park at least once. Your partner wants both of you to join the local boat club and go boating twice monthly. You’ve got one friend who wants you to take golf lessons with him and another who hopes you’ll attend a monthly art discussion group throughout summer.
    • Ponder the type of recreation you’d like to be involved in. Take time to consider which proposed activities you’d enjoy the most. Which activities really call to you?
  3. Get your energy flowing by exercising now if you didn’t start early in spring. To increase your energy levels, try a brisk walk outdoors every day. With your doctor’s blessing, increase your walk by 5 or 10 minutes each week until you reach 45-60 minutes. As you walk and increase your speed you’ll notice you’ve got more energy and stamina to face the day.
    • You’ll be full of vigor by the time summer rolls around.
  4. Use positive self-talk to mentally prepare for activities. Making statements to yourself like, “I’m looking forward to spending more time with my kids this summer” and “I will make an effort to stay in good physical shape so I’ll have more energy” will ensure you maintain a positive mindset and continue putting in effort to have the best summer ever.
  5. Converse with your partner. Hear their ideas on what they want to do this summer. Share your wish to be more actively involved with your loved ones and friends. Make some plans together to enrich your relationship while you enjoy the weather and have fun.
  6. Have gratitude. Recognize you have your family, friends, and health How lucky are you to have the choice to spend more time engaging in activities you love with your family? Very lucky. Look forward to the summer with gratitude in your heart.
  7. Reflect on your efforts. Because you’re changing how you’ll approach life this summer, give yourself some props. Stoking your energy to have an active season while continuing as a busy parent and worker is quite a feat. Yet, you believe enjoying some time with the people you love when the weather is beautiful is worth your effort.

Summer is about to arrive. Isn’t it time to re-invigorate and enjoy a fantastic summer? Vow to embrace your fun-loving side. Think about how you’d like to experience some new and different recreation this season. Exercise often to increase stamina. Practice the cognitive strategy of positive self-talk to pump up energy and prepare for lots of summer activities.

Talk to your partner about both of your wishes as the weather heats up. Recognize what you have and be thankful for it. Start now to get revved up for the summer; you’ll enjoy your best season yet this year!

9 Strategies to Increase Your Energy

Do you sometimes feel like you’ve run out of gas? Do you have to push yourself to get going and accomplish your goals for the day? Well, you aren’t alone.

Most people experience bouts of fatigue once in a while, but you can take steps to guard against low energy.

Consider these suggestions to spark your energy level:

  1. Eat right. Your body requires certain nutrients to stoke your intellectual and physical fires and to keep every part of you operating smoothly.
    • Most of us know what we ought to be eating each day: at least a couple of fruits, four or five servings of vegetables, one or two small servings of meat, poultry, or fish, plenty of fiber from healthy cereals, breads, and brown rice, and a couple of servings of dairy in the forms of low or no-fat milk, cheeses, and yogurt.
    • The reality is most of us don’t eat all these foods daily, or we eat other, unhealthy things.
    • Do what you can to eat in ways that support your energy. Avoid foods with high sugar content as they will initially provide a glucose rush, after which you’ll bottom out and feel a huge drop in energy.
    • Whether you choose to eat 3 larger meals a day or 5 or 6 smaller meals, refrain from going too long without eating. The food you eat is your body’s fuel.
  2. Consider meditation and/or yoga. Techniques rooted in Eastern philosophies have long been known for enhancing health and relaxation as well as boosting your energy levels.
  3. Take a multi-vitamin. A daily vitamin is your safety net against less-than-perfect eating habits. You’ll experience steadier levels of energy if you consistently take your multi-vitamins.
  4. Have a positive attitude. How you approach life and see the world can either propel you forward or leave you sitting on the sidelines. Having a positive attitude about what you will do each day goes a long way toward keeping your energy flowing. Think positive!
  5. Exercise. Although exercise sounds like it should be a drain on your energy, getting physically active helps you build strength and stamina, which will actually increase your get-up-and-go.
    • According to the latest research, even if you start with just 15 minutes of walking a day, 5 days a week, you’ll probably notice your energy lifting the very day you start.
  6. Get enough sleep. With all the gadgets around us plus the television on in the background, you have plenty of excuses to stay up late. Make the effort necessary to obtain the amount of sleep you need to feel invigorated the next morning.
  7. Consider a 1-hour nap. Some people find they can take a nap and feel instantly refreshed. Plus, there’s medical research that says a nap can be quite helpful for those who manipulate and process an overload of information in their work. You can boost your energy with a snooze. If an hour’s too long for you, try power napping for 30 minutes or so.
  8. Allow time to rest each day. Whether you build in a 15 minute break at work or 30 minutes of propping up your feet at home to have an iced tea and read the news, take a little break to relax each day.
  9. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for hours depletes your energy. A healthy goal is to stay moving at a reasonable pace throughout the day.
  10. Limit stressful situations. Stress and anxiety are huge drains on your emotional energy, which works in tandem with your physical energy. To increase your enthusiasm for life, avoid people and situations that trigger feelings of stress and anxiety.

If you experience an occasional bout of fatigue and no medical cause has been determined, it may be a result of your lifestyle. Practice several of the above strategies to help you pump up the volume on what keeps you going all day: your energy.

Increasing Your Energy With Meditation

Juggling responsibilities at work and home can leave you feeling stressed out and fatigued. Meditation is a safe and effective way to rev up your energy levels. Here’s an explanation of how meditation gives you more energy and a sample meditation to get you started.

How Meditation Gives you More Energy

  1. Improve your posture. Straightening up will instantly make you feel more alert. Good posture helps protect your body from injury and chronic pain. Try pressing your abdomen in toward your back while relaxing your shoulders. Hold your head up high.
  2. Take full breaths. Stress can cause shallow chest breathing. This limits the oxygen flow to your brain and other organs. Slow down and breathe deeply from your abdomen. If you lie on your back, your body will automatically show you how.
  3. Reduce mental stress. In addition to reinforcing correct posture and breathing, meditation clears away mental stress by turning your mind toward more constructive purposes. 
  4. Sleep better. Many people suffer from sleep deprivation. A daily mediation practice will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Meditation can even reduce your need for sleep.
  5. Live in the present moment. Worries about the past and future can leave you feeling depleted, even if you send your body on vacation to a tropical beach. Mediation liberates your mind to focus on the present.
  6. Feel more motivated. It’s easy to feel energized when you love what you’re doing and believe that your hard work will pay off. Meditation will help you attain and prolong that state of mind even while you’re cleaning the toilet or paying your bills.

Sample Meditation for Boosting Your Energy Level

  1. Get into position. Find a comfortable position on a cushion or in a chair. Sit up straight. Draw slow, deep breaths up from your abdomen. Exhale through your nose keeping your mind on the spot where the air passes out of your nostrils.
  2. Scan your body. Scan your body from the top down. Notice any spots where you feel pain or tightness, without allowing them to disturb your practice.
  3. Scan your mind. Give your mind the same treatment. Observe your passing thoughts without pursuing them or making judgments.
  4. Welcome tensions into your heart. If you’re like most people, you may be wasting a lot of energy by trying to avoid the things you find unpleasant or fearful. Instead, bring them on. As you inhale, imagine all your anxieties coming to take shelter inside your heart.
  5. Apply compassion and healing. You can think about practical solutions later. For now, just view yourself and your difficulties with great compassion and the desire to heal.
  6. Send out purified thoughts. Imagine that you already have the power to transform all adversity. As you exhale, send your happy feelings out to create a positive environment for you and all creatures.
  7. Gradually ease out of meditation. Allow the good feelings you generated to last longer. Bit by bit, take more notice of your surroundings while retaining the intention of bringing more positive energy into all your activities.
  8. Dedicate your efforts. Take a moment to appreciate the benefits of your meditation in improving your outlook. Express the wish that these benefits will keep enriching your life and your connections with others.

Become more productive and enjoy greater peace of mind by using meditation to welcome more energy into your life. You’ll soon feel better and get more accomplished with less effort.

Natural Ways to Stay Energized During the Holidays

The holidays are a fun and busy season full of extra errands, travel and entertaining. If you and your family want to make the most of these special times together, there are plenty of natural and effective ways to keep your energy levels up.

Eat Smart

  1. Avoid big meals. Your body has to work harder to digest those huge holiday dinners. Try to eat more slowly and limit your portions.
  2. Reach for healthy snacks. Complex carbohydrates will give you energy fast. Protein provides fuel for the longer term. Make a salad of walnuts and winter greens.
  3. Eat more fiber. Foods rich in fiber help your body break down carbohydrates at a steadier pace over a longer time. That gives you more stamina. Feast on whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
  4. Stay hydrated. Munch on foods that are high in water content like celery sticks and grapefruit. Drink plenty of water too. Your blood will flow more easily, transporting the oxygen and nutrients your cells need.
  5. Eat breakfast. You’re bound to feel fatigued unless you refuel in the morning. A healthy breakfast will also make it easier to resist fattening snacks or overeating at later meals.

Sleep Well 

  1. Take a nap. Brief naps of 20 minutes or less will help you recharge. Just closing your eyes for a few minutes can also be refreshing.
  2. Watch out for extra caffeine. Those chocolates and peppermint-flavored coffee drinks may put you over your limit for caffeine. If they’re keeping you up at night, cut back.
  3. Drink alcohol in moderation. A cocktail may help you fall asleep faster but it interferes with the quality of your sleep. Try to avoid any alcohol within a few hours of bedtime.
  4. Place a curfew on online shopping. You can shop for gifts all night on the Internet but you’ll feel the effects the next day. Turn the computer off a couple of hours before retiring to adjust your mind and body after the mental stimulation and lighted screen.
  5. Stick to a regular schedule. Holiday parties and travel may interrupt your daily routines. As much as possible, getting up and going to bed at the same time each day will help you stay in top shape.

More Lifestyle Tips

  1. Exercise every day. A brisk walk or other moderate aerobics will wake you up and pump more oxygen to your brain. Take the stairs at the shopping mall and park farther from the entrance.
  2. Clear away clutter. You’ll feel more restful when your surroundings are in good order. Recycle those gift wrappings and tidy up after parties to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  3. Alternate between tasks. Baking hundreds of cookies and wrapping mountains of gifts can be tiring. Switching off between jobs can help some. Even better, recruit family and friends to divide the load.
  4. Manage stress. Feeling more stress this time of year is natural. To help prevent this, listen to relaxing music, meditate or talk with friends. A positive outlook can make handling extra tasks much easier.
  5. Focus on giving. Giving to others is the best part of the holiday season and the most effective way to stay energized. You’ll feel motivated to accomplish more with less effort when you think about making others happy. Share your time and attention with the people you love and do some volunteer work to connect with others in your community.

The holiday season can be demanding, but simple lifestyle changes are usually enough to keep you alert and merry. Watch your diet, get plenty of rest, and manage stress so you’ll be ready to tackle all the shopping and parties.