We all know people with a seemingly unlimited energy supply. They wake up before the sun, get in a full workout before 7 a.m., and are always up for a post-work excursion or weekend-long adventure. But if you’re reading this article, chances are good you are not one of these people.
According to a 2015 survey by YouGov, only 1 in 7 Americans wakes up feeling refreshed every day. As for the rest of us? Bring on the extra-large coffees to consume as we countdown the hours to the end of the day.
If you’re tired of being tired, perhaps you should consider adopting these 5 habits of the most energetic people.
Eat A Filling, Balanced Breakfast
If you’re dragging and feel like you have limited energy, one of the first things you should do is to check your diet. If you’re consuming mostly processed foods full of sugar, or if you’re skipping important meals such as breakfast in an attempt to cut calories, you may have already solved your case, Sherlock.
Registered dietician and food blogger Alyssa Cohen says, “you should always have a balanced breakfast that will provide you with energy and promote stable blood sugar levels.”
“Blood sugar is often elevated in the morning, partly due to the release of hormones like cortisol, which spikes around the time people wake up,” says Cohen. “In order to prevent a large spike in energy, which will be followed by a crash, it’s best to eat a breakfast heavy in good carbohydrates, like whole grains, starchy vegetables and fruit, and pair those with some protein and fat. This will manage blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes.”
So what’s a good option that achieves both? Perhaps try a slice of whole-grain toast with some avocado, egg or smoked salmon. A delicious, healthy and energy-boosting start to the day that will keep your mind working until lunch.
Develop Social Skills
Jobs that require you to be “on” all the time take a serious toll on your mental energy.
If your job requires you to be “on” all the time, it can really take a toll on your store of mental energy. While some of us thrive off meeting and talking to new people, many others find constant social interaction draining.
Dr. Alex Roher, a plastic surgeon based in San Diego, says he manages his demanding work schedule by working on his social skills.
“People always ask me how I’m so energetic,” says Dr. Roher. “My answer is that I make an effort every day to advance my social skills. Your ability to communicate effectively with other people has so many implications for your personal and professional life, and I’ve tried a few different things. For a while, I really focused on listening to people with the intent to understand. I would push the urge to get my point across aside, and give people the space to express themselves.”
Dr. Roher says that he has also experimented with using eye contact and physicality while communicating, but says approaching people is the best way to get over anxiety.
“The bottom line is this: Learn the habit of developing social skills,” says Dr. Roher. “You will feel more energetic when you don’t have to stress and worry about meeting new people every day.”
Be Creative Early In The Day
While some believe that a morning workout alone will be enough to set the tone for your day, research suggests that there’s a major muscle you’re ignoring — your BRAIN.
“To get your mind jump-started, I recommend doing something creative right after you wake up,” says Gene Caballero, a certified personal trainer and small business owner with a degree in Psychology and Exercise Science. “What I do first thing in the morning is play piano. It’s fun, and I look forward to it every day. Playing an instrument has been scientifically proven to engage practically every area of the brain at once especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices, so it gets my mental capacity going. It’s like a mental full body workout that’s replaced my morning coffee and helped me be more productive throughout the day.”
If the piano isn’t your instrument, that’s OK. This kind of mental workout can be done with pretty much any creative hobby or skill. Bust out your knitting needles after you turn off your alarm, or fire up your karaoke skills in your morning shower. Whether you love to draw, write, dance or scrapbook, make that the first thing you do every morning!
Water. Water. Water.
We know it sounds simple, but you’d be surprised by how many people blindly suffer from tiring symptoms of dehydration every day. A recent study from the UK found that one in five people don’t know how much water they’re supposed to drink, and those who underestimate their H2O consumption are often tired, cranky, unable to concentrate and constantly craving unhealthy foods. To combat this, most experts recommend the average adult follow the “eight-eight” rule when it comes to water: drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water throughout the course of every day and try to avoid chugging too much soda, coffee or juice, which can depend on their levels of sugar, dehydrate you even more.
Detach From Technology And SLEEP
According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult brain needs anywhere from seven to eight hours of shut-eye every night.
While it’s tempting to get lost in the rabbit hole of social media, or engrossed in watching a Netflix marathon of your favorite show, the rule of thumb should be not to sacrifice sleep for ANYTHING. Especially for technology.
To have a more energetic tomorrow, take some time tonight to off the TV, put down your phone, and remember that all those exciting texts, emails and shows will be there in the morning.
Quality sleep is essential to maintaining optimal energy. Make the changes suggested above and you’re sure to be on your way to more restful sleep and a massive energy boost!
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