By Kim Foster, MDfor GalTime.com
A frantic workday sends you to the brink of collapse…but it's not just that. A stack of ironing drains your energy, but still, it's not just that (because let's be honest, can anyone finish the ironing without fading?). The thing is, last weekend you were too exhausted to meet your girlfriends for brunch. And yesterday you actually skipped a shoe sale in favor of a nap.
Now, if those aren't signs something's got to change, I don't know what is.
If you've been feeling sluggish lately, you're not alone. Fatigue is very common among modern, busy women. So many errands, so little time. And that time becomes even shorter if you simply can't get off the couch.
If you need a little more oomph, what can you do?
Help is here. Read on for three tips to punch up your vitality.
Related: Top 7 Reasons You're SO Tired
1. EAT BREAKFAST
Skipping breakfast is a sin that's easily committed. But your body needs fuel (especially in the morning), and then throughout the day, evenly dispersed.
In our culture, the small (or nonexistent) breakfast and lunch, followed by a huge dinner is absurd. You need energy at the beginning of the day, when you've got all those tasks ahead of you, not at the end when you're winding down.
Start your engine with a hearty breakfast. But we're not talking doughnuts here. Feast on a combination of complex carbs, protein, and simple carbs. Bagels, yogurt and fruit, for example.
Research has shown that making a habit out of eating breakfast improves academic function, lowers stress levels, and imparts a greater sense of physical and mental health. Not to mention the numerous studies that demonstrate an association between breakfast and a slimmer waistline.
Beyond breakfast, commit to refilling your tank at regular intervals throughout the day. Many experts feel the five-small-meals-a-day approach is the best one. Give it a try, and watch what happens to your energy level.
Related: What's Your Edge?
2. HIT THE SACK
And not only for sleep. Regular sex is an energizer. Sexual activity revs your metabolism and increases blood flow. It's a fabulous de-stresser. It can promote better sleep. What's more, it releases those feel-good endorphins that will restore your joie de vivre.
Ironically, complaints of fatigue are an often-cited reason for skipping intimacy. But tangling the sheets may be exactly what you need to banish those sluggish feelings. Too busy? Make a date with your partner. It may sound unromantic, but many people swear by the success of this strategy.
Research has repeatedly shown the myriad benefits of regular meditation. But do you really have the time/opportunity to find a nice quiet place, change into comfy clothes, light candles, turn on the perfect background whale music, etcetera?
If the answer is no, consider mini-meditation. Just about anybody can take a quick 3 minute time out, no matter where you are. With a little practice you'll be amazed at how proficient you can become at sinking into a deep meditation in a short time. This little maneuver can help you calm and recharge…like pushing a reset button.
Practice this 2-3 times a day:
Step one: Focus your awareness. Take one minute to become aware of your current state: thoughts, emotions.
Step two: Pay attention to your breath. In the next minute, focus on breathing. Where in your body do you sense your breath the most? Your nostrils? Your chest? Your belly?
Step three: Reflect on sensations. Spend the third minute bringing your awareness to your physical body. Notice sensations: warmth, coolness, pain, tingling.
And there you go! Ohm…
Stay tuned for part two of my energy tips. Soon, you'll even be ironing with zing.
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