Are you feeling “blah?” No energy? That’s one of those low-level “Pesky’s”, an underlying malaise, where you know something’s wrong, but you don’t get around to addressing it. Want to change? Okay. Here are a few suggestions. Let’s see if we can help shift your low energy levels to a happier place.
Check your biomarkers.
Perhaps your low energy levels are due to hormone imbalance? Before asking your healthcare provider, why not do some lab work of your own? Educating yourself about how your body works can be rewarding – and you’ll be passing on good information to the next generation.
Everlywell sells at-home testing kits that are easy to use and contains a lot of useful data about biomarkers – indicators of disease, infection, hormone levels and environmental exposure levels. By recording fluctuations in cortisol, DHEA (produced by the adrenal glands – which govern energy levels) and sex-related hormones, you can see if a supplement might be required, or there’s an issue with your thyroid, for example.
Turning in early enough?
Our contacts at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend that adults get at least 7 hours a night. Are you staying up late, watching TV or playing computer games?
Tell the truth. You know you’re exhausted. Give yourself a break.
ACTION: Can you get ready for bed at a reasonable hour tonight? That means supper at 7 p.m., maybe a light stroll around the neighborhood, then hot shower and pajamas by 9:30, in bed by 10. Try it. You’ll awaken refreshed. You might even make a habit of it (hint).
Reach for an avocado.
Speaking of healthy choices – how’s the snack situation at your house?
Avocado is “a nutrient and phytochemical dense food” (doesn’t that sound good?). According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the tropical fruit is packed with dietary fiber and excellent vitamins including: potassium (345 mg), magnesium (19.5 mg), vitamin A (43 μg), vitamin C (6.0 mg), vitamin E (1.3 mg), vitamin K1 (14 μg), folate (60 mg), and vitamin B-6 (0.2 mg). Studies have suggested that avocados are heart-healthy and can support weight management, especially as we age.
ACTION: Keep the sweet stuff and salty chip-style bags behind closed cabinet doors. Better still, leave them on the supermarket shelves. Keep a couple of avocados ripening in a brown bag on a dish. A bowl of seasonal fruit on the counter will catch your eye. Out of sight, out of mind on the energy-vampire snacks, and you’ll have more spring in your step.
Relying on mid-afternoon energy drinks?
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine also recommends that you look at your beverage choices and cut out the so-called “energy drinks”:
“The amount of caffeine in these drinks can make it hard for you to fall asleep, reducing your total sleep time. Energy drinks can contain two to three times more caffeine than soda or coffee.”
Right. Those tall cans of Monster may look innocuous compared to a mega-serving of dark roast java, but they’re really not.
ACTION: You’re thirsty. You’re probably dehydrated. Try that liquid that comes out of the faucet. It’s free. Grab an attractive glass (quit the ocean-polluting plastics), slice a lemon, add ice cubes, sip throughout the afternoon. Your skin will be clearer and your energy levels will stabilize.
By taking tiny steps to manage your energy levels, you won’t start questioning the very meaning of existence around 3 p.m. anymore, because you’ll not be spiking your blood sugar levels with fake caffeine and sugar substitutes. Healthy choices, that’s the idea. Just a few consistent changes and you’ll feel great.