|Do you feel like a 25-watt bulb in your 150-watt life? If so, maybe it’s time to shed some light on your personal energy crisis — and create a plan for recharging.
Here are some simple — but powerful — ideas to give you a boost. Try adding one or two strategies a week to your routine to keep your energy building.
Week 1: Food — the juice that runs you
Make sure you’re getting premium fuel. This week, take steps toward eating for more energy — and better health.
Plan ahead. Map out a week of healthy meals and snacks. See “This week’s healthy grocery list” for a handy shopping tool with wholesome foods.
Break for breakfast. Your brain and muscles need morning fuel after hours without food. This three-part combo can provide the energy and nutrients you need: a whole grain plus fruit and a source of lean protein — for example, oatmeal with berries and low-fat or fat-free yogurt.
Week 2: Sleep — your renewable energy source
When you don’t snooze, you lose — energy, that is. So this week, focus on getting the rest you need.
Keep a bedtime. Slip between the sheets at the same time each night. Most adults should aim for seven to eight hours of slumber. Keeping your bedroom dark, quiet and cool can help you drift into dreamland.
Squeeze in a short power nap — if you find it helps. But it’s best to do this in the early afternoon — not too close to bedtime.
Week 3: Exercise — the pep in your step
A brisk walk can be a great go-to energy booster. And over time, getting more fit can mean having more energy. This week, begin to move more.
Put it on your daily calendar — as nonnegotiable appointments. Pressed for time? You don’t have to do it all at once. Start with 10-minute sessions worked into your day — and build from there.
Recruit a buddy. Maybe the two of you could give salsa lessons a whirl or stretch your limits in a yoga class. Or how about reprising a childhood favorite? Maybe you loved to bicycle, swim or play basketball. You’re more apt to keep doing an activity you truly enjoy.
For safety’s sake, talk with your doctor before significantly increasing your level of physical activity.
Week 4: Energy siphons — your vitality drainers
This week, make some positive changes to help keep your zip from getting zapped.
Unwind daily. Take a few minutes each day to de-stress. Whether you journal, do crosswords, putter in the garden or just enjoy a quiet moment, it can be revitalizing.
Say “No more.” Snuff out bad habits that are dragging you down. For example, if you smoke, seek help. Make an appointment with your doctor to talk about the options available to help you quit.
Finally, as you make energy improvements, remember to be patient if you have setbacks. It takes time for new habits to click on for good.
What to do next
Just breathe. Help melt stress away with this deep-breathing exercise. Practice it now.