Ever feel like all you need is a big energy boost? We completely understand. Owning a small business, tackling home projects or carving out time for people you love and things that are important to you can be exhausting. We caught up with Dr. Shilpi Agarwal, a board-certified family medicine physician who has a specific interest in preventive medicine and women’s health, to talk about how making small holistic changes in your life can help you power through. Read on for Dr. Agarwal’s top five tips, or pick up her book The 10-Day Total Body Transformation: A Doctor’s Guide To Getting Leaner, Cleaner, and Happier in Just 10 Days for more wisdom.
Ditch the late-night nightcap.
Enjoying cocktails with colleagues or while out at networking events might be part of your weekly routine, but even the slightest buzz can interfere with your energy levels. According to Dr. Agarwal, alcohol can disrupt sleep patterns and make it difficult to slip into a deep sleep. “Although you might nod off quickly, the sleep you get won’t be as as restful; you might also wake up more because of the alcohol’s effect on the brain,” she cautions. For an easy remedy, try swapping your nightcap for a night herbal tea or glass of water—you can expect to feel more restfed, which will contribute to an energy boost.
Set an exercise goal and stick with it.
Science shows that exercising boosts your natural endorphins, but did you know that it can also reduce sugar cravings? To enjoy a natural high, Dr. Agarwal says to opt for high intensity exercise four times a week. If this doesn’t work for your current wellness routine, she suggests simply moving more and setting goals that’ll help you get there. “When you decide to do something like take the stairs every day for a week and meet it, you’ll also feel more productive and energetic.”
Declutter your space.
Marie Kondo was surely onto something when she wrote about the magic of tidying up; Dr. Agarwal tells us that physical clutter can lead to mental clutter by causing stress. “When this happens, it takes up space in your brain and can make you feel tired,” she explains. “To give yourself an energy boost, create a clean work space that helps you easily focus on what you need to do. This way, you can preserve more of your energy.” So simple, yet so powerful.
Be smart about when you eat sugar.
“Sugar, especially in the afternoon, can cause a crash,” Dr. Agarwal reminds. The common culprit is notorious for being the monster behind a post-lunch slump and can bring you down in a big way. To keep yourself in check without giving up all of the sweets you enjoy, try a high protein lunch and eating minimal sugars after breakfast. “A proper breakfast (complex carbs, protein, minimal sugars) will kickstart your metabolism and your brain. It will give you the energy you need to power through the morning, and maybe even the afternoon. You might feel drained when you cut out sugar later in the afternoon on the first day, but you’ll get a real energy boost on the days that follow,” Dr. Argarwal promises.
Up your vitamin D intake.
“Most people are slightly deficient in vitamin D,” Dr. Agarwal shares. “This is partly because of the large amounts of time we spent indoors, but also because of inadequate diets.” To up your intake, be intentional about getting a bit more natural sunlight. You might also consider taking a supplement that’ll help you replete low stores; according to Dr. Agarwal, some patients say this helps boost their energy and reduce fatigue.