There are days when a double shot of expresso just doesn’t do the trick. Your eyelids seem to have a mind of their own, heavy and eager to close, even when your brain is firing signals to stay open! Whether it’s early in the morning or a midday attack of melatonin, our bodies and our environments often hold the very tools to uplift. So when you feel more muddled than motivated, skip the usual refuge of coffee and opt for something different. Sometimes the sheer change in routine can be the ample jolt your body needs.
Use meditation to change your relationship with stress.
When stress rears its ugly head, we feel it. We sense it in our guts and our bones. Our sleeping patterns change, our diets take a hit, and our mental activities leave us feeling drained. While occasional bumps in the road are to be expected (and arguably the lows make the highs higher), unrelenting stress that’s not properly addressed can lead to anxiety and depression.
Meditation transforms how we respond to stress. In the 1960s and 70s, Dr. Herbert Benson’s research on transcendental meditation demystified the practice, showing that meditation changes the very expression of our genes (including enhanced energy metabolism and reduced activation of stress related pathways). This “relaxation response” is the opposite of “fight-or-flight” and can help counteract the effects of stress, such as anxiety and insomnia.
As with most endeavors, continued practice reaps the most reward. Cultivate a meditation routine. Sit still while the world stirs and your mind and body will thank you for it.
Go for a walk.
There is no denying that the sun plays a central role in our lives, providing heat and sustenance, dictating the cycle of growth and death, and ultimately influencing the human circadian clock.
Exposure to sunshine allows our bodies to sync our sleep with the rise and fall of the sun. With better sleep comes increased vitality. So next time you’re feeling groggy, step outside, and bask in the sun. You’re likely to sleep better for it.
Extra points for a walking meditation. This deliberate approach to an activity you do on autopilot takes you out of your mind and into your body. Walk slowly and notice each step you take; placing your foot on the floor, heel first; the shift of your weight as you lift your other foot. Focus on sensations that normally go unnoticed: your breath, the sway of your arms, sounds of nature around you, or the sounds you make as you walk.
Switch coffee for yoga.
Skip the jitters and opt for a more holistic way to feel energized. Yoga allows you to move stagnant energy, hone your focus, and relax your mind. Try poses that are heart openers, including cat-cow, cobra, sphinx, and camel. Even a 10-15 minute practice during the afternoon can change your mood and leave you feeling refreshed.
Eat for energy and stay hydrated.
It’s no secret or surprise that the food we eat affect the way we feel. Opt for foods with high fiber content and complex carbs, which stabilize blood sugar levels, keeping you energized all day. Quinoa, lentils, beans, chia seeds.
Keep a food journal. The foods that soothe one person could likely upset the next. Keeping a food journal helps you pinpoint patterns in your diet and make effective changes to give you more energy.
At a cellular level, water is almost everywhere in the body. Water helps with your digestion, lubricates your joints, and helps rid your body of toxins. Add flavor to this with lemon, cucumbers, mint
Use essential oils to uplift.
When you find yourself reaching for your second or third cup of coffee by mid-afternoon, try reaching for an essential oil instead. Citrus blends tend to uplift and motivate. Peppermint and eucalyptus are worthy options too. Some brands even concoct their own inspiring and uplifting mixes. dōTERRA’s InTune, Citrus Bliss, and Motivate blends are worthy companions. Apply these to the bottom of your feet in the morning, diffuse in your home or office, or apply one or two drops to pulse points.