Author Scott Adams suggested that personal energy should be the main metric we use to measure how well our lives are going. We all have lots of demands on our time and lots of different priorities. How can we juggle all those priorities and make sure we do the most important things first? “The way I approach the problem of multiple priorities is by focusing on just one main metric: my energy,” says Adams. “I make choices that maximize my personal energy because that makes it easier to manage all of the other priorities.”
Here are some ways you can feel more energetic.
Get enough sleep
Adults generally need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.
Developing good sleep habits helps you get enough sleep to feel rested and energetic.
Stress can really deplete energy. The emotions that come with stress take up a lot of energy, and stress can also prevent good sleep.
Healthy ways to cope with stress include meditation, exercise, and just taking time for yourself.
A study from the University of Georgia found that sedentary people who started exercising regularly increased their energy levels by 65% after six weeks.
Regular exercise also helps you sleep better.
Eat for energy
The food you eat is fuel. If you rely on processed foods, you’re not providing your body with the right kind of fuel, and you probably will have energy swings. Self-medicating with sugar and caffeine can cause a surge of energy followed by an energy crash.
Make every bite count by choosing whole, nutritious foods:
- lean protein
- fruits and vegetables
- whole grains
- dairy products without added sugar
- nuts and healthy fats like olive oil
Skipping meals and severely limiting the kinds of food you eat can also cause fatigue.
Talk with your doctor if you need help planning healthy meals.
Stay hydrated, too. Dehydration can cause fatigue.
If making these lifestyle changes doesn’t give you the added energy you want, you may need to talk with your doctor. There are illnesses that cause fatigue. Fatigue can also be a sign of depression. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, Fayetteville Diagnostic Clinic or MANA Family Medicine are good places to start.