In the 24/7 world we live in, where there are almost constant drains on our energy reservoir, it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that fatigue is one of the most common complaints among high-achievers. Although some cases of fatigue have an underlying medical basis (and medical causes should always be ruled out), there are many instances where the fatigue is caused by an overload on your physical and mental resources.
However, the problem doesn't just stop with fatigue. So many of the high-achieving women I work with think that if they can just rally and push through their fatigue, they've won the battle for that day, and they just hope that tomorrow will be a better one. Unfortunately, it rarely works that way.
Fatigue leads to other problems and therefore compounds its impact on all that you do. For example, fatigue decreases productivity, worsens judgment, interferes with planning, disrupts memory, increases risk of making errors, lowers immunity, zaps creativity, and exacerbates stress. Therefore, having an arsenal of simple strategies to help you recharge should not only improve your energy level, it should improve many other performance-related areas as well.
Here are seven surprisingly simple strategies that you can add to your routine to help recharge your battery.1. Reduce the amount of daily news that you watch and read.
Only a small portion of the news that we watch and read is positive and uplifting. Most of it is tragic, depressing, and disappointing, which after a while can leave even the most optimistic person feeling drained by the negativity. While I'm not suggesting that you stick your head in the sand and stay blissfully uninformed, I am asking how many times do you need to watch the footage of a tragedy like the recent downing of the Malaysian airliner over the Ukraine?
Glance at the headlines and move on to something more productive, or spend the extra time you have watching the many videos of random acts of kindness, heartwarming stories of caring and empathy, or belly laugh funny experiences that are regularly posted to social media sites. (Even if they don't increase your energy, they should at least restore your faith in humanity.)
2. Treat yourself to a sea salt bath.
Energy Medicine Practitioner Eden Clark of JohnandEden.com says that in many traditions, sea salt is "believed to help remove heavy energy that can get stuck, so-to-speak, within the energetic/auric field of the body—also known to scientists as the electromagnetic field." Some people, she says, are more sensitive to picking up the negative energies that other people send out, which contributes to their feelings of depression, sluggishness, or lethargy. Because of its concentrated mineral content, sea salt can help remove this layer of negative energy, with the added benefit of helping to pull out chemicals and toxins from the body that can weigh us down. Clark points out that this is why so many people feel refreshed after a swim in the ocean.
When taking a sea salt bath, Clark recommends:
- using sea salt from the Dead Sea, which has one of the highest concentrations of minerals (she specifically recommends Bokek® Dead Sea Salt)
- use at least 2 to 3 cups of sea salt in the bath
- lavender can be added for an increased sense of relaxation (but she recommends wild-harvested or organic high quality lavender for true benefit)
- after the bath, be sure to rinse off with fresh, clean water (even if it's just a face cloth soaked in fresh water, then rubbed all over the body), and
- be sure to clean the tub before the next use.
Clark also cautions against sharing a sea salt bath with anyone, or letting anyone use the bath water after you've bathed in it because "it would be like letting someone else soak in contaminated water, and they could pick up what you just released."
3. A dose of golden root a day keeps the fatigue away. According to Dr. Oz, one of the best fatigue zappers is 150 mg of golden root at breakfast every day. He explains that golden root acts like an anchor by stabilizing your feel-good hormones, which helps you resist stress and fatigue throughout the day. Klaus Ferlow, writing for Energy Grid Magazine, adds that although golden root is "probably the least known adaptogen in the West," it's the most impressive as far as its mood-enhancing and anti-stress properties. Klaus notes that several studies have found that golden root not only enhances mood and helps you better cope with stress, it also improves mental stability, increases attention and memory, and enhances productivity by increasing strength and mobility.
4. Get up and get out. Rarely are your responsibilities so all-consuming that you can't find ten minutes at some point in your day to get away from what you're doing, get outside, and walk around (and if you can't, you should start looking for a new job). A quick walk outside has two benefits: 1) Natural light is naturally invigorating, and 2) the walk increases your energy level. Although exercise when you're fatigued may seem counterproductive, research out of California State University has found that taking a brisk walk for just ten minutes immediately boosts your energy level and does so for up to two hours. Regularly getting out and about enhances your energy level even further.
5. Listen to music. According to Dr. Robert Thayer, author of Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise, music can serve as an excellent energy booster. In an interview with Shape magazine, Thayer says that music is next in line after exercise in raising energy levels. Researchers in Belgium have discovered that this is particularly true for music that has a march-like rhythm.
6. Spend time with positive, happy people and avoid energy vampires. It's really quite simple. Positive people lift us up and should be embraced. Negative people bring us down and should be avoided. However, in order to prevent energy vampires from sucking the life out of you, you first have to identify them. Fortunately, it's not that hard. Energy vampires are the people in your life who are chronically negative, seem to always be in constant crisis, and view life as a series of bad experiences even on "good" days. Being around them makes you feel depressed, exhausted, and mentally depleted. The fewer energy vampires you have in your life, the more energy you'll have.
7. Eat breakfast daily. When we sleep, we fast, which leaves our bodies low on calories. Because calories are what give our bodies energy, low calories equate to low energy. The simple solution? Eat a healthy, high-fiber, low-fat breakfast each morning. If you don't have time to make breakfast before you leave in the morning, keep a box of healthy breakfast bars in your car so you're not running on empty when you get to work or wherever your schedule may take you.
Consistently incorporating all or even some of these energy boosting strategies into your daily routine should have you feeling more energized in no time, and that boost should increase much more than your energy level. You should see improvements in concentration, performance, creativity, and overall health.
And please stay tuned for an upcoming article (later in August) where we'll hear more from Eden Clark on the issue of fatigue from an energy (meaning energy body/auric field) perspective.
© 2014 Sherrie Bourg Carter, All Rights Reserved
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Sherrie Bourg Carter is the author of High Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout
(Prometheus Books, 2011).