Show Notes – Ep 018: How to Increase Energy Levels Naturally
In this week’s episode, I share five incredibly effective things that you can do to heal your fatigue naturally and how to increase energy levels!
One of the most common complaints that I hear from our community of changemakers and my activist friends is, “I’m so exhausted and burnt out! I just don’t have the energy.” I was that exhausted and overextended activist many, many times, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
We can do change-making work and be energized, passionate, and enjoy life. In fact, when we take the time to balance and increase our energy we become more effective changemakers!
It took me many years to learn this lesson, but by studying (and embodying) Ayurvedic practices and the latest research around energy balancing I now approach my change-making work and life with energy and vitality!
According to Ayurveda, the holistic wellness system of the Indian sub-continent, there are many things that we can do to naturally boost and balance our energy. This Ayurvedic approach to energy balancing gets to the root cause of your exhaustion and energy swings. You won’t find any weird supplements or neon-green energy drinks here!
Below is a brief outline of Episode 018: How to Increase Energy Levels. Please listen and subscribe to the Happy Me Happy Earth podcast wherever you get your podcasts to listen to the full episode!
Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash
How to Increase Energy Levels Naturally
Practice #1: Identify what is draining your energy and do something about it!
What aspects of your life are draining your energy? What are your biggest stressors?
My free Self-care for Changemakers guide lists common stressors and energy drains that changemakers, activists, and advocates tend to face. Some are obvious, and others are much more subtle and hard to identify.
Download the free PDF here to be guided through a step-by-step process to identify your energy drains and make a plan to do something about them so that you can increase your energy levels.
Practice #2: Stop following blanket health and self-care advice
According to Ayurveda, we are all beautifully unique. Our unique constitution or original makeup is called prakruti in Sanskrit. This means that health and self-care practices that work great for me may or may not work for you. By identifying your unique prakruti and following nutrition, eating, sleep, and movement routines tailored to your unique constitution you can learn how to increase energy levels and maintain balance in your body, emotions, and mind.
An Ayurvedic Health Counselor can assess your prakruti. As part of my Ayurvedic life coaching program, Becoming the Change, I assess your prakruti, identify any current imbalances that may be causing health issues or low energy, and help you to develop practices to heal those imbalances.
Trying to conform to standard health and self-care advice makes it very difficult to learn how to increase energy levels in your unique body. However, there are some things that work for most bodies.
Eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods will help to keep your gut microbiome healthy and keep your hormones and energy balanced. Also, be sure that you are eating enough food and quality fats and oils. So many people today, especially women, do not eat enough food or enough fat to meet their energy needs. Demonizing food is one of the not-so-sneaky ways that the patriarchy attempts to keep us small and weak (physically and metaphorically).
Practice #3: Move your big meals to earlier in the day
According to Ayurveda, we should eat the bulk of our food early in the day to keep our energy balanced. By eating a big, filling breakfast and lunch and a smaller dinner we get energy from our food when we actually need it! This means that your body is able to use more of the nutrients from the food that you eat instead of storing them away or eliminating them because you’re going to sleep.
Eating in this way has been a game-changer for me and my clients. This practice has improved digestion, improved sleep, and balanced energy levels.
Practice #4: Upgrade your sleep
Of course, any post about how to increase energy levels must include tips to improve your sleep hygiene! According to Ayurveda, each person’s routines and habits around sleep should vary according to their prakruti, but there is some overarching wisdom that applies to us all.
First, stop eating 3-4 hours before bedtime (when possible… nobody is perfect!) so that your body has time to digest your food before you fall asleep. Your liver and other organs perform hundreds of functions while you sleep, and undigested food can disrupt these important processes.
Second, get sunlight on your skin in the morning. Preferably before 10 AM. Sunlight helps to regulate our hormones and our sleep cycle by affecting our circadian rhythm. When our sun is exposed to sunlight we produce a chemical called melanin. Our penial gland then uses that melanin to produce the hormone melatonin. Melatonin aids in the regulation of our circadian rhythm and helps us to go to sleep and stay asleep!
Third, that melanin to melatonin conversion is triggered by darkness, so make sure that the room that you’re sleeping in is super dark! Cover up windows and any little lights on electronics.
Lastly, experiment with different bedtime routines and habits such as lowering the lights, reading, lighting candles, listening to calming music, meditating, etc. to see what works for you. Through patience and experimentation, you can learn how to increase energy levels and improve your sleep.
Practice #5: Get moving!
It might seem counterintuitive, but exercising, even when you’re feeling fatigued, does give you more energy. If you’re feeling exhausted please do not go out and do a HITT workout or hot yoga or intense weight lifting. I’m talking about gentle types of movement like walking, stretching, gentle forms of yoga, or dancing to a song.
Start small and build up the intensity and duration of your exercise gradually as your energy increases.
Herbs to balance energy levels
Two Ayurvedic herbs that have been used for thousands of years to help balance energy levels are Ashwagandha and Shatavri.
Shatavri is used to reduce fatigue, balance energy, improve stamina and endurance levels, and boost immunity.
Ashwagandha is a great supporter of overall health. Its reported benefits include stress and anxiety relief (huge energy drain), increased brain function, and sharper focus.
I hope that you found this episode of the Happy Me Happy Earth podcast incredibly helpful and that you now know how to balance energy levels naturally.
I want to invite you to pick just ONE of the practices that I shared about today to experiment with in your life. Trying to apply all of this information at once is a surefire way to overwhelm and further exhaust yourself.
Which of these tips piqued your interest? Which would be easiest to apply to your life?
It’s incredibly important that changemakers, activists, and advocates learn to balance their energy and heal fatigue. You have important work to do, and by taking care of your health and well-being you can become an even more effective agent of change!
Download the FREE Self-care for Changemakers guide to learn how to be an agent of change without sacrificing your health!
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Thanks for listening and/or reading!
Featured image: Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash
Podcast music: “Bounce” by Coma-Media on Pixbay