Hectic schedules and lifestyles can take a toll on our vitality. Often we make ourselves a last priority. Truthfully, there is only so much we can accomplish if we are running on empty.
One sign that our vitality may need some attention is when we start feeling a drop in energy or “run down”.
Do any of the following ring true for you?
- Do you wake up unrefreshed in the morning?
- Are you fatigued throughout the day, especially between 2 – 4 pm?
- Do you constantly reach for a caffeinated drink to make it through the day?
- Does your mind race at night when you are going to sleep?
To reclaim your vitality, make small adjustments to four core areas to increase your energy levels, become more resistant to stress, and boost your immune defense.
Our body heals and restores itself while we sleep so it is important to get high quality sleep. Assess your sleeping environment. Is it free of distractions and interruptions? Is it dark enough, quiet enough and a comfortable temperature? If not, take necessary steps such as blackout curtains, white noise machines, ear plugs and eye masks. Next, assess your night time routine. Set aside an hour before bed to allow your mind and body to relax. Things to avoid during this time are large meals, television, computer screens, and intense mental and emotional work. Try to add in gentle stretches, meditation, relaxing baths, and soothing music.
There are essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that our body needs to rebuild itself. Because modern agricultural practices and food processing has affected the quantity and quality of our food, it is important to be mindful of our daily nutrition. Working with a Holistic Doctor, such as a Naturopathic Doctor, is an excellent way to ensure optimal nutrition levels. Some golden rules are: eat lean, organic protein; buy fruits and vegetables that are organic, local, and in season; eat produce raw or lightly cooked; buy whole grains such as amaranth, barley, or brown rice. Supplementation is also an option and for best results, work out your individualized regime with your Doctor.
Acute and chronic stress can weaken your adrenal glands, zap your energy, and lower your vitality. Make sure to take mini-breaks during the day for deep breathing, visualizations and affirmations. Daily relaxation exercises such as transcendental meditation and self-hypnosis are excellent for calming the mind and lowering stress chemicals in the body. Also, try humor to increase your endorphins, especially anything that makes you laugh out loud.
An excellent way to increase your vitality is to increase your physical activity. If you don’t enjoy exercising in a gym, try doing activities you love such as dance classes, bike riding, swimming, taking walks in your neighborhood, hula hooping or jumping on a small trampoline. Make sure to do it long enough that your heart rate increases. Also, be sure and check in with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. If you experience excessive fatigue that persists despite your best efforts it is important to see your Doctor. Persistent fatigue can be a symptom of more serious issues.