health and wellness tips Uncategorized

Reach in, Recharge!

If you feel tired, drowsy and irritable often, I invite you to recharge yourself and get your energy levels back with these tips.

What do you do when your to-do list is overflowing, and the weather is really hot and sweaty?  I would love a holiday, but I’ll have to wait until school closes for vacation and that is more than a month away. So in the meantime, I must find easy ways that don’t cost an arm and a leg to regroup my energies to keep me going like the superwoman I am. I am convinced I am a superwoman, you know. Blame it on the folks I work with. And I am also working on ways to clone myself. Did I hear someone say “oh my God?”

The funny thing is, I’ve worked in hotter temperatures than where I live right now and yet I find this unbearable. Maybe because I am used to being indoors these days and enjoy the privilege of having a refrigerator that has some nice cold stuff within my reach. But seriously, I suspect that it is really because I don’t have the endless store of energy I used to have. This sweating is really making me feel lethargic and it is an effort to get through the day.

“Things do not change; we change.” –  Henry David Thoreau 

Indeed. So enough of that boring blah-blah. It is so easy to allow things to get to us! Let’s look, instead, at how to conquer the fatigue and reclaim that lost energy. Let’s take action! Here are some super-easy ways that helped me recover my energy and made me feel instantly better.

Deep breathing exercises
Really. This helps whenever you feel tired. Just drop what you are doing. Get ready to take a few long, deep breaths. Sit straight, close your eyes and breathe gently, slowly. Inhale through your nose and exhale with your mouth. Repeat until your   heart rate is under control.  This lets oxygen into your body, lowers your blood pressure, and relaxes your keyed up muscles. With each breath, think about how you’re letting your body refresh itself with the oxygen. (More on the right breathing technique)

Move 
Sometimes, when I work on a writing project, I find that the endless text makes me drowsy.  I love to reach for that cup of coffee that gives me the illusion of being infused with a fresh dose of energy.  But. There’ something else that works better. Getting up and moving not only renews the flow of blood in the body, but also feels good. Every hour, I make it a point to take a mini-break – just a couple of minutes. I get up, do a few stretches. I walk around the house and sometimes do a five minute chore. Oh, I have a long list of those. The movement gets the circulation going and restores your energy, along with the satisfaction of fixing something and getting it off your list. (Six reasons to exercise)

Bite into a healthy snack
There are days when, in spite of a timely breakfast, I feel peckish and somewhat dull in the middle of the morning.  To get those sleepy blood sugar levels back up, an energy filled snack is the answer.  I love pistachios and was very pleased to find out, years ago, that they’re listed as a healthy snack. I also enjoy fruits – bananas, apples, pears and pomegranates, and now, with mango season starting up,  I am dreaming of chilled smoothies all the way. So refreshing.

Designer Water
I read this somewhere and fell in love with the phrase. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Cool or not, water happens to be the best way to fight fatigue.  You already know why you should drink up those eight glasses of water every day. This is very important because when our body gets dehydrated, the vital oxygen flow to our organs can slow down – and make you feel the loss of energy. So go forth and sip. If plain water is too boring for you, add some excitement to it with fruit juice or a dash of lemon – or opt for iced green tea – it will do wonders for your health.

Some sight-seeing 
You’re familiar with my Sundays in my city posts where I show off my photography thanks to Unknown Mami’s initiative. I love to take a stroll around my area and photograph everything in sight. But you don’t have to be a shutterbug to enjoy this. When stress attacks your energy levels, looking at something pleasing can be an instant “upper”.  This is especially true for those who hold desk jobs. Looking at scenes you like triggers the release of those happy chemicals in the brain and this boosts your immune system, which, in turn, raises your mood. So just take a few minutes off and go look at something you enjoy seeing. If nature scenes are not accessible, keep a bunch of your favorite pictures handy. Even easier when you work at the computer. Create a folder with your favorite photos and feel your energy come back.

A stroll
So stress is eating away at your energy and maybe you can’t get to the bottom of what is causing your stress. What you can do is choose how to react. Go for a stroll and make it a routine habit. Choose to do it early in the morning or whenever you can spare at least twenty minutes. If you have a park near where you stay, that’s great. I head to my terrace every evening at 5.30 with my son to walk, watch the sunset and the birds. As you stroll, observe everything around you and focus. Allow your thoughts to flow freely. Let your breathing be even and steady. Soon you’ll find yourself relaxing and feel better.

Let the fingers do the talking
My Grandmother always advised a relaxing head massage when we looked as though we would wilt. A gentle scalp massage with oil relieves tension. If you are not used to oil massages, brushing your hair can also be soothing.  It also invigorates your scalp, increasing your awareness. Even better, get someone to do it for you for double the goodness. The trick is in the repeated movements that cause the feeling of calm to settle over you.

Catch up on your carbs
Our body depends on carbohydrates for fuel.  This means healthy complex carbs like wholegrain breads, brown rice, fiber-rich cereals, fruits, veg and legumes. Avoid white pasta, white bread, and other white flour based goodies that are high in sugar. Maybe you feel a rush of energy when you eat them, but the high is quickly followed by a lousy low. Go for colorful fruits and veg. I just love biting into a juicy tomato or nibbling on a carrot or radish. Healthy carbs add nutrition while building your energy store and maintaining your blood sugar levels.

Laugh a lot
This is guaranteed to work. No wonder they have laughter clubs where people just get together and laugh – setting their tension free and regaining their energy. Laughter has many benefits.  Ask any child. Laughter is like a stretching exercise for your whole body as it boosts your circulation, recharges your breathing while oxygenating your brain, wakes up your muscles and generally makes you feel great. No group to laugh with? No problem. Read a hilarious book or some jokes that make you laugh. Watch a comedy show. Chat up a friend and laugh together. Lighten up and lose the stress.

Get enough zzz
Did you know that a lack of adequate sleep can mess up your system? It can play havoc with your energy levels. I realized this because of late, I’ve been sleeping around 1 am and waking up at my usual 5.30 am every day. Now – I am someone that gets by with an average five hours of good sleep. I am one of those lucky people who is off to dreamland the moment my head meets my pillow. But a steady run of late nights and being up early was beginning to show through fatigue. Add to this, the hot weather. Not my favorite combo, I tell you. I also found that when I went to bed at 1 am, I wouldn’t drop off to sleep right away. I’d be wide awake for at least another hour. Crazy.  So make sure you have a regular bed time and wake up time that lets you sleep well. Also check to see if your bed is comfortable – sometimes all that tossing and turning can be caused because of this. And don’t forget to make your bed every day as soon as you wake up. Nothing like a neatly made bed to invite you to sleep.

Music
Enough said, eh? So crank up that volume (or not) and listen to your favorite melodies and energize yourself.

Are you posture perfect?
No? Neither am I. But I am conscious of it most of the time, especially when I learned the benefits of positive posture. Sit straight. It is not difficult. In fact, you’ll find that when you develop the habit of sitting straight with your abs pulled in, you can sit comfortably for longer.  It seems that your sitting posture can influence the way oxygen flows in your body.  When you sit slumped, the oxygen flow decreases. If all it takes is to sit straight to conserve your energy levels, would you not do it? And anyway, posture impacts our self-esteem, confidence and how we see ourselves.

I can think of 30 things that make me happy, but here are some real quick energy-boosters:

  • Recall a happy moment
  • Smile at someone, anyone
  • Hug someone
  • Donate something
  • Cook something
  • Call a friend
  • Read a post from your favorite blog
  • Sing a song
  • Have a long leisurely bath
  • Soak your feet in warm water
  • Take stock of what you want to do
  • Make a wish list
  • Enjoy a power nap
  • Watch a movie
  • Create a vision board
  • Fantasize
  • Send yourself flowers
  • Play a game
  • Say a prayer
  • Add to this list

So you see, it is all in our hands. We have the power to make a difference. Take action now. Don’t let your tiredness spoil your day.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. 
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself!” ~ RUMI 
(Tweet this quote)

Are you ready to say goodbye to stress?
Thank you for subscribing to my blog! Do consider leaving a comment – or just reply to this email! I’d love to know what you think.

Cheers!

Vidya

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Terri Sonoda
    April 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Excellent post, Vidya! I think all the things you mentioned are great suggestions. For me, getting enough sleep is vital. If I don’t get enough Zzzz’s the body aches (arthritis) and the mind isn’t as sharp. I also thing laughter and moving are important. Loved the Thoreau quote. He’s my favorite author of his time.
    Have a lovely weekend! Looking forward to your Sunday post.
    XOXOs
    Terri

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      Dearest Terri – Sleep is very important. The more I read research about how sleep affects our lives, the more conscious I am becoming. I am one of those types who zz’s the moment I lay down. I also read sufficient sleep is necessary to maintain healthy weight. I love that one 😀 Imagine sleeping it off! Hugs – am always glad when you visit. Love you!

  • Reply
    Betsy at Zen-Mama
    April 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I love this post, Vidya! Everything, from the first picture to last Rumi quote is great! Love your list of quick energy boosters as well. I would add plant a garden because I get a lot of energy from being outside and gardening.

    • Reply
      Betsy at Zen-Mama
      April 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      PS Thanks for the link! I didn’t see it the first time!! 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Thank you, Betsy dear! Yes, I’d love to have a garden – you’re right about it feeling so good. Right now I am relying on my lonely little pot 🙁 No scope for a garden, unless I grow one in a tray indoors! Thank you for visiting and it is always a pleasure to link to you!

  • Reply
    Joy
    April 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Wonderful article:) I love that you choose to be aware, and that you share do-able tips that allow us to experience inner peace *regardless* of external.
    As for cloning, if you figure it out, please let me know *grin* my children would each love their own version of me, as would some of my friends…

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Thank you, dearest Joy! 😀 I will let you know when I break the “clone” code. 😀 Hugs to you!

  • Reply
    Unknown Mami
    April 13, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Yes, all the way around. The best part is that these tools are readily available to most.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      Right! That is precisely why I enjoyed writing this post 😀 I know I would not do it if I had to go out and get something! Hugs!

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    April 14, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Vidya,
    you always make me 🙂 even when I don’t want to.

    I love your positive, beautiful, fabulous energy.

    I feel your warmth thousands of miles away.

    Love Love love. <3 Xxxx

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Thank you, dearest Kim! Your words energize me! Hugss! Sending you love.

  • Reply
    Cathy | Treatment Talk
    April 14, 2012 at 4:44 am

    Hi VIdya,

    Love your list. I would add read a great book. That makes me happy, as well as anything outside. Great paragraph on posture as well. That is so important. Sleep can also make all the difference in our energy levels. I need my eight hours, but I know others who can get by with less. We just need to find what works for us. Thanks for a great post.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      Oh, Cathy! You’re so right. How did I miss that? it is one of my favorite ways to de-stress! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Paige | simple mindfulness
    April 14, 2012 at 12:39 am

    I had to smile reading about how you’re handling the heat. I’m about to start a fire in the wood stove while I’m watching the spring snowflakes fall. 🙂

    I definitely needed this post this week! I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and have been struggling to force myself to take the breaks that I know I need. You’ve given me some great new ideas! My usual ones are breathing, yoga, water and a walk (I’m lucky enough to live in the woods). I really like the idea of the head massage and I know I need more sleep. Looks like we’ve been on the same sleep schedule!

    Thanks for this just when I needed it! Hugs!!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Ah, Paige! 🙂 Someday I want to touch and play with snow! I’ve never seen snow. I try my best to do yoga, but find that I get too distracted. Sleep is vital to stay sharp. 😀 My Mom recommended meditation – and I do that often, yet, the ideas i posted are the ones that work best for me.

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Hugs!

  • Reply
    Galen Pearl
    April 14, 2012 at 1:54 am

    I have become a big believer in belly breathing. Everything you listed is so helpful. I also need to drink more water. I’ve started having water close by everywhere. A glass on my desk, a bottle in the car, a glass by the bed. I keep them all full and try to remember to take a drink every time I pass by.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Galen! yes, belly breathing is something my Mom’s physiotherapist used to recommend. Glad you’re conscious about water – I believe being thirsty is a sign that our body is already feeling the dehydration! We’re in the middle of summer here and even a little less water is disaster as it brings on all sorts of problems. Hugs and thank you so much for your valuable input!

  • Reply
    Aileen
    April 14, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Love your tips – I hadn’t thought “designer water” but I do add lemon slices, orange slices and cucumber to chilled water when I need a “pick me up” from sluggishness.

    Your post is a great reminder how much choice we do have – to move in a direction other than the internal tendency. It’s empowering.

    love that your suggestions are doable too 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      Don’t you love that phrase, Aileen? 😀 I haven’t tried cucumber slices in water as I prefer to eat the crunchy-ness. Thank you for your lovely comment!

  • Reply
    Harleena Singh
    April 15, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Great post Vidya!

    Yes indeed, the things you have listed are mostly the ones I follow when I sit with my writing projects, just that coffee is replaced with tea in my case, though I am careful not to go beyond a cup 🙂

    Music, strolls, moving around the house, deep breathing, water intake, are some things in common with us I think. I haven’t really done any kind of photography, which is mostly done on vacations or when all of us drive out of our place. I guess within our working schedule days it gets tough getting out always. And yes, my healthy snack is always a kind of fruit I have before the meal, which is the best time to have them as you get your full nutrition that time.

    Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      April 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      Thank you for visiting, Harleena! Yes, I find that fruits are a great snack because they need no prep! Healthy too! We walk a lot here at home and that’s fun too. Photography is fun – especially when we look at the pictures after a while. 😀 My favorite way to de-stress! Hugs to you!

  • Reply
    sridevi
    September 7, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Just reading this post is revving me up . Next time I write , I’ll keep a bowl of pistachios ready .And I simply love to listen to zen music while I’m working 🙂
    sridevi recently posted…Seven Lessons in Wellness and Healing that Life Taught Me- Day 5My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      September 7, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Same here, Sridevi. Nothing uplifts like music! 🙂 Mix the pistachios up with almonds. Even better.
      Vidya Sury recently posted…7 Deadly Sins Of BloggingMy Profile

  • Reply
    Richa Singh
    September 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Massaging, drinking water and music are already there on my lists to rejuvinate. And in fact I have music plugged in now as well. Vidya I was reading the post and it suddenly struck me, your style of writing is so flowy. The words simply enter my mind and heart. Its a long post by all standards and yet I never felt that while reading! Kudos on that woman 😀
    Richa Singh recently posted…Write Tribe and me- A friendship forever postMy Profile

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