Does your lack of energy make you want to hit the snooze button on your alarm over and over? Are there times you wish you could just turn off your alarm clock, roll over, and pull the covers over your head? Does this pretty much describe how you feel every morning?
And once you are up, do you find yourself sleepwalking through your shower and getting to work on auto-pilot? Is it hard for you to concentrate, much less come up with a brilliant idea, because you feel sluggish and groggy all day? Does your head feel like it’s stuck inside a grey cloud that just won’t blow over?
Well I’ve got news for you: IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT! Our modern Western lifestyle makes it nearly impossible to feel otherwise. Even if you go to the gym, chances are you spend most of your day sitting down. You work long hours and don’t get enough rest. The current state of the world has you stressed out and you often eat the fastest, easiest, and most comforting thing you can find.
Your body wasn’t made for this. So it’s really no wonder you’re chronically tired and can’t think straight!
Well never fear, because I’m about to tell you 10 simple things you can do to boost your energy and beat brain fog!
1. Take A Brisk 15-Minute Walk In The Morning
This quick little morning workout will wake you up and get your body going, raise your metabolism, boost your energy, and help you process any worries or pent up stress.
Are you wondering why we’re doing this in the morning? After all, a walk is good for you any time, right? Yes, BUT, when you do it first thing in the morning, it has many extra benefits. Here are just a few:
It’s easier to get into an exercise habit through morning walks.
Walking is a great way to wake up and it works at least as well as, if not better than, coffee!
Taking a walk in the morning will give you a feeling of physical energy that lasts for the rest of the day.
Morning walks improve your mental acuity for hours, making you better able to focus, concentrate, and think creatively.
You can easily make time for your walk by setting your alarm a half an hour earlier. Make sure you lay your clothes out the night before – studies show that people who do this are far more likely to get up and go.
If you find yourself about to hit the snooze button and really don’t feel like get up, just do what I do: ask yourself if lying there awake for half an hour is going to make you feel any better, or any more rested. The correct answer is “No!”
Commit to doing this for 2-3 weeks in a row and it will become a habit you won’t be able to imagine living without it!
2. Avoid Dairy Products In The Morning
Milk has small amounts of tryptophan, which your brain uses to make serotonin and melatonin. These are compounds that help you to relax and make you sleepy.
Many people are also allergic to milk and dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, and whey protein powder, without even knowing it. Even if you’re only mildly allergic, these can cause brain fog.
If you can’t live without milk in the morning, try an alternative milk, such as unsweetened roasted almond milk. Coconut oil is great for your brain so you can use that instead of butter. There are plenty of alternative yogurts available, such as almond, soy, and, my personal favorite, coconut. And switch to plant based organic protein powder for your workout smoothies.
3. Eat Fresh Natural Food
Processed foods are less nutritious, full of sugar, and contain artificial additives, colors, and flavor enhancers such as MSG. These wreak all kinds of havoc in your body and cause brain fog.
The more nutritious you food is, the more energy your body will have. It has now been proven that organically grown fruits and vegetables contain more vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols than conventionally grown produce. Try eating more foods that are especially good for your brain such as the ones I’ve listed here.
Top Brain Foods
Green Leafy Vegetables
4. Stop Eating Processed Sugar
Most of us love cookies and candy and often reach for them as a quick or comforting snack, but eating too much of these, causes your blood sugar to spike, followed by a hard crash not long afterwards. That’s not so good if you want to maintain a high and constant level of energy!
Eating sugar also causes mood swings, anxiety, trouble concentrating, and brain fog. Store-bought sweets and refined sugar have been found to be as addictive as cocaine because they stimulate the same reward centers in your brain. This makes you want more and more.
The next time you have a craving for something sweet, try having a piece of dark chocolate (75% or higher). Notice the difference. You will find that you are much more quickly satisfied and don’t feel the urge to eat more and more as you would with, for example, an Oreo or an M&M.
5. Take Your Vitamins
Our modern diet is not varied enough to provide the amount of nutrients our ancestors consumed. Ancient hunter-gatherers ate about 250 different varieties of seasonal fruits and vegetables, while most of us don’t even eat a tenth of that! Studies conducted as far back as the early 20th century have also shown that soil depletion has caused a large drop in the nutritional value of the fruits and vegetables that we do eat.
Not all multi-vitamins are created equal. Some have been found to be so hard and compact, that they exit your system without being digested at all! So your best bet is to take vitamins that are powdered or come in gel capsules.
A good multi-vitamin should include Vitamin D and iron, for energy, as well as Vitamin E, B Vitamins, and Omega-3, which are all particularly good for your brain.
6. Regular Breaks!
Your brain and body greatly benefit from taking a 10 minute break as part of every work hour. Make sure you take one. If you have trouble remembering to take breaks, you could set an alarm or use a reminder app. You could also keep a pitcher of water at your desk, which will force you to get up and take bathroom breaks.
Get up, stretch your legs, maybe step outside for a bit of fresh air and sunshine. Another thing you can try is my 5-Minute Energy Recharge, which I specially designed to raise your physical energy level and increase your mental focus as well.
I like to do my 5-Minute Energy Recharge as a way of getting off my chair and getting my brain and body back in top form. It’s a super concentrated combination of five energizing 1-minute cardio, brain yoga, breathing, and meditation exercises that will get your blood pumping, build new neural pathways, and clear your mind.
Want to start feeling focused and energized right away?
Click on the button below to get my FREE 5-Minute Energy Recharge Video and follow along with me!
7. Drink More Water
Your brain is made up of about 75% water. So staying fully hydrated will make you more focused, help you think faster, and give you greater clarity and creativity. If you allow yourself to get dehydrated, you will suffer from fatigue, memory problems, brain fog, mood swings, and headaches!
You should drink about 2 liters of water per day. Two easy ways to remember to do this are to:
- Fill a pitcher and keep it on your desk.
- Get the Drink Water app
If it’s winter, or if you get easily chilled, you can drink herbal tea, or warm water with lemon and/or ginger instead. This way your body won’t have to use precious energy to reheat itself. Just make sure it’s not caffeinated or you will achieve the opposite effect!
8. Get Enough Sleep
When it comes to survival, sleep is as important as food and water. While you sleep, your brain creates the neural pathways that make it possible for you to learn and create new memories. Scientists have also found that sleep removes toxins from your brain that build up when you’re awake.
If you’re habitually sleep deprived, not only will you feel sleepy and physically tired, your brain won’t work as well as it should. Your ability to pay attention, concentrate, reason, learn, and solve problems will all be impaired. Did any of you see that episode of Myth Busters where they proved that driving without sleep was far more dangerous than driving drunk?
Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep. And studies show that if you suffer from ADHD/ADD, you will need even more. Do you have trouble sleeping? Daily exercise really helps. Stop drinking coffee – or at least don’t drink it after 12 PM. Make sure your bedroom is for sleeping – don’t watch TV or use your computer as the blue light will keep you awake. Instead, do something relaxing before bed. Take a warm bath, meditate, read, or have a good shag!
9. Use Essential Oils
Your sense of smell is the only sense that triggers emotions and memories because your olfactory receptors send signals directly to the amygdala and hippocampus in your brain. That’s why the scent of a particular soap can bring back memories of your first love, lavender can return you to a sunny summer day in Provence, and the way a person smells can help you subconsciously decide if they are the right match for you.
Essential oils can be extremely useful in affecting the way we feel. They bring to mind Professor Snapes’ speech on potions from Harry Potter. “I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death.”
I use them for all sorts of things, but for the purpose of this article, here are some oils that can help you feel more energized, more focused, and more relaxed just from smelling them! You can diffuse them, or you can put a drop on your palm, rub your hands together, cup them over your nose and mouth, and inhale deeply for about a minute.
If you want to boost your mood and your energy, try putting some citrus oil in your diffuser. Lemon, Orange, Wild Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, Lime, and Bergamot are all lovely, as is dōTERRA’s special blend, Citrus Bliss. Cinnamon, Peppermint, and Lavender are also are also excellent energy boosters.
If you want to increase your focus and concentration, try Frankincense, Lemon, Vetiver, Lavender, Peppermint, Clary Sage, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Patchouli, or Cypress. I personally use dōTERRA’s special blend, In-Tune. If I take a few deep whiffs of that, I can focus and create for hours!
For bedtime, you have a number of options, Lavender being the best in my opinion. Bergamot and Frankincense are also good, as are Clary Sage and Vetiver. I personally put Lavender oil in my bedroom diffuser and it works like a charm. If I’m feeling extra awake, excited, or stressed, I’ll combine a couple, like Lavender/Clary Sage, or Lavender/Vetiver. dōTERRA’s special blend, Serenity, will also send you straight to dreamland.
Research shows that if you meditate twice a day for 20 minutes, your body rests 2 to 5 times more deeply than during sleep. Meditation will help you feel well rested and increase your energy. Because it relieves stress and anxiety, you will have a clearer mind so you can focus and be more productive. Meditating will also make you feel calmer and more relaxed, which means you will sleep better and more easily.
Good times to meditate are first thing in the morning and at night before you go to sleep. If you’re a beginner, it will probably be easier and more enjoyable for you to do this using guided meditations. There are many of these available online and I have also created a few as part of my programs, including this special Detox meditation.
So now you know ten easy ways to boost your energy and beat brain fog!
- Take A Brisk 15-minute Walk Every Morning
- Avoid Dairy Products In The Morning
- Eat Fresh Natural Organic Food
- Stop Eating Processed Sugar
- Take Your Vitamins
- Regular Breaks!
- Drink More Water
- Get Enough Sleep
- Use Essential Oils
Does this sound like a lot? You can choose a few of them and try them out for a couple of weeks. You’ll definitely notice a huge improvement. For example, #1, #6, and #8 will give you fast results. Do them all, and you’ll feel the best you ever have in your life!