So many of us exist on the brink of burnout. We’re so used to feeling fatigued that we forget what it’s like to be operating at full capacity. It’s been months of stay-at-home orders and here we are—more exhausted than ever. What many hoped would be a chance to slow down has brought its own set of energy-sapping challenges.
We understand the impulse to put off rest for some future time. There’s an overwhelming sense of urgency right now. Just remember that the things in your life worth losing sleep over are the very things that need you to show up well-rested and at your best. If you often find yourself totally drained, you should really look at getting more rest. However, for those times when you simply have to push through—here are 8 simple ways to get over a slump when you need a one-off energy boost.
Get some sunshine
There are few things more uplifting than a bright, sunny day. That’s because sunlight actually boosts our serotonin levels, making it a powerful mood and energy enhancer. Even as the temperatures drop this season, try to take advantage of this amazing natural energy source by throwing on a few extra layers and soaking in some rays.
Take a power nap
We know it’s easier said than done, but if you’re really exhausted, try to give yourself a brief window of midafternoon shuteye. The Mayo Clinic recommends aiming for between 10 and 20 minutes to wake up focused and alert.¹
Stretch your legs
If you’re sitting at your computer all day, your energy is bound to get stagnant. Just a few minutes of walking around will get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Studies have even shown that a short walk can be as energizing as a shot of espresso.²
Try an ice bath or a cold shower
Ice baths are having a serious moment in the wellness world. Proponents claim a range of benefits, but we love them for the jolt of energy they give us when we’re feeling drained. Cold water speeds up our heart rate, boosts circulation, and leaves us feeling refreshed and revived. Any type of cold plunge will do, so if you don’t have time for a bath, try a quick burst of icy water in the shower.
Practice Chair Pose
Also known as the Lightning Bolt due to its shape, Chair Pose reminds us of our ability to embody the energy we need. It opens the hips, strengthens the legs, and also activates the back of the body where our adrenal glands are located. Additionally, having our arms up over our heads opens the lungs and increases air flow. Try it on its own or as part of this brief flow.
Try Breath of Fire
Your breath is so powerful. It can calm you down or pump you up, depending on what type of breathwork you practice. For a burst of energy, we recommend Breath of Fire. It features quick, sharp exhales that are created by contracting the abdominals in a “pumping motion.” Just a few minutes of this type of breathing is said to ignite the fire within by activating the solar plexus, our own eternal energy source. Brand new to Breath of Fire? We recommend this tutorial first.
Tap this acupressure point
The Ming Men acupressure point is said to replenish your energy reserves by nourishing the kidneys and clearing stagnation from the lower back. To work with it, stand up tall and bring your hands into loose fists behind your back. Gently tap around the point for about 1-3 minutes. As you do this, breathe deeply and feel your body filling up with life-force energy. Practice Ming Men any time you need a break from work, feel drained, or need a quick boost of energy.
Diffuse a citrus essential oil
Add some zest to your day in seconds with a citrus essential oil. Whether you use a diffuser or simply hold it under your nose, close your eyes, and breathe deeply, the fresh citrus scent will help to awaken your senses and, according to some studies, may even boost your mood.³