Boost Your Energy Level in 11 Steps

Learn how to recharge your batteries so you can keep on going like the Energizer bunny.

Tired of Having No Energy?

Everyone feels tired now and then, but are your energy stores totally depleted? Think of it this way: If you blow a fuse in your house, you can’t expect to get power back by lighting a few candles and searching for food with a flashlight. You’ve got to find the bad fuse, replace it, and reset the system. Same goes for your energy. Before you reach for the big Cs to snap out of your sluggishness (you know . . . cookies, candy, carbs, and caffeine concoctions), we’ve got an 11-step plan to pep you up.

Consider Your Sleep Habits

It’s pretty basic, but you need to get your ZZZs. Sleep loss is a major energy drain. Our bodies and brains need 6 to 9 hours of sleep to restore good brain-cell functioning (i.e., the ability to perform physically as well as mentally, since both coordination and thinking require those brain cells to work well). Getting on a regular bedtime schedule will help set your internal clock so your body knows when to sleep and when to wake. Find out what’s causing any sleep issues you may have.

Train Your Brain

Tell your body you want to watch Glee reruns all night and — thanks to mechanisms called feedback loops — you downshift energy production. This explains why you can feel too tired to move even though you’ve been sitting around all day. Tell your body to move and it responds by giving you the energy to get moving. Your body teaches your brain. That’s how healthy behaviors become automatic habits. This may be tough the first few times you try, but it gets easier.

Stay Hydrated

Getting to the point where you’re just starting to feel thirsty (a mere 2.6% drop in hydration levels) is one of the quickest ways to take the spring out of your step. In fact, being even just a little dehydrated can lead to unpleasant feelings, such as fatigue, crankiness, and foggy thinking. When you feel yourself dragging, grab a tall glass of water. Another plus of H20: people who drink water throughout the day consume a whopping 9 percent fewer daily calories.

Cut Back on Sugar

A sugar-filled diet gives you about a birthday candle’s worth of energy, while a healthy diet is more like an eternal flame. Work on limiting simple sugars (they end in –ose, such as glucose, sucrose, maltose, and dextrose — ribose is OK), syrups, and any grain that’s not 100% whole. Ribose is the exception because it’s a special sugar made in your body. It doesn’t come from food, but does come in supplement form and can help build the energy factories of your body. It’s not for everyone, so talk to your doctor first.

Trade TV Time for Exercise

No time to exercise, but plenty of time to watch TV? Exercise can do a world of good to boost your energy, so even on days when you don’t feel up to it, try to do some kind of physical activity, such as walking, strength training or cardio to kick your feel-good endorphins into high gear. Still uninspired? Try the 10-minute rule. Make a deal with yourself to get moving for at least 10 minutes. Chances are, once you start, you’ll feel so much better that you’ll keep going.

Spend Time in the Sun

Short days can causes seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — neurochemical changes in your brain due to lack of sunlight. From late fall until spring, people with SAD become depressed, sleep too much, withdraw from friends, and battle low energy and relentless carb cravings. To prevent SAD and get energized, try to spend some time in the sunshine. If there isn’t any, ask your doctor about light therapy, which involves sitting in front of a special box that shines ultrabright lights.

Sip Tea

Black, green, and white teas all contain the energizing amino acid L-theanine, which isn’t found in coffee. Green tea contains free-radical-fighting compounds that help you stay younger and avoid the aging and decrease in energy that accompany chronic disease. Although green tea has one-third the caffeine of black tea, it’s been shown to yield the same level of energy and attentiveness.

Get a Daily Dose of Magnesium

For a little extra get-through-the-day energy, top your veggies with toasted sesame seeds. They’re loaded with magnesium — a mineral that cells need in order to convert food to energy. Other magnesium-rich foods include: whole grains, dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, and cashews. Magnesium not only boosts your energy, it also helps strengthen your bones and keep your heart, nerves, muscles, and immune system functioning well.

Take a Power Nap

Close your office door or slip out to your car for a quick snooze. Power naps, or “cat naps,” can boost your mood, memory, and productivity. They also increase your alertness and energy while lowering your blood pressure. To get the most out of your siesta, keep it short (10 to 30 minutes), aim for midafternoon, and get comfy (kick of your shoes, loosen tight clothing and darken the room). Can’t take a nap? Opt for an afternoon walk or office-gym workout.

Eat More Mini-Meals

To stay energized all day, you have to eat often. That means shifting away from three big meals toward five to six balanced mini meals. To maintain steady energy levels, pair complex carbs that are high in fiber (e.g., beans, peas, and whole grains) with unsaturated fats (e.g., avocado, walnuts, or mixed greens with olive oil). Add protein, such as lean meat, nuts, fish, and edamame, as an accent rather than as a main dish.

Still Tired? Talk to Your Doctor

If you’ve tried everything under the sun to boost your energy but still feel tired, it’s probably time to make an appointment with your doctor. Share how you’ve been feeling, when your fatigue began, and what factors may be causing it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and to find out what treatment options may be available to you.
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A “Bad” Habit That Helps You Live Longer?

Some of us just can’t live without our morning coffee fix. And some of us may be feeling a little guilty about that.

Not to worry. Your morning cup of joe could actually be helping you live longer. A recent study has linked coffee drinking to a reduced risk of death, regardless of the cause.

Healthy or Not, Here I Come!
Over the years, research has produced mixed results on the health benefits of coffee. But a recent study was a win for the earthy brew. Heavy java drinkers (2 or more cups per day) experienced a modest decrease in all-cause mortality, including death from heart disease. We can probably credit the antioxidant-rich beans used to brew the stuff. In fact, Americans drink so much coffee that it’s one of our top sources of antioxidants. 

Reality Check
So what are the caveats for coffee drinking? There are only a few. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you don’t need to be told not to be a java junkie. And unfiltered coffee can raise blood fats, so use paper filters and ditch the French press. Although it remains to be seen if coffee has a long-term impact on blood pressure, we know it can cause a temporary spike, so go easy if you have high blood pressure. And — as always — do everything in moderation. A pot-a-day habit probably doesn’t do anyone any favors.

Quick Steps to Effortless Creativity

This post, by Belle on March 27, 2012, “Quick Steps to Effortless Creativity” really helped me with my creativity maybe you will find it helpful as well.

We are, by our very nature, creative. Creativity flows through us constantly. Yet when we strain and struggle to be creative, we’re only creating strain and struggle.

So sit back, relax, breathe.

The key to effortless creativity is simple: stop resisting it.

Creativity is as easy as breathing. Surrender to this and you allow your creative nature to shine through. And when you’re straining or stuck again, remember these steps:

3 Quick Steps to Effortless Creativity:

1. Know that you are inherently creative.

“Living Enlightenment is being intense in every moment and responding intuitively to achieve your limitless potential for creativity and joy.” -Paramahamsa Nithyananda

If we begin to believe we’re not creative, then that’s what we’re expecting and creating in our lives. Return to the truth of your inherent creativity. Feel the creative power surging through your veins at every moment. The fact is? There is no atom in your being that is not creative!

2. Don’t judge your creativity. This is the cause of so many of our “blocks.” We think we have to create in a certain way, to a certain standard, with certain tools on certain days! We’re very picky. Instead, accept whatever comes through you without judgement, only love. When you love what comes through for you, when you accept it and welcome it, you remove the blocks and enter the powerful flow of creativity.

You might find yourself getting creative about dinner- and if you let it flow, it’ll flow right through dinner and on to your canvas later. Or, you might find yourself inspired to create a treasure hunt- which will make your writing glitter with unexpected gems.

Don’t limit the ways in which your creativity longs to express itself, and you’ll find it overflowing in all areas of your life.

3. Get playful. If you’re laughing and having fun, your judging, ego nature takes a back seat. Ask yourself, “What’s the most fun and unexpected way I can approach this?” Then take yourself for a wild ride!

The trick here is to do something odd, different, or just plain immature for the sake of having fun! I promise if your first priority is to have fun, your creativity will be a wild horse you can barely keep up with. Turn dinner into a food fight, skip backwards on your way to a stuffy business appointment, make a necklace out of bubblegum “beads”- you get the picture!

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”  ― Albert Einstein

Exercises That Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain and Fatigue

I don’t have Fibromyalgia Pain and Fatigue however I came across this article and thought I pass it one maybe it will be helpful to others.

Exercises That Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain and Fatigue

 

Move Past the Pain

 

No doubt about it — physical activity can sometimes be tough when you’ve got fibromyalgia. You can’t do much on the days you’re feeling drained. And on the days you’re feeling good, you may be tempted to overdo it. But to cope better with your condition, you’ve got to exercise, even if it’s just a little bit, because grinding to a complete standstill is only likely to make your symptoms worse. But the trouble is, there’s no one-size-fits-all exercise guideline for folks with fibromyalgia. And strenuous activity may set you back. So you’ve got to be smart. But with a bit of trial and error — and guidance from your doc — you can determine what type of physical activities make sense for you, as well as how much, how often, and how intensely to do them.

 

Try Gentle Water-Based Workouts

Whether or not you’re a water lover, you’ll want to at least try water exercises. Numerous studies report that this form of low-impact exercise — especially when done in warm water — can help reduce pain, stiffness, fatigue, and depression in many people with fibromyalgia. And you don’t have to endure the back-and-forth monotony of swimming laps if that’s not for you. There are a variety of fun, get-wet workouts to choose from — including music-based aqua aerobics, underwater walking or jogging, strength training, stretching, and water-based relaxation therapies like yoga, tai chi, and Watsu. Heck, some spas and fitness centers even offer pool-based Zumba, hip hop, and country-western line dancing.

 

Aerobics for Land Lovers

If working out in water is not your thing, plug into a beginner fitness video a few nights each week. Research suggests that cardio-based aerobic exercise can be an effective way to curb pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression in people living with fibromyalgia. Better yet, the options are endless. If you prefer group workouts, you can choose from a variety of low-impact dance-based aerobics classes, step classes, spin classes, kickboxing classes, and more. Prefer solo workouts? Try treadmill walking, elliptical training, or even roller-skating, hiking, or biking. Whatever exercise you try, check with your doctor first, and stick with low-impact aerobics done at light to moderate intensity. No aggressive workouts; you’ll just exacerbate your symptoms that way.

 

Strengthen Your Muscles for Relief

You don’t have to be a body builder. But lifting light weights or doing other types of resistance-based strength training might improve your symptoms. Fewer fibromyalgia studies have been done on strength training than on other exercise forms, but resistance training shows equal promise in its ability to relieve pain and fatigue, improve sleep, reduce the number of tender points, and dampen depression in people with the condition. Strength training also may prevent weakening and loss of muscle mass (atrophy) to boot.

 

Step Away from Pain

One of the easiest things you can do is lace up your walking shoes and hit the sidewalk. Research suggests that mildly to moderately intense walking may dial down pain and fatigue just as well as other forms of aerobic exercise do. But ask your rheumatologist or physical therapist how fast, how far, and how often you should walk when starting out. And build up your walks gradually. How much you should ultimately walk will depend on several factors, including your age, your fitness and activity levels, the severity of your fibromyalgia symptoms, and whether the activity worsens or improves your pain and fatigue. Keep in mind that it’s probably also best to do mini walks here and there rather than take one long walk.

 

Stretch It Out

Compared with aerobics and strength training, less research has been done on the benefits of stretching for people living with fibromyalgia. But a smattering of findings do suggest that stretching exercises, including those used in physical therapy and yoga, may help reduce overall stiffness, improve muscular flexibility, and enhance well-being in people with fibromyalgia. Consider consulting with a licensed physical therapist for prescribed stretching exercises that are safe for people with fibromyalgia.

 

Work with a Physical Therapist

If you’re new to exercise or just not sure what kinds are safe for you, ask your doctor or rheumatologist for a referral to a licensed physical therapist — one who is trained in working with fibromyalgia patients. This is not a fitness trainer, but a medically trained physical therapist. Working closely with this kind of expert may help prevent you from aggravating your symptoms with the wrong kind or intensity of exercise. That’s especially true if you have other physical conditions or injuries to work around. Plus, some studies do suggest that physical therapy helps improve flexibility and range of motion, emotional well-being, and muscle loss and weakness in people with fibromyalgia

 

Tai Chi and Chi-Gong (Qigong)

These two forms of ancient Chinese medicine combine gentle martial-arts-based movement, postural exercises, breathing exercises, and mindfulness meditation. Tai chi is one of many types of chi-gong (qigong), and both disciplines were developed centuries ago as techniques for enhancing the body’s vital life energy (or chi) as a way to heal disease and increase well-being. Both activities have received some serious attention of late from fibromyalgia researchers. More study is needed to confirm whether the exercises have a direct effect on pain, but findings do suggest they might enhance the ability to cope with it. And both exercise forms have helped relieve anxiety and depression in people with fibromyalgia. Tai chi seems to enhance balance and lower body flexibility as well.

 

Stick with It

The best way to ensure exercise improves your fibromyalgia? Don’t stop once you start. Getting fit and controlling symptoms does not have a beginning and an end. And being a faithful follower of your exercise program is what brings continuous results. Research suggests that the symptom-improving benefits of any exercise program may take up to 4 weeks to fully kick in, so be patient. And remember, whether you are just starting out or have been at it for a while, if exercise ever hurts or makes your symptoms worse, stop. Break it up. Exercise in small spurts. And keep it low-key. The last thing you want is to overdo it. And if you can’t find anything that works for you, check in with your doctor or physical therapist as soon as possible to find out what other treatments you might need to get back on a more active path.

Does Overload Equals Depression

I remember a number of years ago my older brother said:,  “if I have to much on my plate I get overloaded and end up not getting anything done”.  I really don’t remember anymore what made him make the statement. I do remember I was in my early teens and really didn’t understand the correlation.  Actually it took me a very long time to understand his statement and I just realized in the past 3 years what a paralyzing effect it can have on someone.if they overload themselves, struggling with depression and have lost the structure and order in their life.

However, having a full schedule can be healthy and invigorating for someone who is struggling with depression if the schedule has the needed structure and order.

Until my father passed away, I really didn’t understand depression nor did I feel depressed at any time.  Maybe it was also that during college and then later during the early years in my career I was so busy I didn’t have any time to think about much of anything.  Or better said, didn’t take the time.

After my father passed away and I had lost  my job I have had for almost10 years, ever since I finished college.  I couldn’t motivate myself to do much of anything.  I was seriously depressed.  All I did was sit around worrying about how I was going to pay my bills, what was going to happen with my career, where will I be 10 or 20 years down the road. The more I tried to motivate myself to do things, such as working out, cleaning house the more depressed I gotten because I just kept adding things to my to- do list.

The thought was, now that I”m unemployed I have the time to do XYZ. I made my bucket list and my wish list.  Things that had been in the back of my mind for years that I wanted to do or have or experience were brought front and center.

Now I had time to do them but I didn’t have the money. So, all I did was sit in front of my PC applying for jobs.  There were days I emailed out over 50 resumes.  I applied for every job there was out there and nobody called me back. I was just tumbling down the rabbit hole faster and faster.

Finally after starting behavioral therapy I ended up getting a better understand about depression as a whole and the therapy helped me to bring structure and order back into my life.  Getting back into the routine of getting up early, getting a little workout in and routinely going through the things you had listed on you to-do list for the day give you the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.

How do you deal with your Lunar Days?

So, how do you deal with your lunar days?  We all get them. With “we”, I mean the ones who are blessed with the female gender.

Our beloved lunar days, they come once every four weeks.  For some of us they come with the physical clues.  We wake up and feel somewhat not as usual, we go to the bathroom and then there is the ahhhh it’s that time again.  The physical clues bring the realization and the “home free card”. We walk through life (at least some of my friends do) saying “I’m PMSing what is your problem.  In today’s world, PMS give us girls the license to do anything and everything. We turn into the raging lunatics and believe we have every right to do so. In the old days women probably weren’t as compelled to draw attention to it out of fear for being burned at the stake.

For others lunar days come without physical evidence.  Either due to stress, being underweight or due to some lovely implant.  For me, I rarely get them but when I do, they come with vengeance. The problem is when there is no physical evidence you realize you are a total lunatic and it takes time to figure out why.

I have been a raging lunatic all weekend.  This time it took me a total of two days to figure out what the bloody hell was wrong with me and by that time I did, I was totally of the rockers.  In a span of 15 minutes I went through every human emotion possible.  That is from flaming mad with lighting blots shooting out of my eyeballs to the sobbing petty me.

I made through Saturday and Sunday without doing anything majorly stupid.  Well, I resigned to buying cigarettes and smoked like there was no tomorrow.  I made the mistake of not locking my cell phone away but other than that I did OK.  I kept myself busy with studying, doing endless mind numbing tests and added three more painting to my collection.

However, this morning I couldn’t get up.  I had no reason to get up.  I didn’t have anything on my schedule to sustain my life so to speak.  I didn’t have a job to go to.  True I have a number of projects but with these projects may become fruitful in months or years so why bother. We want instant return.  Going back to the emerging neurosciences post, this morning the status was missing to get me out of bed and be functional.  Will power isn’t there if you have the monster lurking underneath.

My cell phone was ringing non-stop and finally at around noon I picked up one of the calls.  The person at the other end said “Hi how are you” and at that moment I lost it.  All the emotions, everything I tried to keep in check during the weekend became unraveled and I let go “How I am? You want to know how I am.  I’m telling you one thing, this whole thing about Garden of Even. This whole thing about women being punished with child labor pains is a bunch of BS.  If G-d is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent then he would have known that we are going to come up with painkillers and epidural anesthetic. Hence this concludes that if there is a G-d and that G-d is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent he/she/it gave women PMS as the punishment”.

The person on the other end answer “well I actually was just calling to wish you Happy Hanukkah and wanted to know if I could borrow the CD we talked about, however it appears you are no having a good day. What to talk about it”

No, not really there was nothing to talk about it.  I was just a raging lunatic.  I ended up getting up and kept myself busy still the monster was trying to push through.

Depression is an interesting thing.  Today I realized for the first time how closely related depression and anger really is. I’m also starting to believe that PMS isn’t really that big of a problem unless you have other issues going on.  During your lunar days you are more prone to lose control.  I’m not really sure why. Looking at it biologically our body is gearing up to its most fertile days.  So is it possible that men are more attracted to raging lunatics?