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    Wednesday, June 4, 2008

    Quick Energy Boosters




    It’s hard to feel happy when your energy level is low. The simplest tasks feel overwhelming, people seem demanding, and even activities that you’d ordinarily enjoy seem like too much trouble. On the other hand, when you have plenty of energy, life seems more fun — you’re also more likely to feel good about yourself. Not only that, being viewed as an “energizer” makes you far more likely to win a positive work evaluation.

    When you’re feeling low-energy, plunking down in front of the TV or digging into a tub of ice cream can seem like an appealing fix. However, research shows (and you know it’s true) that these aren’t good routes to feeling better. Try some of the fast-fix choices below. If you can’t tackle a big task, do something small. Even a little step in the right direction will give you a lift.

    1. Get enough sleep. If you never wake up before the alarm blasts, you need to go to bed earlier. People become accustomed to the feeling of being sleep deprived, but they don’t really adapt to it. Make getting enough sleep a top priority.

    2. Go for a brisk walk. One study found that even a 10-minute walk was enough to supply a feeling of energy and decreased tension.

    3. Listen to your favorite upbeat song. Hearing stimulating music gives an instant lift. Along the same lines…

    4. Sing out loud. It’s hard to feel grouchy when you’re singing — and the goofier the song, the better.

    5. Take a short nap, if you’re the napping type. Many people find them very energizing. My father has been known to take three naps in one day.

    6. Act energetic. Research shows that when people move faster, their metabolism speeds up. Acting energetic will make you feel more energetic.

    7. Along the same lines, spend time with energetic people. People catch the moods of other people, and energy (or lack of energy) is highly contagious.

    8. Talk to friends. I’ve noticed that if I’m feeling low, and I run into a friend on the street, I walk away feeling much more energetic. Reach out if you need a boost.

    9. Cross a nagging chore off your to-do list to get a big rush of energy. Unfinished tasks drag us down, so force yourself to tackle one thing that’s nagging you to get a huge rush of energy.

    10. Make your bed. It doesn’t take much time or thought, and it provides a feeling of serenity and control when you come home at night.

    11. Make something right. Apologize, confess, repair, replace, or return something you borrowed.

    12. Go outside into the sunlight. Light deprivation is one reason why people feel tired. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood.

    13. Clean up. I’m not sure why tidying makes such a huge difference, but when I feel like I can’t face the day, I just tidy up my desk, and I perk right up.

    14. Drink some coffee! Coffee gets a bad rap, but the fact is, it really does boost alertness, energy, and ability to focus. (Plus, it’s a great source of antioxidants and it contains a high level of soluble dietary fiber.)


    Written by Gretchen Rubin
    May 2008

    Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project (Harper Collins) is due out in 2009.


    One thing I would add to the list . . .
    TAKE VITAMINS AND HERBAL SUPPLIMENTS



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