It’s more common than we realise — debilitating tiredness, a feeling of ‘can’t-get-out-of-bed’, low stamina. You might even throw a lack of motivation into the mix. Indeed, most of us find it difficult to get through the day without yearning for that brain break, or maybe even that afternoon nap. So what do we do? Reach for that coffee, or that chocolate bar, even though we know our energy will crash afterwards?
How can we increase energy and motivation naturally, and without the afternoon crash?
6 Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels and Motivation
Well, essential oils offer an organic aromatherapy solution to keep your body and mind focused and energized throughout the day. The question is, which oils are the most effective for increasing energy and warding off fatigue?
1. Add Peppermint oil to your daily routine
After a long, exhausting day of work, or a hard workout at the gym, rejuvenate your body by using Peppermint essential oil. To “pep” you up, you can use Peppermint in a number of ways:
- Apply directly to the skin. Rub oil on temples and back of neck.
- Add a few drops to a bath. Pair it with some Epsom salts for added relaxation — 2 cups of salts with 6-8 drops of essential oil.
- Take a strong sniff straight from the bottle, to get an instant pick-me-up. Get yourself an all-natural shot of adrenaline.
- Diffuse the oil throughout your living room or bedroom for sustained results.
All of these healthy, organic solutions will help boost your energy levels, while greatly reducing fatigue. Peppermint can be added topically throughout the day, and you can even run it through a diffuser in your home or office.
2. Orange – A powerful energy boost
Citrus oils are also great at increasing energy. They’ll make you feel more focused and productive thanks to their potent therapeutic benefits, including their powerful scent. They also have the ability to lift your mood, which is important because psychological issues like stress and depression can spur significant levels of fatigue.
Citrus oils like Orange offer a fresh, sweet aroma made cold-pressed straight from the peel. Its energy-boosting scent delivers a number of health benefits. And it has no shortage of uses:
- Apply 1-2 drops just behind the ears or back of neck.
- Add a couple of drops to a glass of water for added flavour and improved health.
- Diffuse throughout the room to improve both mood and energy.
- Combine with oils like Frankincense and Peppermint for better mind and body energy.
3. Quality sleep is critical
We know this is an obvious statement! But if you’re not getting quality sleep, you’re going to face fatigue and a lack of energy throughout the day. It’s getting the quality sleep that’s the trick — falling asleep easily and awakening refreshed in the morning.
There are a number of essential oils that improve sleep. But arguably the most popular oil for insomnia, anxiety, and general rest is Lavender. While working as a mood-enhancer, Lavender is a calming solution that is perfect for bedtime application.
Working as a natural sleep aid, Lavender aromatherapy helps you get to sleep faster, while helping you to stay asleep throughout the night for a beautiful restful sleep, ready for fight the next day with energy to take on the day.
4. How your diet affects your energy
If you want to stop feeling tired and level out those energy levels, your diet is a good place to start. One simple technique that can make a massive difference to keeping your energy levels stable is paying close attention to your blood sugar level.
Processed foods and refined carbohydrates (think white bread and white pasta) can cause blood sugar levels to rise very quickly. That can feel instantly great, like a shot of coffee, but it has physiological consequences. The result is a basic ‘what goes up must come down’ effect. You go from feeling top of the world to crashing as your blood sugar level plummets back to the ground. Its simple physiology doing its thing – and it can be easily avoided. Avoid this by eating little and often, to make sure you are constantly topping up blood sugar. Obviously, I don’t mean eating large meals continually –I’m talking about a good breakfast, a light midmorning snack, a good lunch, a midafternoon snack, and finally a good dinner.
The real trick to this is the food choices that you make. Get this wrong and you could make matters worse, not better.
Instead of those processed refined carbs, you want to be focusing on lean proteins, healthy fats, and as much of the green stuff as you can manage. These will help to keep you full for longer, maintain your blood sugar at an even level, and therefore won’t cause energy spikes and dips.
It is also worth while ensuring that at each meal you have a good quality protein source, a good complex carbohydrate, and some healthy fats. So think chicken and avocado multigrain wrap, fish with brown rice and vegetables.
5. Up the B’s
One of the single most important nutrient groups to really give you an energy boost is the B vitamins, as many are directly involved in creating energy at a cellular level.
To up your intake of B vitamins, try to consume lots of green vegetables like asparagus and broccoli. Brown rice, eggs, and even good old vegemite are also good sources.
If you really can’t face your greens, you could always think about supplements – though make sure to take a full B complex, rather than taking individual B vitamins in isolation, as they all rely on each other.
The other beautiful thing about the B vitamins is that they support the central nervous system during times of stress.
6. Mighty magnesium
Magnesium is one of the most commonly deficient nutrients our diet – which perhaps helps to explain why we all feel tired so much of the time. Magnesium is involved in over 1000 enzymatic reactions in the body. It’s vitally important in providing our cells with energy.
So keeping your magnesium levels topped up is a helpful way of making sure you feel full of energy.
Top of the list for magnesium-rich foods is the green vegetable. The chlorophyll contained in green veggies is almost identical in structure to haemoglobin in humans. Our haemoglobin has iron attached to it, chlorophyll has magnesium, and so if it’s green, it is magnesium dense. Other good sources include nuts, pulses, fish and bananas.
Michelle Gardner is a trained nutritionist and wellness coach with ten years experience working with essential oils. Michelle works with Young Living Essential Oils on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.