When I think of summer, I think of beach days, lots of sunshine, and even more heat. While summer weather is great for a nice tan, the heat can suck the life right out of you. We are living in a time of crisis where we need even more energy to be who God called us to be. We need energy to serve our family, friends, co-workers and community. We need energy to stay disciplined, to stay positive and to stick to some semblance of healthy routine.
If you need more energy, here are seven energy-zappers and a few tips to get your mojo back.
1. Inactivity – It is hard to be energetic when you are stuck indoors all day. In fact, waiting for the next COVID update can be downright paralyzing. It is hard to break a lazy streak, but it is the quickest way to get your energy back. Physical activity strengthens muscles, helps your body become more efficient, and it even increases the production of energy-producing brain chemicals. Activity is literally energizing. Whether you take a brisk walk or play catch with your kids, 30 minutes of activity can make a world of difference.
2. A Poor Diet - Most people are not surprised to hear poor diet choices lead to low energy. Poor food choices are not just deep fried or loaded with sugar. They are poor food choices because they lack the vitamins and minerals necessary to produce energy. Sadly, most people are overfed and under-nourished. They get plenty of calories but still lack the nutrients to feel good and preform at 100 percent. Boost nutrition with a good vitamin supplement. Avoid processed foods to decrease energy-zapping inflammation and eat a high-protein low-fat diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains for a steady stream of energy throughout the day.
3. Too Much Stress – We all know stress is a killer, but it doesn’t just increase the risk of a heart attack. Stress kills energy. Scripture tells us exactly how to respond to stress saying, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6).
Medical experts encourage meditation as a way to fight stress and so does God’s Word. Unfortunately, we often meditate on the wrong things like the latest COVID news. Instead of letting your mind go wild with worry or frustration, you have the power to choose your thoughts.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8). If you really want an energy boost, think of all that God has done for you, “I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.” (Psalm 143:5).
In addition to prayer and meditation, you can fight the effects of stress with holistic remedies like adaptogens to help regulate your cortisol and strengthen its capacity to resist and reduce stress.
4. Not Enough Sleep – There are a lot more benefits to getting good sleep than just having more energy. Good sleep improves your health, mood, mental clarity, physical performance, weight control and immune system. If you want great sleep, protect your sleep time, stick to a regular sleep schedule, keep your room quiet and cool, and avoid stimulating electronics (like computers and cell phones) before bed. Avoiding caffeine or alcohol 6-8 hours can also reduce the chance of sleep interruptions.
5. Social Isolation – One of the other energy zappers is social isolation, which is challenging in this season of social distancing. Isolation is often associated with depression and depression is linked with fatigue. This is why we need regular fellowship. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Connecting with our friends and family refreshes our soul.
Satan would love to put a damper on fellowship so we must be even more purposeful about scheduling time with our friends and family, even if it is online. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
6. Eat Too Much – If you want to get tired in a jiffy, eat a huge meal and sit still for a few hours. Regrettably, this is a typical day at work for many people. Large meals require a large amount of energy to digest. On top of demanding digestive needs, large meals can cause our blood sugar to spike which can lead to fatigue. Either way, the best way to protect energy levels and regulate blood sugar is to eat small snacks and meals throughout the day.
7. Dehydration – Studies show that even mild dehydration can affect brain function and mood. Other common symptoms include fatigue, headaches, anxiety and mental fog. If you think about your brain being composed of 73 percent water, it is easy to understand why you would want it fully hydrated for optimum function. The next time you are zapped, down a big glass of water or two. You may find it works better than an energy drink. If we want to make a positive impact on our community, we have to have the energy to shine bright and serve people. God will equip us spiritually but we must not neglect our health. We must be willing to do what is necessary to take care of our body so we are strong and energetic to take on any task He throws our way; from homeschooling to helping a neighbor to simply doing our job joyfully.
Bonnie Pfiester is the co-owner of Lift Fitness formerly known as Max Fitness. For health tips or more information, go to liftvero.com.