The weather is gloomy, you’re busy AF, and nine hours of sleep is an occasional luxury instead of a daily occurrence—of course you’re lacking energy RN. This time of year is when we start lacking motivation to keep up with our workout routines and crush our career goals, all because we’re feeling a little lethargic. Staying on the couch for hours and watching Hallmark movies sounds much more tempting than working an extra hour or going for a run, leaving us to depend on a second, third, or fourth cup of coffee in hopes that we push through feeling sluggish and unmotivated. But when low energy has you dragging your feet, a cup of coffee, candy bar, or afternoon nap might not be enough to boost energy (and may even be making it worse in the long run). Instead, try these five hacks to treat low energy at the source, improve productivity, and boost motivation so that you can crush your health goals, no matter how much your schedule or the weather tries to hold you back.
1. Try CBD
We’ve talked a lot about CBD for relaxation, deeper sleep, and even help reaching orgasms, but the super ingredient should not just be reserved for the bedroom. Yes, CBD can help promote a sense of calm and stress relief, which in turn promotes sleep and relaxation, but it doesn’t make you tired or have lower energy. In fact, CBD can help promote focus, increase productivity, and alleviate certain symptoms that might be negatively impacting your energy levels (like stress or chronic pain). Whether you need more energy for a busy workday, packed schedule, or tough workout, CBD might be the secret ingredient you’re missing.
We love Equilibria because their products are high-quality, organically grown, and made without GMOs, heavy-metals, and pesticides—it’s basically like the farm-to-table version of CBD (and when it comes to supplements, it’s so important to know where they’re coming from). To increase energy, focus, and productivity while staying calm and relaxed (unlike your caffeine high), add the Daily Drops to your morning coffee for sustained energy throughout the day, rub the Energy Roller onto pulse points for a boost before meetings or workouts, or take the Daily Softgels for increased energy over time.
2. Manage stress
PSA: Stress consumes a huge amount of energy, both physically and mentally—especially during this time of year when we have busy to-do lists and loaded schedules on top of regular everyday stressors. It’s crucial to have a stress management plan, whether it’s taking regular breaks from work, scheduling two or three days a week for alone time, or having regular therapy sessions. In addition to a stress management plan, try reducing it altogether wherever you can. Streamline your decision-making (try meal prepping or planning your OOTDs in advance), prioritize only what needs to get done each day, and rearrange your budget to outsource tasks you don’t need to do (like treating yourself to a cleaning or meal delivery service). Even the little things that don’t seem as stressful (like daily chores or picking out outfits) can add up. Limit the small sources to allow room for necessary stressors (like a huge work presentation) so you’re not overwhelmed.
3. Be intentional about your sleep
If you’re getting enough quality sleep at night, you should have enough energy to get through your whole day (yes, that means without three cups of coffee). If you’re feeling sleep deprived, you may think the obvious answer is to fit in a nap after work or on your lunch break. However, naps throughout the day might be impacting your ability to fall asleep at night or throw off your circadian rhythm, leading to a lack of energy throughout the day. Instead, get to bed 10 minutes earlier every night until you’re waking up without an alarm and feel well-rested during the day. Have a nighttime wind-down routine to prepare your body for deep sleep by dimming lights, taking a warm shower or bath, and doing a screen-free relaxing activity like meditating, journaling, or reading a book (stick to relaxing, easy reads instead of thrillers or mysteries that will get your brain going).
4. Move the body
When you’re lacking energy, the last thing you want to do is exercise. In fact, you may even skip a workout altogether due to low energy (guilty). While you should always prioritize rest when your body needs it, movement can help with the occasional (and seasonal) lethargy. There are many biological reasons that exercise boosts energy, like increasing circulation in the body and releasing feel-good hormones, and many people swear by a quick workout as an alternative to their afternoon coffee. It may sound counterintuitive, but expending whatever you feel like you’re lacking will bring more of it to you. When you spend a little energy to go for a walk, do a fast yoga flow, or do some jumping jacks in between Zoom meetings, you’ll be bringing more energy to you to feel more alert for the rest of the day.
5. Get outside
When the temperatures drop and the weather is gloomy, we’re less inclined to want to take a walk on a lunch break or drink our morning coffee in our yards, but getting fresh air can dramatically improve energy levels. Because being outdoors can have restoring effects, it can decrease fatigue and improve focus. Forest bathing is a Japanese practice that has been around for thousands of years for its mental and physical benefits (including increased energy levels), and one study even found that participants’ energy bounced back when they just looked at pictures of nature. If it’s cold where you are, try to bundle up and take a brisk walk when you feel an energy slump coming or get some sunshine first thing in the morning. If all else fails, try a light therapy lamp that mimics the effects of the sun (safely) to improve the low energy you might be feeling due to lack of sunlight.
This post includes a sponsored mention of Equilibria, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board.