Whether you’re regularly finding yourself struggling to get out of bed in the morning or slumped on the couch at 5 o’clock in the evening, it’s no secret that the winter season has its way of zapping our energy at the most inconvenient times.
Winter is the time of year when Mother Nature pulls all of her energy inward, so it’s not uncommon to feel fatigued or sluggish if you’re not balancing your energy expenditure with enough rest and rejuvenation. If you’re feeling mentally, emotionally, or physically exhausted this winter, it might be time to take a step back and rethink some of the habits and behaviors that are contributing to it.
Unfortunately, not all of us have the resources or time to always get 8 to 9 hours of sleep, eat healthy and home-cooked meals, or practice yoga and meditation for an hour or more every single day. We all lead busy lives, and during the holiday season especially, life can get pretty hectic.
Despite the benefits of taking the time to implement healthy lifestyle practices, a few minutes might be all you really need to get an energy boost. When time and resources are tight, look toward the following healthy tips to leave you feeling energized both mentally and physically.
1. Spend 10 to 20 Minutes Exposing Yourself to Daylight First Thing in the Morning
Research has shown that sunlight exposure in the morning helps regulate the circadian rhythm so that you feel more alert during the day and better prepared for sleep at night. So go ahead and take the dog for a short winter walk, bundle up and take your time getting the mail, or simply stand outside your front door and say a mantra silently to yourself.
2. Take 5 Minutes to Prepare Some Freshly Juiced Fruit or Vegetable Juice
When there’s not much time to cook or eat an elaborately healthy meal, turn to your trusty juicer (or consider investing in one if you don’t have one) to reinvigorate your body. Getting a direct dose of the sugars from fresh fruits and veggies without the fiber to slow digestion makes all their healthy nutrients readily available to your body, feeding and detoxifying your cells simultaneously.
3. Take a Minute to Eat a Healthy Snack High in B Vitamins
Fatigue can be caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, so just by changing your diet, you could get a natural energy boost. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal-based foods like meat, fish, and dairy products, but vegetarians and vegans may benefit from a B12 supplement (talk to your doctor about it first) or nutritional yeast that contains B12.
4. Set Aside 10 Minutes to Practice Half Sun Salutations (Ardha Surya Namaskar)
When you’re feeling low on energy, the last thing you probably want to do is a sun salutation. The solution? Half sun salutations! Made of just two poses, mountain pose (Tadasana) is an empowering pose that represents how we present ourselves in the world while standing forward bend (Uttanasana) helps us release internal energy. Practice a few of these to stand tall and wring out what’s not serving you.
5. Take a 7 to 20-Minute Power Nap
Last but not least, don’t underestimate the power of a quick power nap. Just 5 to 10 minutes is enough to boost alertness. If you’re a coffee drinker, you can even have a cup immediately before you nap so that the effects of the caffeine start setting when it’s time to get up. Check out some of the other health benefits of napping in one of our previous Yogi’s Journal posts.