Let’s start with one of the most common complaints heard in practically any doctor’s practice – low energy, fatigue, tiredness, exhaustion, stressed. Energy, or lack thereof, goes hand in hand with mood – be it feeling down, flat or anxious and wired. We all want more energy. It’s a subjective thing. There is no test that reveals how much energy you have in your gas tank. What is for sure is that having more energy makes it easier to engage in life and activities (like social and exercising), all of which boost moods! You ever notice how absurdly difficult it is to make breakfast when you just can’t seem to bounce out of bed?
As a naturopathic doctor, my main job is to find the cause of any disruption to the body-mind concept. The causes of low energy are as numerous as you may think, plus more. From hormonal, nutritional and sleep irregularities to psychologically derived. Your naturopathic physician is a specialist in this area. There may not be anything medically ‘wrong’ with you. Lab test, x-ray or biopsy will not reveal anything. But you know your energy just isn’t what it used to be! By the way, aging is no excuse for low energy (think hormones)!
As vast as the causes of low energy, as is the naturopath’s tool box of modalities and techniques.
At some point in life, everyone will experience an issue with energy.
As Robyn Sharma states in his book, The Greatness Guide, “One of the best ways to create spectacular results in the most important areas of your life is through daily practice. A series of practices are necessary in order to set yourself up for a great day.” For me, I find yoga asana with meditation or a 30 minute run, drinking at least 1 litre of water, eating something fresh (had to have been alive) with each meal and laughing with my kids to be my secret recipe. Make no mistake, life will happen and knock you off balance and away from your carefully crafted routine of health promoting practices. It’s to be expected, it’s life! But, with the daily practices (notice how the word practice is used… it’s practice for when life decides to throw you a wrench… then, it’s gametime). Your practices are in place to keep you at your best, at your optimal. Eventually, you’ll bounce back and stay in the positive highest energy with more ease.
Perseverance and effort are the 2 major elements to succeeding. The first few days of any plan are the toughest. The negative commentary and questions start running through the mind during this time. The key is to recognize it, acknowledge it and move on. Keep moving in the right direction. Before you know it, there may actually be a glimmer of a smile in your eyes as you reach for the morning toothpaste!
Here are some ideas to boost your energy levels:
Drink more water (filtered), get to bed earlier – consistently, get organized – at work and home, exercise, do something outside - every single day, high quality multivitamin (with high potency b complex), eat less simple carbohydrates (cookies, cakes, pastry, etc), yoga (http://victoria.mokshayoga.ca/), tai chi, bicycling, walk, hiking, smile more, smoothie from fresh herbs / fruit / vegetables, aim to slightly under eat at every mealtime (slightly meaning hold off taking the last 3-4 bites of your meal), listen to music, cut your caffeine down or out, weed out the negativity and energy draining relationships in your life, nurture and nourish the energy promoting and inspirational relationships, say I love you to something every single day (even if it’s yourself – in fact, let it be yourself minimally 3 times per week!), deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing exercises, be honest to others and yourself, yoga kriyas, take ‘down time’ where you do nothing (no criticizing, no comparing, no mental note taking… just exist and be present), practice mindfulness, pay it forward.
If you’re reading between the lines, you’ll see most of the suggestions are meant to dampen the fight or flight state we are constantly in. The goal is to release the hold high cortisol, adrenaline and other stress hormones have on you… unfortunately, it’s a condition all North Americans suffer from. We’ll chat more about this in a future post. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, check out what the VCNH can do for you http://www.victoriacentrefornaturalhealth.com/naturopathic-medicine/why-choose-vcnh.