In the depths of winter, it can feel harder to keep our energy levels up. It's dark early, it's cold outside, we might be eating heavier food, and not getting as much exercise, or sun.....

I thought I'd share some solid tips with you this week on keeping your energy levels high! And no, I'm not talking about upping your coffee intake!

There are a lot of simple lifestyle adjustments that can make a world of difference in how we feel and how much energy we have to tackle all we want to in our days! 

10 Ways to Increase Your Energy! 

1) Eliminate or reduce your caffeine intake. I know, I know - not what you wanted to hear. Understand that caffeine addiction is a cycle that keeps you hooked, it can make you crash harder than it picks you up, can cause dehydration, as well as mood swings. Allow your body a break where it's not dependent, and see how you can naturally maintain steady energy. If you are a heavy coffee drinker, try a more gentle version of caffeine, like green tea.

2) Drink more water! Most people are chronically dehydrated. Before you reach for caffeine, sugar, or snacks for energy, drink a big glass of water & wait a bit to see how you feel. And remember that caffeinated drinks can dehydrate you! 

3 )Eat (or drink) your greens! Dark leafy greens are chock-full of vital energy, full of vitamins & nutrients and great for improving circulation & uplifting your spirit & energy levels!

4) Use gentle sweets. If you have a sugar problem (ok, addiction), work on getting your sweet fix in more gentle ways with natural sugars like maple syrup, honey, & brown rice syrup. Eat more sweet root vegetables like roasted yams & carrots. Avoid the sugar crashes and all of the other negative health effects that processed sugar can have on your body

5) Get physical activity. If you regularly get exercise, winter can be a time when you tend to slack off. Pick it up a notch in these months to boost our energy! If you are not in the habit of working out, start small. Even 10 minutes a day, and work your way up! Moving your body is sure to pick your energy up. it can be hard to get yourself motivated when you don't have energy, but push through, knowing it's worth it! 

6) Get more sleep & rest. Know your body, and know how much sleep you need. If you are someone that needs 8 hours a night to really function well, figure out how to make that work. Maybe it means cutting a tv show out of your evening or making some other minor adjustment to your routine. Take time to rest & relax. Take cat naps, & set aside time for really relaxing. When you don't get enough rest & sleep, your body tends to look for energy in other places, and you'll be craving more food than you need as well as sugar and caffeine which can perpetuate the cycle.

7) Evaluate the amount of heavy, rich foods you eat. If you are eating a lot of meat, dairy, carbs, etc, play with your diet, and track how your energy is when you eat less heavy foods & more greens & vegetables. You'll notice a difference!

8) Make time to connect in the ways that fill you. Whether its a walk in the woods, meditation, creating art, dancing, or going to church. How do you connect to what's bigger than you? Make the time for it. It's important and lends a type of energy to us that we can't get anywhere else. 

9) Make time for yourself! What are the things that really light you up? The things that energize & excite you? Make time for them. Schedule them into your calendar! Make them a priority!

10) Let go of draining relationships. Yes, the one that popped into your mind when you read the first sentence. See if you can transform the relationships through communicating or setting boundaries, and if you can not, let go. You have much to do in the world, and your energy is precious! Don't allow someone else to drain it and deprive the world of your wonderfulness! 

There are 10 suggestions here. Which ones resonated with you the most? Which ones do you think would make the most difference for you?  Pick one or two to work on over the next week or so, and see what changes for you! 

Wishing you a fun & energetic rest of your week! 

Shelly