by Kathy Ashley
June 19, 2014
Consider the following scenario:
Angie is a savvy business professional, and suffers from very low energy and chronic fatigue. Her life is hectic and stressful. As a top-level employee of her company, she has much responsibility and works long hours, sometimes even weekends. Add to that a husband, small child, dog and cat — and they all want and need her attention. Her diet and lifestyle aren’t the greatest either, as she is just trying to keep up and thinks it takes too much time and thought to eat healthy and take care of herself. And…she doesn’t get enough sleep. She has pushed the envelope for too long and is starting to feel rather unhealthy, not to mention a little less motivated at her job. Not only does she feel the midday energy dip, she even wakes up fatigued!
Is your typical day anything like this?
I really hope not! And I think Angie needs to come and see me, pronto ;) But truthfully, and sadly, people live this way more often than you’d think. The problem is that this lifestyle, as it is above, is not sustainable. Not without a hefty price, that is. When we just go fast-paced all the time, without making an effort to see that our bodies are healthy and strong, there are bound to be health issues that will come up.
If you find yourself running on empty all too often, or you just want to greatly better your health, here are some practical, all-natural strategies to reduce chronic stress, increase your energy, and make you healthier and more productive. One of the greatest points about these natural stress relievers and energy boosters is that they are easily and effortlessly integrated into your life as it is. You can have it all. Isn’t that the greatest news ever?!
Start your morning the night before. This is a simply awesome stress reliever – Create a bedtime ritual for yourself, making this time of day a consciously slowing down time. Do everything you need to get done a little earlier in the evening so you can coast into this routine. Choose your work clothes and prepare them for the next day. Relax in the tub for 30 minutes with ¾ cup Epsom salt and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Moisturize with some extra virgin coconut oil. Rub some lavender oil on your pillow case to help you sleep. Incidentally, be sure and get enough sleep, at least 7 hours.
Diet. Without a doubt, this is the most effective, important thing that you can do for your overall health. Eat mostly unprocessed, natural, whole plant-foods. It would be best to eat about 80% of your foods raw, as they retain all their vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, and are exceptionally good for us. A cool side benefit to eating more raw foods is that food prep is quick and easy, leaving you more time to do other things. Go high on the leafy greens — use them in salads, smoothies, juices, and try to eat them with every single meal including breakfast. I like to have a green smoothie w/ chia seeds or green juice for breakfast. This is straight energy in a glass. The most energizing and healthy drink you can have is a big green juice, like my favorite go-to recipe ——> Green Energy Juice.
Digestion. How you eat is just as important as what you eat. In the morning, the body is just waking up and therefore digestion will be weaker. Since digestion will zap your energy quicker than anything, it’s best to work with the tendencies of the body so this doesn’t happen. First thing in the morning, drink a glass of warm-hot lemon water. This is good for digestion, weight loss, promoting alkalinity, and it helps to wake you up! Then follow it up with a light breakfast such as a green smoothie or something very digestible. Make your largest meal between the hours of 10:00am – 2:00pm, as that is when digestion is at its peak. For supper, have something light such as salad or soup. Don’t eat after 7:00pm. If you feel like you want something after supper, have a glass of hot water mixed with raw honey and lemon juice. This is really tasty, and good for you! It’s important not to have anything to eat at night as the body has healing and cleansing work to do while you sleep, and should not be interrupted with the heavy task of digestion.
Take healthy foods to work. I know what it’s like because I used to be there — vending machines on every corner with salty, sugary snacks galore, and at least a couple of soft drink machines. This stuff does NOT promote good health, nor does it do your energy level any favors. It’s so easy to get off track when surrounded by temptation. One effective way to keep temptation at bay is to bring your own healthy lunch to work. It’s the safest and best way of knowing exactly what is in your food. Make it appetizing — pack yourself a really nice lunch such as a big leafy greens and vegetable salad with homemade dressing and topped with raw almonds. This will actually give you energy rather than take it! I know restaurants at lunchtime are a popular choice, and it is easier to get healthier options now, but these foods tend to have a lot of hidden calories and preservatives. Don’t let this become a habit. Also it’s a good idea to bring healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts in case you get stuck working late. Be prepared.
Exercise. This is such a great way to get more energy, relieve stress and keep your body in shape. A regular exercise practice is ideal, 3-5 days a week. I really enjoy working out on a rebounder or mini trampoline. It is a deep cell, quick workout that is low-impact and highly effective, especially for cleansing and helping to maintain alkalinity. It’s also a lot of fun!
Automate Tasks or Errands. Have you tried automating any of your tasks or errands? Depending on what it is, and how much you either like or dislike doing it, this can change your life! For instance, one thing that I don’t like doing is taking time to go grocery shopping. So I have recently started taking advantage of grocery delivery. In my town there is no actual “grocery delivery”, but we order from Amazon all the time. Since they offer household and grocery items as well, at the same or even lower price, I decided to give it a try. I still go to the store for my veggies and fruits, but now I spend a small fraction of time there as opposed to before. Now I no longer have to dread a trip to the store. Best thing I could have done!
If there is a task that can’t be automated, do everything you can to at least make it more streamlined. Maybe you could ask other family members for help around the house, or hire someone to do your shopping and run errands or mow the lawn. Make it as easy as possible.
Please try a few of these options, comment below and let me know how you get along and how you feel. Do you have a favorite way of relieving stress and creating natural energy? If so, I want to know!
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