Do you wake up feeling tired? Or hit an afternoon energy slump that makes you run for the nearest coffee shop? Or do you come home so exhausted you can’t do anything besides veg-out on the couch? One of most prevalent health complaints I talk to people about is chronic fatigue and extremely low or inconsistent energy levels. Chronic fatigue was first diagnosed in the early 1980s and since that time this epidemic of extreme tiredness is hitting a record number of people. The CDC reports more than 1 million Americans suffer from extreme fatigue.
Energy is a precious resource. We crave more of it. Despite what you may believe or have come to accept feeling exhausted is not biologically normal. Chronic fatigue can be caused by a number of factors including poor diet and lifestyle choices, high stress, hormone imbalance and nutrient deficiencies to name a few. Although Ayurveda treats the individual looking to address the root cause, thankfully, it also gives us some valuable general tips to create lasting and sustained energy.
Ayurveda Tips to Boost Your Energy
Optimize Your Sleep – This may seem like an obvious fix but I am stunned by the number of people suffering from fatigue that maintain irregular and inconsistent sleep schedules. Getting both too little or too much sleep can cause symptoms of fatigue. Create an evening routine and aim to be in bed by 10 pm and rise by 6 am. For more on better sleep click here.
Eat for Energy – In Ayurveda our radiance and essential energy comes from maintaining good Ojas. For more about Ojas click here. Consume more foods that support Ojas and increase energy such as, whole organic fresh foods and include lots of leafy greens, dates, raisins, almonds and ghee. Be sure to set regular meal times and avoid eating large meals late at night.
Just as there are foods to boost energy, other foods drain it. Although they may seem to help at the time caffeine and other stimulants, in the long run, zap you of your precious energy. Any fast foods, canned, frozen, packaged, leftover foods — or foods laced with preservatives, chemicals, and additives — are difficult to digest and contain little nutritional content and are deplete your energy.
If you are tired immediately following a meal it probably means you have over eaten or consumed foods that you are unable to digest or are energy zappers. Notice how you feel after a meal and note when you are energized after and when you feel drained.
Move Your Body – As yogis we know that by moving our bodies we increase our prana or vital energy. Whether you do a few rounds of sun salutations, go for a walk in nature or hit the gym, a moderate amount of movement daily (30 minutes) will support your desire for increased stamina and sustainable energy. In your yoga practice focus on heart openers and gentle inversions.
Plug Your Energy Leaks – Whether it’s over scheduling yourself or maintaining depleting relationships we all have places in our lives where we allow our precious energy to be drained. Reevaluate your job stress, negative relationships and even the amount of time you spend on social media. Take action to fix any energy leaks.
Schedule Breaks – Ever hear that saying “stop the glorification of busy?” If your day is moving at a frantic pace then that is the time to slow down. Schedule breaks in your day. If you are seated at a desk all day take a short breathing and stretch break every 1.5 hrs or so. Your body has a natural cycle of bursts in flow of energy, alertness and creativity. In his book, The 20 Minute Break, Dr. Ernest Rossi, explains that for every 90 to120 minutes of peak activity the body and mind go into a natural cycle of 20 minutes of rest. Consistently powering through and ignoring the body’s natural rhythm further adds to your fatigue. Opt for a restorative yoga pose or practice a short mediation but honor this natural period of rest.
Try a Natural Supplement
- Ashwagandha is a favorite herb in Ayurveda. This powerful adaptogen is a great ally in relieving nervous exhaustion and fatigue and has been used as a rasayana (rejuvenating herb) by people for centuries.
- Rhodiola has been used for decades to benefit the nervous and endocrine systems. Studies show that rhodiola helps increase stamina, prevent fatigue, improve mental function and reduce anxiety.
- Chyavanprash is a blend of herbs and one of the most potent Ayurvedic rasayanas. It helps increase Ojas and its main ingredient Amalaki has the highest known natural sources of vitamin C.
NOTE: While these herbs are considered safe for most people, they may be contraindicated under certain conditions, or while taking certain other herbs or medicines, so it’s best to check with your doctor before using them.
Address the Root Cause – Whether it’s poor sleep, improper diet, dehydration, hormonal imbalance, high stress, or some other cause if you want lasting and sustainable energy you must take action to address the root cause. For each of us suffering from fatigue this will be different. If it seems overwhelming to make the changes on your own reach out to friends, family and seek support from a wellness professional.
Wishing you Vibrant Wellness,