woman in a bathing suit sitting in a round donut floatie with her arms up high, in blue waters, to describe how to regain your energy

The 3 Steps to Get Your Energy Back

Do you ever feel like your internal batteries are running on low?  Or you wonder how you’re making through each day because your brain and body are dragging you down?

The majority of my clients say that “low energy” affects them daily.  It feels quite clearly a 21st century modern day person problem.

So let’s get straight to how you help you solve for the reasons behind your energy drain.  We’ll go through the 3 key areas you need to investigate in order to fix those and reboot your body.

STEP 1 – Is your body rested?

I’m starting with the most obvious and important step because I find that most people with energy issues also have sleep issues.  Your energy investigation starts with sleep because this is the only time of your 24-hour daily cycle when your brain and body are in true deep recovery mode.

Your body is in a nice clean up, detoxing, replenishing mode while you’re sleeping.  You’ll notice that many professional athletes sleep around 12 hours.  The more your body is working, the more it needs to be down for the recovery of all organ systems.  Your cells take that time to clean house and get ready for another day of party-hardy (that’s physiologic lingo for a normal day of metabolic work).

Your brain has a super cool system of telling itself to shut down when it’s gone for hours all day in awake mode.  It’s like you have a cup that fills all day and when you reach a full cup, it’s so powerful it makes you sleepy, and hopefully off to bed you go.  This imaginary “cup” filling is just a chemical called adenosine that rises during the day, especially the more you’re working your brain.  And it tells your brain to go to sleep because the brain needs that shut down in order to recover.  This recovery is not passive – it’s a serious clean up time for your brain.  But it is restorative.

Getting this restoration (also known as sleep) enables you to wake up the next morning and feel like your brain is clear and energized and ready to go at it again.

It’s a beautiful mechanism that we came programmed with by nature.  We should only be so grateful that this beautiful brain came with a life-saving process.

The sad thing is what we humans go mess with this natural process.  We drink coffee all day long.  Caffeine has a funny way of working. It lodges on the same site as adenosine, but instead of letting adenosine put you to sleep, caffeine sits there in its spot and blocks it from working.

And caffeine’s half-life is anywhere from 6 – 12 hours.   So if you’re drinking your caffeinated coffee for your afternoon slump, you’re dosing your brain with an anti-sleep signal into your night.  The result is poor quality sleep, which means less brain recovery, which means you wake up not rested, which means… you now desperately need your morning coffee.  And probably 2 or 3 or 10 more coffees all day long.

And the cycle continues.

In case you didn’t know… caffeine is a drug.  It’s official classification is a central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) stimulant of the methylxanthine class.

The most important thing to understand about drugging yourself with caffeine is that it does not give you energy itself.  It’s main use is to block you from feeling sleepy.

But taking this drug will deprive your brain from having it’s energy levels restored each night.  And how your brain feels is how you feel.

Don’t get me wrong – I love a yummy cup of Joe as much as every other person on the planet.  But your best options are:

  • if you need the caffeine in the morning, have 1 cup and before noon
  • if you find you don’t actually need the caffeine (because you’re so well rested), then drink decaf

After you assess if you are blocking your brain and body’s sleep signals with this common daily habit, and your sleep and restfulness have not improved, then you should explore the other possible obstacles to an adequate and high quality sleep.  These factors can include stress hormones, mineral imbalances, and even simple sleep habits.

Working with an integrative health practitioner is a great way to dig deeper on more complicated sleep factors because it may require functional medicine labs and a comprehensive approach to your entire health picture.

STEP 2 – Is your body nourished?

There are too many fad diets right now and too many people who are actually undernourished as a result.

I’m actually surprised that I’ve never worked with anyone over-nourished (eating too much).  I see many people skipping meals, especially breakfast, and also eliminating some key basics in their meals.

The first most basic concept of energy is fuel.  Are you supplying your cells with the type of fuel they utilize to make you energy in return.  This will come in the form of unprocessed carbohydrates.  This macronutrient is full of fiber and glucose packed in a way that slowly absorbs, allowing for a steady dose of fuel without quick spikes or drops in your blood glucose levels.

The next category of nutrients that cells need for energy production are micronutrients, specifically vitamins, and especially B vitamins.  Can you simply take a good quality multivitamin?  It will definitely help if you’re not eating good foods.  But ideally you have a win-win by eating a lot of beautiful colorful produce so you get good carbs, natural fibers, and a load of vitamins.

STEP 3 – Is your soul nourished?

We are a culture of work work work.  And when we take a break, we douse ourselves with alcohol to relieve our tensions.  And then we take 2 aspirins and get back to work.  Rinse and repeat.

Do you ever stop to ask yourself if this is how life is supposed to be?  Go back 100 years, 1000 years.  Were we meant to live at our desks, in our cars, on our phones, glued to our devices?  Isn’t the mere description of this exhausting to you?

On a soul level, this is a huge energy drain.  You must find a way to press pause.

This is not about fuel or brain or body or metabolism or physiology.  This is a very deep energetic force whose source is not physical.  Most people ignore it completely.  But it’s the source of your true vitality.

There is no lab test for this.  In order to know if your energy drain is coming from a soul level, you must spend some quiet time with yourself, asking questions, exploring curiosities, addressing discomforts in your life.

You’ll need to be courageous enough to ask some tough questions like: do you feel connected, do you feel purpose and meaning in your life, does your family or community or career give you joy.

These are pretty deep and they can take a lifetime of exploring.

But daily, what do you do???

Get OUT.  OUTSIDE.  Go play.  Go do things that make your soul happy.  Meditate.  Journal.

I believe that as living organisms, we humans should be in nature because we’re of the earth.  The easiest way to connect with your self and soul is to go out to nature, every day if you can.  Even just a little.

Go find your patch of grass in the sun every day and feel what happens to your energy level.

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