11 Ways to Increase Energy and Motivation Naturally
Article at a Glance:
- Low energy and motivation levels are a big problem for most adults with a variety of potential causes and solutions.
- If poor sleep is the issue, power napping, cold water therapy, and adaptogens could help.
- If dehydration is behind your lagging energy level, drinking more water and getting plenty of electrolytes will make a difference.
- If a sedentary lifestyle is making you feel sluggish, try spending more time outdoors and start a simple, daily stretching routine.
- If stress and anxiety are sucking your energy supply dry, then meditation and laughter could help invigorate you.
- If you’re dealing with serious exhaustion from burnout, try setting aside time for energizing hobbies and socialization that makes your spirit come alive.
Tired? Us too.
For most adults, fatigue, low energy, lack of focus, and a reduced ability to motivate ourselves seem to be accepted as facts of life. The tough thing is, all of our other facts of life don’t change! We still have the same busy schedules, bustling families, and daily responsibilities that we always have.
And thus begins the constant hunt for: *ENERGY*
That pesky, elusive key to getting through the day with ease! How do we get more energy? How do we battle burnout and feel more motivated? And most importantly, how do we do these things safely and naturally, without compromise to our minds and bodies?
Here we cover the causes of low energy and motivation from a mind-body-spirit perspective and offer creative solutions to restore the joie de vivre we’re all aiming for.
Cause: Lack of Sleep
Solutions: Power Napping, Cold Water, Adaptogens
Our brains simply cannot function without sleep. Yet there are dozens of reasons getting consistent, quality sleep may not be easy for you: a growing family, anxiety, professional duties, environment, etc. Power napping can be an extremely effective way to restore those lost hours. About 20 minutes is all it takes to have a restorative impact, though a 1-hr nap proves to have an even greater effect on cognitive functioning. The next time you find yourself awake in the wee hours, consider getting up to start your day and planning out a time to sleep in the afternoon instead.
Cold water therapy has become popular in recent years for its restorative effects on the body and ability to spike energy levels quickly. Practices can be as extensive as cold water immersion therapy and hydrotherapy, or as simple as taking cold showers and outdoor swims. We like showers as a place to start. If you find yourself feeling tired in the mornings from lack of sleep, begin your day with a slightly colder shower than you’re used to. The next day, make it a little colder. And a little colder, and a little colder, and so on!
Adaptogens are natural, herbal substances that help our bodies correct stress levels and adapt to physical, chemical, and biological stressors. By helping you adapt to stress, these amazing herbs perform dual functions that (at first glance) seem to contradict each other— they can give you more energy, and they can also help you sleep. How can they do both? Their stress-relieving properties help your body go back to a balanced state of homeostasis where it functions as it was designed to. As a result, it has energy when you’re awake and active, but it’s also able to switch off and rest more easily when it’s time to sleep. Powerful adaptogens include ginseng, Rhodiola rosea, and ashwagandha, all of which can be found in Re-Lyte Boost— our clean, GMO-free energy drink mix.
Solutions: Water, Salt
You knew we were gonna say it! Dehydration is one of the most commonly-experienced and easily-fixed causes of low energy and lethargy. Because proper water intake gives support to our organs, muscles, and mind, you are going to feel fatigued physically, mentally, and emotionally when dehydrated. While there are general rules of thumb for how much water you need to feel energized, all bodies and environments are different. Explore how much water you really need and make the best choice for you!
Electrolytes are water’s BFF, and can sometimes be the real culprit for your lack of energy or motivation. In fact, fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of low sodium levels and low levels of many other electrolytes. Our favorite solution, especially for those who are active, is to find an easy way to incorporate sodium-rich (salt!) electrolytes into your daily diet. We love capsules for their convenience, but also stand by salt crystals and mixes as a way to restore balance to the body.
Cause: A Sedentary Lifestyle
Solutions: Sunshine, Stretching
Not getting enough outdoor time can lead to a lack of essential nutrients like Vitamin D, and result in a severe drop in energy. While Vitamin D3 sources like Re-Lyte Immunity can be helpful boosters, we recommend getting outside a minimum of once a day and enjoying the benefits the sun and fresh air bring to our energy levels. You might even explore therapeutic tactics like grounding (or earthing), which has been said to provide the body with natural energy from the earth’s electrical charges.
If your daily routine is lacking physical activity but you’re not ready for a full-scale workout routine, stretching is a fantastic place to start. Slow, repetitive movements boost blood flow through the body and help release tension, in turn making us feel more energized. Try a simple, lunchtime routine of neck, arm, and leg stretches; it sounds too easy, but 5 minutes is really all it takes to get the blood flowing!
Cause: Stress and Anxiety
Solutions: Laughter, Meditation
If it’s anxiety, stress, or fear that’s making you feel tired, we cannot recommend a mindfulness practice enough. A few minutes a day of meditation can refresh our focus and motivation, provide clarity, and increase an overall feeling of presence that boosts our energy and calms our minds. That’s because meditation causes the brain to release endorphins and triggers something known as the relaxation response. This peaceful, centered state can counteract the cortisol-fueled fight-or-flight state most people with chronic stress or anxiety are living in daily.
Say it with us: HA. HA. HA! Hahaha! Even fake laughter can trigger real laughter and real laughter gives us energy! When we laugh we pull in oxygen, which supports our heart, lungs, muscles, and brain. Laughter also increases the release of stress-relieving endorphins and provides us with a happy boost of energy. The other physical and mental effects of laughter have both short-term and long-term impacts on our energy levels, so watch a funny movie! Be silly and dance around for a minute! Even a few moments of laughter can ignite a powerful bodily response.
Solutions: Pursue Your Passions, Connect with Your Peeps
Pursue Your Passions
When we push ourselves too hard for too long, our minds, bodies, and spirits can become so depleted that we’re not only exhausted…..we’re almost unable to function. This phenomenon is called burnout. And it’s becoming more common. To battle burnout, it’s important to replenish yourself physically and mentally through some of the approaches we mentioned above. But it’s also important to nourish your spirit.
One simple way to do that is to set aside time for the things you love to do (not just the things you have to do). Do you love to paint? Write? Dance? Golf? Do whatever stokes your passion, and you’ll receive an instant boost of energy and motivation. That’s your spirit saying, “More of this, please!” Don’t ignore it. Set aside time for the hobbies or activities that make your spirit come alive.
Connect with Your Peeps
Certain people have an almost magical ability to make you feel centered, happy, and energized. Make plans with people who make you feel good, whether that’s because they always make you laugh, they help you see life from a different angle, or they make you feel completely loved and accepted for who you are. Even a quick phone (or Zoom) call can make a world of difference when you’ve hit a serious energetic slump due to burnout.
A Few More Suggestions to Support Healthy Energy
These are just a few among many ways to increase energy and motivation without reaching for that fourth cup of coffee or chemically-altered energy drinks. Once you pinpoint the cause for your lack of motivation, we encourage you to take it a step further! Healthy food, outdoor workouts, and quality time spent with furry (or feathered) family members are some of our favorite ways to push ourselves to the next level of fulfillment.
If you’re looking for a simple, sustainable way to support healthy energy levels right now and over the long term, you should also check out Re-Lyte Boost. It’s a clean, energizing drink mix that contains hydrating electrolytes, beneficial adaptogens, energy-supporting B-vitamins, and just the right amount of natural caffeine from green tea extract to keep you feeling invigorated and awesome without the jitters or a crash.
The Overwhelming Benefits of Power Napping — VeryWell Mind.
What to Know About Cold Water Therapy — Healthline.
What are Adaptogens and Why are People Taking Them? — Time.
Understanding Vitamin D Deficiency — U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Grounding: Exploring Earthing Science and the Benefits Behind It —Healthline.
A 5-Step Stretching Habit That Will Leave You Energized, Relaxed, and More Mobile — Everyday Health.
Using the relaxation response to reduce stress — Harvard Health Publishing
Stress Release from Laughter? It’s No Joke — Mayo Clinic.
By Now, Burnout Is a Given — Mayo Clinic.