Have you ever woken up to a tired, non-productive feeling in your body that lasts the whole day? This is normal, if your body hasn't had a complete and efficient rest, and we call it lethargy. It's characterized by fatigue, lack of interest, feelings of boredom, difficulty in focusing on tasks, feelings of listlessness (even depression), and slower mental function. Being lethargic is different from being "lazy", in that lethargy is a lack of energy, or increased feeling of drowsiness. Laziness can be fixed by a person deciding mentally to kick a bad habit. Lethargy, on the other hand, is a condition that can be fixed by a change in habits and diet.
So, do you want to increase your level of energy? Try these small habits that'll help kick lethargy in the butt!
1. Check how much time is spent on certain habits. Do you check Facebook the minute you wake up? You could be wasting your most useful minutes of the morning. And when you get home from work, is turning on the TV and slumping on the couch the first thing you do? Check how much of your time is spend on random activities that will have you clocking in minutes or precious hours doing absolutely nothing. When you identify these time-stealing habits, you can decide to be more productive and replace them right away with a simple good habit that you can practice daily.
For instance, instead of checking Facebook first thing in the morning, spend some time on morning affirmations and gratitude. (At the same time, uninstall the app on your phone so that you can only access it on the laptop.) At night, instead of coming home and slumping on the sofa, try going for a walk before dinner time while listening to a podcast. The sooner you adopt a new, more beneficial practice, the more it becomes a lethargy-kicking habit.
2. Drink energizing tea blends or coffee. Taken in moderation, tea and coffee are natural remedies that help fight off lethargy. Teas are natural sources of antioxidants that ward of feelings of fatigue. A good tea to try is a simple basil tea: Boil some basil leaves to release its rich essential oils — a quick energy boost. Or try some yerba mate tea, known for its energy-boosting capabilities. Coffee also releases feelings of wellness and restored energy because it contains caffeine, a natural anti-inflammatory and energy-booster.
3. Get your optimal amount of sleep and exercise. This still has to be said, because we often trade-off sleep and exercise for work. But the reason why we have low energy levels is mostly due to lack of sleep, since our normal bodily functions will only function properly with a regular sleep pattern. Make it a discipline to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day. Similarly, getting daily exercise gives us mental clarity and keeps our bodies fit. Getting at least 30 minutes of light exercise daily can help us have better circulation, as well as more efficient metabolism (so we won't gain weight rapidly, or spike up in blood sugar, all of which contribute to lethargy).
Things that are a given are staying on a healthy eating plan that is loaded with fruits and vegetables in proper portions. Be in the company of people who make a positive impact on you, and who motivate you to be your best self. Remember that lethargy is ultimately a bad habit, which you can stop and replace with good ones like we've mentioned here. As you get used to practicing good, healthy habits, you will be more motivated to use your time with purpose and intention.