Do you ever struggle with low energy or irritability? There could be many reasons, but some are common and easy to fix. You may know but may be forgetting.
Let me remind you by sharing how Pam, a 35 yr old woman, mother of two and working full time, is improving her low energy and irritability.
For several months before implementing these fixes, she was feeling as if she was dragging thru the day and was getting irritated by simple things her kids, clients or co-workers were doing.
This was different from her baseline as she was generally a very energetic person with the ability to laugh off simple irritations easily.
After she implemented these five fixes, she started feeling more energetic and calm. Plus, she was better able to tolerate her kids and even enjoy their simple mischief. She got her zest for life back.
Pam realized something had to be done.
A few weeks back, Pam came in and shared that she has been feeling tired after work and getting easily frustrated. Sometimes she’s screaming at her kids for simple mischiefs.
She is an executive who tries to balance her many roles, and although she’s not going through any major stressors, she keeps on having low-grade stress due to multiple demands in her life.
When we discussed her daily habits of how she was taking care of herself while meeting those demands, she reported;
- She doesn’t have time to eat regularly. Therefore, she usually eats whatever she finds on the go.
- For long periods during the day, she forgets to drink water. Usually, she ends up drinking less than two glasses of water a day.
- As she works late, after putting her kids to sleep, she doesn’t get enough sleep herself.
- She has a sedentary job, long hours and kids activities after work, she doesn’t get much exercise.
- Most of the time she is running between activities taking care of her work and family. She says; “Who has time to relax?”
What do you think is the reason for her lack of energy and irritability?
Do you see similar patterns in your life?
As I was hearing her, I felt that it is the story of my life too. As we brainstormed implementing the five simple fixes, I was deciding to give more attention to these fixes in my life too and wanted to share them with you today. These are so simple that we all know them but forget and need reminders from time to time.
Five Simple Fixes that helped her were:
- Body Exercise and
- Mind Exercise.
Everybody knows that the food to the body is like fuel/power for your car. If you don’t add the fuel, your car won’t run.
When your body doesn’t get nutrition, it feels tired. When your brain cells don’t get food, they get irritated easily.
Have you noticed that when a team member is absent, the other team members get a little overworked and become irritable?
When you force your body and brain cells to work with an
What can you do?
I usually suggest to my clients using alarms to remind them every 3-4 hrs to eat something healthy.
Assuming that on a typical day, you are awake between 8 am to 10 pm, then you can put the alarms every three hours like 9, 12, 3, 6 and 9 for three small meals and two healthy snacks.
For a balanced meal, I usually share a printout of the healthy eating plate recommendation from Harvard Medical School.
I also like the recommendation of eating at least five colors of fresh fruits and vegetables to get a variety of nutrients.
Add a healthy snack (size of your fist) in the form of a cup of yogurt, or 8 to 10 almonds or 5 to 10 baby carrots etc.
Although water is part of the nutrition, many people forget so I have started to count it as a separate fix. Water is the basic necessity of life.
Intrinsically we know that life is where water is ( so many wars fought over that). In many parts of the world, people don’t have access to clean drinking water. We have that access, yet with our busy lives, many people forget to drink enough water.
Do you drink enough water? Lack of water (hydration) can lead to dehydration and make you feel tired. I recommend keeping a water bottle with you and target to finish one (16 oz) bottle or two (8 oz) glasses of water before each meal and before sleep.
That way you will get approximately eight (8 oz) glasses or four (16 oz) bottles of water-i.e 64 ounces of water a day.
Your body and mind need proper sleep to rejuvenate and replenish. When your body and mind are rested enough, you would be able to do the things you are trying to do in half of the time. Protect your sleep to get 6 to 8 hours.
4. Body Exercise:
With a sedentary work and lifestyle, the body joints get stiff with lack of movement. So intermittently between activities, get up to walk few steps. To avoid building tension, stretch before or after your busy day.
Exercise also releases endorphins which help uplift your mood. Despite all the benefits, it is hard to incorporate an outside routine many times. For those people, I like to share some exercises doable within your daily schedules. I like the 5 min kitchen exercise by Dr. Chatterjee as he shared in his book ‘Four Pillars Plan’ and in this video.
5. Mind Exercise:
You do physical exercise for your body to function; similarly, your mind also needs exercise to perform at its best.
When I mention mind exercise, people think of relaxing. Yes, resting the brain is most important, yet it is only one aspect of mental exercise. Regular reflection about our mindset, reactions patterns and choices are essential to reset and rejuvenate your mind for it to work at it’s best.
As I mentioned earlier, these are mostly things that you and I know but need reminders from time as a human beings are forgetful beings and sometimes forget what is essential.
So let’s make some intentions together at the beginning of this year to take care of ourselves.
“I choose to take care of my body and mind and give it a priority.”
If you don’t do it, you will have low energy and irritability which can develop into further ill health. If you do take care of your mind and body with these five pillars for optimum health, you will enjoy optimum health and happiness.
Let me know how this step helped you and if you have any questions.
Dedicated to your health and happiness,
# 1 Bestselling Author, Psychiatrist, Transformational Speaker
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All names have been changed to protect identity. Any similarity is a coincidence. Advise is for educational purpose and should not be taken as treatment. We take no liability.