We all want to feel well, healthy, and energetic. We would all love to leap out of bed in the morning, ready to face the day. But most of us crawl out of bed after hitting snooze countless times, feeling like we have had no sleep whatsoever. So why do we feel this way? It could be due to a health problem, lifestyle factors or stress. Whatever the cause, there are ways to live our lives that will boost our wellbeing.
- 1 What makes us feel good?
- 1.1 Having a healthy body
- 1.2 Having a healthy mind
- 1.3 What steals our energy?
- 1.4 Are you eating too much sugar?
- 1.5 Are you getting enough exercise?
- 1.6 Do you regularly skip breakfast?
- 1.7 Are you too sedentary?
- 1.8 Do you rely too much on caffeine?
- 1.9 Are you dehydrated?
- 1.10 Is your posture poor?
- 1.11 Are you choosing the right snacks?
- 1.12 What are essential oils?
- 1.13 Essential oils for energy
- 1.14 How can I use the oils to boost my energy?
- 1.15 Final thoughts
What makes us feel good?
Having a healthy body
If our body is healthy, we feel good and we have the energy to do the things that we enjoy. A healthy body does not mean a skinny body, it means having a fit and strong body that can do everything we ask of it. We can keep our body healthy by taking regular exercise. Exercise controls our weight, reduces our risk of getting diseases, improves our self-esteem and our mood. It’s not about joining a gym either. Go out for a walk or a bike ride; just move and do something that you enjoy. If you are a beginner, work out for about 20 minutes, 3 times per week and build up the duration and intensity of exercise gradually. Don’t underestimate the importance of general activity though too. Take the stairs, get off the bus a stop early, get out and do some gardening; it all adds up.
Eating a healthy diet also keeps our bodies in good condition. We don’t have to exist on lettuce leaves, balance is the key. If we eat well most of the time, the odd treat is not going to hurt. A healthy diet keeps our immune system strong, our hair and skin in good condition and our body’s systems running as efficiently as they should. Eat a wide variety of fruit and veg for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, eat whole grains for fibre and energy, protein to keep the body strong and the tissues rebuilding themselves and drink plenty of water to hydrate the body and flush out toxins. Try and make food from scratch where possible and limit takeaways to an occasional treat.
Having a healthy mind
Learning to manage stress is so important, as stress and worry is a big energy thief. Find what works for you to help you unwind. It could be having a nice bath, reading a good book, or meditating. Taking time out from the hectic pace of life does wonders for your mental and physical health.
Enjoy life by doing more of the things that you enjoy. This includes work. Doing a job you enjoy will be more rewarding. Of course, you work to earn money, but you will enjoy what you do if it means more to you than just paying the bills. And use your spare time to explore your hobbies and interests. Do things that make your life more fulfilling and take you out of your comfort zone.
What steals our energy?
Feel like the walking dead on a morning? Can’t escape the dreaded 3pm slump? If this happens occasionally it’s normal, but if you feel like this all the time maybe it’s time to look at your habits and lifestyle to see what might be robbing you of energy.
Are you eating too much sugar?
Everyone knows that eating chocolate and sweets can give you a sugar rush followed by an energy slump. But have you thought about the effects of simple refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and rice? These foods cause glucose to be released into your bloodstream very quickly which leads to a rush of energy followed by a dip in blood sugar which will leave you feeling tired. Eat whole grain carbohydrates so that the sugar is released more slowly and your energy levels stay balanced.
Are you getting enough exercise?
Being active can give you more energy. Exercise gives you an energy boost as it boosts blood flow and increases oxygen to the body’s cells. Exercise improves the quality of sleep too, if you don’t exercise too close to bedtime.
Do you regularly skip breakfast?
Your body has gone without food all night, so if you don’t eat in the morning, you’re running on an empty tank until lunch. Your body’s need for energy will most likely cause you to make unhealthy choices or cause you to eat more later in the day. Have fruit, whole grains, eggs, or dairy for a balanced breakfast to see you through until lunchtime.
Are you too sedentary?
Sitting down for long periods drains you of energy. Try and move for a few minutes every hour to boost blood and oxygen flow around the body. This will make you feel more awake.
Do you rely too much on caffeine?
Do you drink endless cups of coffee to get you through the day? Or do you reach for a can of fizzy pop when you feel like you need a boost? Caffeine is a stimulant, which will give you a temporary boost of energy. But what goes up must come down, and that’s what happens to your energy levels. If you rely on caffeine too much, it can affect your sleep if you drink it any later than mid-afternoon.
Are you dehydrated?
Even mild dehydration can affect energy and concentration. Try to drink regularly throughout the day. Fill a large bottle up and sip at regular intervals.
Is your posture poor?
Poor posture affects breathing and digestion and can lead to an energy slump. Sit up straight at your desk with your shoulders back and with your bottom positioned towards the back of your chair. Get an ergonomic assessment of your workspace if you struggle with bad posture.
Are you choosing the right snacks?
If you are eating sugary snacks to get you through the afternoon, you’re going to get an energy dip. Choose a combination of protein and carbohydrates to keep your energy levels stable. Try peanut butter on wholegrain toast or yoghurt and mixed nuts.
These factors can affect energy levels and we can take charge of our energy by making the necessary changes, but what if we still need a boost? Natural products are best for boosting energy. Did you know that there are essential oils that can help?
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are plant oils which have been used to treat health conditions for thousands of years, going back as far as ancient Egypt. The oils are made from the essence of a plant; from the flowers, leaves, roots, or the bark. The oils are usually removed from the plants by a distillation process. Essential oils can be applied to the skin or they can be inhaled. You can add them to your bath, they can be used in a massage blend or added to compresses. You can inhale some oils directly or they can be used as a spray or added to a diffuser. Essential oils are known to influence your mood when they are inhaled. They can be used to lift your mood or to relax you.
Even though the oils are natural products, you should always get qualified advice and follow instructions on usage and dosage. They can also interact with medications you may be taking or worsen existing conditions so use them with caution. Most oils can’t be used during pregnancy and those with allergies, diabetes, asthma, and high blood pressure should check with their doctor prior to commencing use.
Essential oils for energy
So, which oils are effective for giving us an energy boost? Try these natural wonders and maybe you will never have to rely on caffeine so much again!
- Lemon Oil
Lemon oil is great for a concentration boost when you’re at work or when you’re studying. The uplifting scent invigorates you and gets you through when the going gets tough. It blends well with ginger, basil, and rosemary.
- Orange Oil
Citrus essential oils are known to be great for boosting energy. The scent of orange essential oil will lift your mood and have a knock-on effect on your energy levels.
- Eucalyptus Oil
This oil is effective for asthma, boosting appetite, easing congestion and stuffiness in colds and flu, acne, relieving burns, and lots more. It is a very refreshing and invigorating oil. Always be sure to dilute the oil before you use it however, and never take it by mouth.
- Grapefruit Oil
Grapefruit oil is one of the best essential oils for boosting energy. It also helps with symptoms like bloating and water retention, so it is good for women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome. Grapefruit oil can promote weight loss which might be worth a try for people whose extra body fat is sapping their energy.
- Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon oil has a stimulating and warming effect on the body. It increases blood flow which has the effect of boosting energy. It plays a role in stabilising blood sugar and fights infections. The boost it gives to your immune system results in the body being invaded by less viruses and infections which can drain your energy. Cinnamon oil can be irritating to the skin if it is used neat, so always dilute it first.
- Mint Oil
Both peppermint and spearmint oils are known for increasing your energy levels. Spearmint is milder and is safe to use on children. Peppermint oil blends nicely with spearmint and rosemary essential oil and spearmint oil blends well with rosemary, basil, and peppermint oil.
- Cedarwood Oil
The oil has a calming effect and is commonly used as an alternative therapy for children who have overactivity disorders such as ADHD. Though the oil has a calming effect, it boosts your energy by default. It boosts melatonin levels which makes you sleep better and therefore you feel more invigorated the next day.
- Ginger Oil
Ginger oil boosts energy and circulation and is used commonly to treat morning sickness, nausea, and other digestive problems. It can also be good for the heart and for treating muscle aches and pains. Don’t use it if you are taking blood thinners like Warfarin. You can inhale ginger oil or take it as a supplement.
- Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil is a stimulant so it is great for combating fatigue and low energy. It blends well with lime, basil, and mint oils such as peppermint and spearmint oil. This oil should be avoided if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It can be used topically on the skin, taken orally, or inhaled via a diffuser.
- Basil Oil
There are 2 types of basil oil available- French basil and exotic basil. They both act the same on the body, though French basil is more versatile. The oil stimulates the adrenal glands so helps fight fatigue and brings clarity to the mind. It blends well with spearmint, lime oil and rosemary. Avoid this oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Lime oil
Lime essential oil is a restorative and invigorating oil which is great for boosting concentration at work or when studying. It blends well with basil, rosemary, and ginger oils.
Rosewood is a great oil for promoting concentration and boosting flagging energy levels. It is commonly blended with cedarwood to boost its effects.
Lavender is known for its calming effect and for promoting good sleep, so it boosts energy by default. If you get a better sleep you will have more energy through the day, and if you are less anxious, you won’t feel as drained generally, as worrying endlessly can sap energy. Lavender has the added benefit of boosting mood.
The spicy scents of ginger and frankincense have a stimulating effect on the system, so they can give you a boost if you have to get through the day on less sleep than you would like. Combine frankincense with orange or grapefruit oils for a stimulating pick me up blend.
How can I use the oils to boost my energy?
Inhaling the oils is very effective and you can use individual essential oils or the suggested blends. If you want to blend the oils, store them in a dark glass bottle with a dropper cap. Roll the bottle between your palms to mix the oils well. You can inhale the oil from the bottle, apply a few drops to a tissue and inhale it, use it in a diffuser to fragrance a room or add it to a spray bottle.
Try this energising essential oil blend:
Add 2 ounces of a carrier oil like jojoba or sweet almond oil to a glass bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with 5 drops of Cedarwood oil, 2 drops of clary sage oil, 2 drops of rosemary oil, 6 drops of orange oil, 3 drops of bergamot oil and 2 drops of grapefruit oil. Shake the bottle well to mix the oils and top the bottle up with the carrier oil so it is full. Apply topically to the skin, add to a diffuser, or use as a room spray.
We all want to feel energetic and healthy, but sometimes, busy lives, illness and bad lifestyle habits get in the way. We all know that taking regular exercise and eating a healthy diet will make us feel good, and often we just need to make small changes to our lifestyle to reap the benefits. Unfortunately, sedentary jobs, busy lifestyles and the availability of unhealthy convenience foods make this easier said than done. We work long hours, we spend more time on our phones and computers when we should probably be sleeping; it’s little wonder then that we spend the next day, and every day after that, propping ourselves up with endless cups of coffee. This just serves to give us a poor sleep again and here begins the vicious cycle.
Our body’s systems work so much better when we eat a diet based on natural foods and when we use natural products that work in harmony with it rather than against it. That’s not to say you will never feel fatigued ever again, as everyone feels tired for one reason or another every now and again, but if you feel tired all the time, you need to ask yourself some questions about your lifestyle and look at what you might be doing every day that might be causing fatigue.
Essential oils have been used for a long time for various health complaints and several of the oils are used to boost energy. This includes boosting mental energy, which is important in keeping our mood and concentration on an even keel. All the oils are naturally derived products so you aren’t relying on caffeine and other questionable stimulants to get you through the day. Yet again, mother nature provides the best health boosting products to restore mental and physical balance. Try the oils for an extra boost and say hello to the happiest healthiest version of you!