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mindful ways to boost your energy by michelle cordeiro, cnp

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I've been going through a slump of feeling quite lethargic lately. I always find that this kind of thing sneaks up on me gradually until I eventually realize that I've been purposely planning my day so I can sneak in an afternoon nap. DO YOU FEEL ME!?

And while I LOVE a good nap sesh, what I don't love is having to rely on it to get through my day without snapping like a sleepy child. But when this happens, it's often a good clue that I need to change things up and figure out how to boost my energy levels back up. And this often isn't hard, as just stepping back and looking into my lifestyle is enough to figure out why I've been so tired and what I can do differently.

Maybe you can relate? And if so, ask yourself these questions:

HOW DO I RECHARGE?

This is an important one, and something that took me way too long to realize about myself: I'm an introvert.

What I didn't realize (especially in my early 20's) is that being introverted doesn't mean that you don't like being around people, or that you're not a social human. The distinction comes from where you get your energy from:

Do you feel refreshed and energized from socializing or spending a day surrounded by people?

Or:

Does time spent by yourself leave you feeling renewed and back to normal.

For me, it's the latter.

Figure out where your energy comes from (I'm sure there's an online quiz for this if Buzzfeed’s your thing), and use that to your advantage. I no longer feel guilty about planning nights alone or  telling my friends that I need to recharge for the day. They get it, and yours will too. Because there's no point in further depleting your energy by showing up to something when you're only really half there and half wishing you were at home with your dog.

Own your introvert/extrovert label. Go out and eat up all the energy from those around you if that's what you need to do OR stay home and go for a solo run. Which brings me to the next question...

WHAT KIND OF MOVEMENT DO YOU CRAVE?

Sometimes I get copious amounts of energy from a nice long trail run, and other times it completely wipes me out. Finding what movement you gain energy from is a valuable tool to use towards boosting yourself up. And this movement will often change from day to day, even moment to moment, so exploring all the different ways to move and seeing where you end up is a great tool.

Sometimes a quick walk in the sunshine works wonders, sometimes you need to sweat everything out in a class, sometimes you want gooey yin yoga stretches to reset...explore, journal about it and be open to changing up your movement routine. Aside from keeping it fresh and interesting, this can also help you to gain insight into what really gets your energy levels up, or what absolutely drains you.

In Hamilton? My favourite energy boosting movements right now are:

  • Runs in the Bruce Trail: I recommend starting on the trail at Main and Wilson, running a good out and back using the trail markers and then finishing up at Fairweather Brewery, just East of the trail's start (trail runs and beer are a match made in heaven, I swear by it).

  • R&B Pilates at SousBas: I will never stop recommending this class, because it GIVES ME THE MOST ENERGY. EVER. Which is sometimes problematic when it ends at 9pm but I love it all the same.

  • Yoga in the Park: In Fine Feather Yoga Studio does a PWYC yoga class in Gage park on Sundays during the summer and it's the best community feels. 10am on a Sunday in the park is where to be!

Find what moves you (literally and figuratively) and go do it. Walk, run, jump, swim, bike, wiggle, whatever!

WHAT FOODS MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD?

Follow up question: what foods make you feel bleh? It's nice to think about the foods we eat not in terms of 'good' or 'bad' but rather little acts of self lovin'. Like: "I love myself so I'm going to make sure to find Muskoka Mocha ice cream at the Parry Sound grocery store this weekend", or "I love myself so I'm going to eat more than just Roma Pizza today". Ya know? Food choices that are based on how the food makes your body feel and your mind feel is a great way to gain energy.

And the goods news is that the foods your body needs are often the foods you crave. Thinking mindfully about your cravings rather than labelling them as a weakness or lack of self control can help to bring this into light. Maybe you finish a sweaty workout and are craving a big bag of chips? Your body is probably looking for electrolytes to replenish the salt that you've lost through your sweat, so go for something salty! Craving sugar after you run? You've probably burned through your glycogen stores and need sugars and carbs to replenish what you've lost in energy.

Properly fuelling your body with foods that give you what you need can be the difference between feeling wiped out or energized after meals.

P.S. If anyone knows where I can find Muskoka Mocha closer to Hamilton PLEASE advise.


Michelle is an RMMTT student and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuitive eating and self love over dieting, always. 

Michelle currently sees clients at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Contact her for more info on her practice or to book an appointment.
// movewithguts@gmail.com
// @movewithguts