You are clean and sober so, you should be feeling on top of the world. You should be full of energy. You should be jumping out of bed at 6:00 am, no alarm clock necessary. You have so much energy that one might even call you over productive. You are basically a living breathing Disney character. This is how life goes when you are in recovery, right?!?!? Wrong!
More often than not, someone who is new to recovery experiences overwhelming bouts of fatigue. Your body, mind, and spirit have gone through shock. You were dependent on a substance that, for many people, was helping you function or even get out of bed. So how do you raise those energy levels? If the first thing that came to mind was a pot of coffee, 2 Monster energy drinks, and a bag of sugary candy, PLEASE read on!
1.Tap Your Thymus
Did you just start tapping around the top of your leg? Not even close! Your thymus is located at the top middle part of your chest, just under your collarbone. It is called by many the “happiness point” on your body because it is the organ that controls your lymphatic system which is responsible for rid your body of toxins. Lightly tapping the area boosts energy, relieves stress, increases strength, and triggers the production of T-Cells which keep your immunity up to fight off anything from the common cold to a nasty flu virus. Try tapping it for 20-30 seconds while breathing deeply for an instant energy boost.
2. Drink Some Matcha… At 10:30 AM
Can’t survive without your java in the morning? Time to reach for something green.
Matcha is a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. It has a quarter of the caffeine that coffee has but, unlike your morning cup of joe, it will not give you the caffeine spike just to drop your energy 3-4 hours later leaving you running for your second cup. Matcha gives you a sense of calm alertness not to mention, it boosts your mood and metabolism.
Need that caffeine fix as soon as your eyes open? Try and wait until 10:30 am. Studies prove that cortisol levels spike between 8:00-9:00 AM, and during this time your body isn’t able to process caffeine as effectively. Waiting until 10:30 AM can maximize your morning buzz.
3. Make Your Happy List
I hate naps! You know how everyone says, “just take a quick power nap and you will feel so much better!” If by quick power nap you mean go to sleep for the next 3 hours and wake up not knowing what time it is or how the heck you are going to get to bed at a reasonable hour, then yes, I’m awesome at naps.
If it’s 3:00 during a workday and, I’m hitting an afternoon slump, I take a 15-minute break and bust out my calendar. I look at the next few weeks and what I have going on that brings me enjoyment. Next, I make a list of possible outfits I want to wear, a dish or recipe that I want to bring to a friend’s house to watch football on Sunday, or I look at the blank spaces in my schedule and plan out going to the movies or catching up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. I find the excitement of seeing all the good times ahead to be an instant endorphin booster!
4. Stop and Smell the Rosemary
When you are ready for bed, it’s time to sip on the chamomile tea and spray your sheets with a little bit of lavender. When you need some pep in your step, consider taking in a couple whiffs of rosemary. Rosemary is one of the essential oils that is stimulating to the body. Scholars in ancient Greece used to wear wreaths of rosemary around their head to boost their brain power. Whether it’s fresh from the garden or a little bottle of the essential oil, just a few breaths in can instantly trigger alertness and invigorate your senses.
5. Pump Some Iron and Eat it Too!
It seems counterproductive to go to the gym when you are tired but, exercise strengthens circulation and heart muscles so, it gives more energy to your body. On some of my laziest days, I make myself go to the gym in the morning. Although I may be grumbling the whole way there and telling myself, “30 minutes and I’m done”, I’ve found that my morning workouts give me sustained energy throughout the day.
If you find you are constantly in a state of exhaustion, you could have an iron deficiency. Iron is essential for producing hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your body’s cells, where it is used to produce energy. Try filling your daily meals with leafy green veggies, dried beans, and red meats. Who knew a little steak could give you an energy boost when you can’t get your body moooooovin’.
Listen, I know that some winter mornings it’s impossible to get out of bed when it’s pitch black outside. At times, that sun beaming in your window at 5:45 in the summer can make you wish it was winter. Instead of going for the usual boosters to skyrocket you into your day, why not try one of the above suggestions. The only thing you’ve got to lose is your mid-day caffeine crash and, I’ve got a sinking feeling it won’t be missed.
Author: Lisa Musialowicz – Footprints to Recovery – Director of Alumni