In the Northern Hemisphere, autumn and winter bring about noticeable changes: fewer daylight hours resulting in less natural vitamin D; colder days leading to closed windows and more time indoors; local food sources change from green to starchy. Seasonal shifts can also have a profound effect on our energy levels.
Our diet changes from the cooling, energizing raw bounty to long-storing root veggies and squash with their comforting, warming energy. Colder temperatures can lead to cravings for richer “comfort” foods. The shift in our diet combined with reduced light and fresh air, usually results in slower thinking and reduced physical energy.
This is a very natural process that prepares us for the partial 'hibernation' of winter, insuring our bodies have a little extra stored fat for warmth. However, for most of us, the demands of our life do not decrease in the same way our available energy does. Fortunately, there are steps we can take to vitalize our mind and body. Here are ten sure ways to boost your mental acuity and physical energy.
1-Alkalize and Hydrate
Many foods and chemicals, along with dehydration and stress can cause increasing acidification of our body tissues. This promotes tissue degeneration and worsens most health imbalances while lowering our available energy.
Lemon or quince juice mixed in water will quickly alkalize and hydrate your body. Once hydrated with alkalized water, clumped red blood cells trying to deliver the much needed oxygen to our brain, muscles and other body tissues are very quickly lubricated and mobilized. This causes us to feel the return of spring in our step.
For variety, similar alkalizing benefits can be accomplished with the addition of cranberry juice or pure electrolyte minerals added to your water. Alkalizing can also be achieved by eating a large raw salad. The effect is exaggerated if you harvest fresh greens and veggies from a nearby organic garden, as fresher food has a high nutrient and enzyme content.
2-Connect with Nature and the Earth
Walking, even for ten or fifteen minutes in the fresh air, preferably around trees or ocean breezes will set your body and mind into a more peaceful state and activate healing. Both the springy forest floor and the leaves of the trees emit substances that have been clinically proven to boost immune function and mood. Touching the bare ground with our skin, is an even more powerful way to benefit from the bounty of Nature's energy. If it's not too cold to do so safely, slip off your shoes for a few minutes so you can be in contact with the Earth energies of the ground. If you live near a lake or the ocean and are not at risk of frostbite, a few minutes of wading in the water can offer an even more profound boost in energy. With the exception of the last century, for millions of years humans have been in constant energetic contact with the Earth. Now we consistently cover our feet and the floors of our homes with non-conductive petroleum products that block us from the grounding (or 'earthing') energy of our planet.
A short-term chill is a small price to pay for the invigoration that earthing produces. Studies show that beneficial immune, neurological and cellular repair are stimulated within seconds of contacting Earth energies. Bare skin contact with mycorrhizal fungi in the soil can boost serotonin levels (a hormone that makes you feel happy.)
For people in moderate health, walking briskly for 30 to 60 minutes to increase the heart rate can produce higher energy levels. For healthy people, regularly increasing heart rate to 60% of our maximum (consult a cardio fitness chart) will stimulate gentle immune system changes, boost brain activity, tone the heart and burn fat. When walking briskly becomes easy, the challenge can be increased by walking with light arm/hand weights. Adding upper body activity will strengthen core, arm and back muscles while increasing the heart rate further. Physical activity triggers the liver to flush out stored toxins, aiding in healing and balancing body systems. If sprinting (interval training) is within your ability, you can try thirty seconds at speed and ninety seconds slowly (for seven cycles), three times a week.
4-Breathing and Wiggling
Wiggling spinal action- wiggly chair, ball chair, belly dancing, even dance-like movements or alternating twist-over leg stretches from side to side while laying on the floor will help to mobilize the spine. Just get twisting one way or another. This will energize you by enhancing the flow of spinal fluid and will increase overall flexibility and strength. Bounding on a trampoline is another approach and it triggers movement in the spine as well as the lymphatic system. Deep breathing enhances the distribution of oxygen (especially to the brain tissues) and it also encourages the movement of the spinal fluid.
5-Take a break from Cooked Food
When feeling sluggish it can be a good time to take a short cleanse through raw foods or juices (start slowly if you are new to raw food cleansing). Even after returning to cooked food, we can encourage the flushing of tissue-stored toxins by detoxifying as much as possible through a pure diet and the help of products like Daily Detox Tea or Kolorex Tea.
6-Connecting with People
Increasing our social connections and mental activity boosts energy. Seeing loved ones or acquaintances more often, even for short periods, may boost joy and energy. Even having talking to strangers can have a positive impact on our hormones and brain activity, especially if the connections are mentally stimulating.
7-Wake up on Time
Regulated sleep habits (waking up at the same time every morning) can increase energy even when overall sleep hours are decreased. As our sleep cycle gradually adjusts to a regular wake-up time, we can wake more quickly and thoroughly, regardless of our bedtime.
Light is important for insuring our body systems are completely 'awake'. Getting out into the bright light will balance our energy and appetite for the rest of the day and we'll sleep better at night. If it's dark in the morning when we exercise, plan to also step outside at noon for fifteen minutes (sans sunglasses) to make sure the pineal gland is stimulated. The pineal gland is called 'the master gland' because of its immense regulating responsibilities for all our other organs and it requires light to function adequately.
Even on dark days, bright light can be available in the morning with a portable Litebook brand light therapy device. Other light devices have unhealthy electrical fields and or light that is harmful for the eyes. Though the Litebook is the best healthy light source, indirect exposure is healthier than looking right at it.
9-Minimize Interference with your Body Energy
The body is electric and for a healthy body and mind, millions of transmissions of hormones, chemicals or information need to flow from cell to cell every second. Exposure to unnatural electro-magnetic fields can interfere with these transmissions.
Wireless radiation emitted from our wi-fi, wireless computers, routers and cell phones reduce the body’s ability to function optimally and slow the body’s ability to heal. If these wireless devices are going to be a part of our lives, it's best to shut them off (including cordless phones) at night and whenever we don't absolutely need them.
Look into some health supports to boost your immune system. Products like Deep Immune capsules or tincture can help your body to feel more energy indirectly...simply because fewer bodily resources are being utilized resisting ill effects. Vitamin D3, Buffered Vitamin C to support a healthy immune system.