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Sheryl Kraft

Sheryl Kraft, a freelance writer and breast cancer survivor, was born in Long Beach, New York. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband Alan and dog Chloe, where her nest is empty of her two sons Jonathan. Sheryl writes articles and essays on breast cancer and contributes to a variety of publications and websites where she writes on general health and wellness issues. She earned her MFA in writing from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.

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5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy

5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy

If you're tired all the time and have ruled out health problems as the cause of your fatigue, then try these tips to boost your energy.

Sleep Disorders

Low energy can sap your poor body and make you feel like bingeing on espresso to get it moving (it won't help). At the same time, it can bring on depression and apathy, making you feel unmotivated and hopeless.

Feeling fatigued isn't exactly equivalent to feeling sleepy, according to Mayo Clinic experts, although it can sure feel like it. And while fatigue can be the symptom of an underlying health problem like a chronic infection, anemia or a hormonal disorder, if those things are ruled out, it's likely to be due to your everyday habits or routines.

All it may take are a few simple lifestyle changes to conquer that fatigue once and for all. How to do it? Here are some things to consider.

How are my sleeping habits?

Stress. Insomnia. Noise. Snoring. Sleep apnea. Work overload. Electronics. Caffeine. A lumpy mattress. Need any more reasons for not sleeping well? Experts estimate that we are sleeping about 20 percent less than we did a century ago. But the fact remains that most adults need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night—that number hasn't changed. Life is complicated, and there are many sleep-saboteurs. It might be time to evaluate your habits; have a good, honest look at what you're doing and how your habits might be robbing you of sleep. Then, make some sensible changes. A tweak here, a tweak there. It all adds up in a big way. For starters, give one of these teas for sleep a try!

Everybody off the couch!

When you're exhausted, you have a good excuse, er, reason, to kick back and relax. But when you consider that studies show that light exercise—as little as 10 minutes a day—can be enough to replenish energy levels, you might bypass that couch and, instead, do something moderately active. A leisurely stroll—or even just standing up and stretching—can boost your energy levels and turn your fatigue around. If you spend much of your day sitting, now may be a good time to consider a standing desk, like one of these from Flexispot. Standing has so many perks—it can boost your mood, productivity and energy in a big way.

Am I stressed?

Take a busy, demanding day, toss in some body tension, and what do you have? An energy sapper. Your body and your mind can only take so much. Fend off stress by remembering to incorporate these things into most days: Yoga. Deep breathing. Meditation. Listening to music. Connecting with someone you love. Smiling at a stranger. Walking in nature. Throwing the windows open for some fresh air. Doing something you love— something that makes you feel good—can help you reinvigorate and recharge and fill you with new-found energy.

How's my eating?

Are you skipping meals? Not eating enough? Eating too much? Simply put, your body needs fuel to run its engine. Skipping a meal can slow your metabolism, and eating too much can slow you down, too. Start eating right first thing in the morning. Studies show that eating breakfast can improve your alertness and concentration. Eat a healthy meal that includes both protein and complex carbohydrates, like whole grain toast smeared with peanut butter. And while you're at it, eat at consistent times—research shows that people who do (and pack their own lunches rather than eating out) have healthier diets, overall.

Stay away from toxic folk.

Have you ever noticed how draining it is to be around negative, argumentative, needy or nasty people? It's so draining and unpleasant, isn't it? That's why—especially in these turbulent times—you need to set some boundaries. Stay away from toxic people if you can. Learn how to say "no"—and mean it. And by all means, stand up for yourself. If you need help handling a toxic personality or overcoming your guilt, seek professional help.

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