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.Full Bio
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Do you feel it? I do, from time to time … that all-out sensation of gravity pulling my body downward to a place I don't want it to go. It's energy drain. I'm dealing with it today, and I'm assigning blame to the cloudy, rainy weather. I felt it yesterday at around 2 p.m., then realized I'd been so busy I hadn't eaten my lunch yet. Whatever the reason for that low-grade energy lapse, here are some helpful—and simple—solutions. (Alert: Read all the way through for a special giveaway "hidden" within this post!)
- Drink Water. Pour yourself a tall cool glass of water. You might already know that sometimes we think we're hungry when the culprit is thirst. But thirst can cause fatigue, too. If water is not your thing, eat fruits or veggies high in water content—these include watermelon (my fave!), iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and celery.
- Get Up and Move. Sitting—aside from being really bad for your health—can make you so fatigued that you'll be fighting to keep from sliding off your chair. Get up and move—it's an instant energizer. Even five minutes can invigorate you. March in place, do some Rockette-style kicks, run up and down the stairs, grab a hula hoop, jump up and down—you get the idea.
- Eat Complex Carbs. Carbohydrates provide your body with energy, especially your brain and nervous system. Avoid highly processed carbs, though, which provide very little nutrition. Instead, increase your consumption of complex carbs by reaching for whole-grain rice, breads and cereals, as well as legumes (beans, lentils, dried peas). Get your natural sugars from fruits and veggies rather than refined sugars.
- Deal With Stress. Being anxious, worried or angry takes a lot of energy and can leave you feeling like you just ran a marathon or took a six-hour exam. Just as much—or more—energy goes into holding in those feelings. So, acknowledge them and move on. Easier said than done, I know. Read some great resiliency boosters here.
- Meditate. Lots of studies have pointed to the fatigue-fighting benefits of meditation. Try a simple mini-meditation of about three minutes. It can restore your energy and can be done just about anywhere. For a quickie pick-me-up, close your eyes and begin to relax your body. If thoughts intrude, picture a relaxing scene—clouds floating in the sky or perhaps a beach at sunset. Breathe deeply and evenly.
- Eat a Fruition Bar. PROBAR, a natural foods and snack company, just came out with this "superfood snack," its first certified gluten-free product. These 160-calorie, chewy, dense snacks are 100 percent vegan, organic and non-GMO. They're filled with healthy treats like dates, oats, chia seeds and cashews. The peach was my favorite, but you can't go wrong with the other flavors like cherry, lemon, blueberry, chocolate orange and cran-raspberry, either.