Today’s Solutions: March 23, 2023

In a world where seemingly everything is trying to grab your attention, it’s not uncommon to feel tired and out of focus during the day.

If this sounds relatable, we have seven lifestyle strategies that can help you regain your energy and mental clarity. These strategies come from two integrative health experts: Harvard-trained physician Robert E. Graham and Chicago-based dietician Taylor Wolfram.

Plantify your diet: A plant-based diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds will give you sustained energy all day. And since 80 percent of your immune system lies in your gut, you want to give your gut what it thrives on, namely fiber, which you can only find in plants.

Water your body: Dehydration can impair cognitive functioning and even cause fatigue. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated. Rethink your meals: Instead of having the usual three meals a day, Graham believes it’s better to eat “large snacks” every few hours to help you sustain energy throughout the day.

Get active outdoors: When you exercise, you increase the flow of oxygen in your body, which energizes you. And while you’re at it, take your workout outdoors and connect to nature.

Power up with a nap: While you shouldn’t take a long nap, Graham says a nap between 10 and 15 minutes can help you recharge during the day. Just make sure not to nap after 4 pm as it might disturb your chances of good sleep.

Set up a stress plan: You can’t completely escape stress, which is why it’s good to have a stress plan to curb how it affects you. Wolfram suggests making a list of your stressors and categorizing them as “unavoidable” or “avoidable.” Focus on the “avoidable” list and see where you can cut back. Now look at the ones you deemed unavoidable and determine if they really are such, examining where you might be able to decrease stress in those areas, too. Then get a daily self-care routine in place, which might mean yoga, journaling, or taking a walk with a friend.

Build your happiness muscle: The left frontal lobe is known for being the place where “happiness sits”, but it’s also the same area that controls focus and energy. That’s why Graham believes it’s so important to find things that make you happy: When you feel happy, it can give you a boost of energy.

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