Gaye Levy, Contributing Writer
This site is all about survival. And “survival” can mean different things to different people, or even to the same people within the context of different circumstances. Still, in its most basic definition, survival is defined as: the act or fact of living.
Here at Backdoor Survival, we take things beyond basic living. We plan for unexpected emergencies, we “prep” for disasters, and we mentally challenge ourselves to deal with uncertain times. But not everything we do has to do with crisis management. Sometimes we simply gather up the tools of daily life and come up with the very best way to get by and to cope with the challenges of, well, life.
One of those challenges, especially during these uncertain times, is having sufficient energy to get through the day with time left over for a bit of relaxation or, as I like to call it, nourishment for the soul.
Shall we start?
1. Get a good night’s rest. Ha ha you say. Easier said than done. One of the best ways I know of to get enough sleep is to make sleep a priority. Sleep is not an inconvenient and and bothersome task to mark off of your daily checklist. Look forward to going to bed at night by treating sleep as a rest and rejuvenation period.
2. Drink water. Dehydration is a big contributor to fatigue which often causes people to not be able to concentrate as well as other physical ills. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated even if your body does not appear to be demanding the extra fluid.
3. Eat at least one high fiber meal a day. A fiber-filled meal can really lift your energy and enable your energy level to stay constant throughout the day. Fiber can also slow down the absorption of food, which keeps blood sugar levels steady in the body. You will not only feel better, but the likelihood of mood swings is greatly diminished.
4. Have a bit of caffeine. If done properly, you can use caffeine to increase your energy levels without having a sudden drop mid-day. The way to do it is to have a moderate amount of caffeine – say 6 ounces and not more than 8 ounces – every few hours. This will prevent a huge energy spike followed by a later crash. Controversial? Maybe. But I have tried this and it really does work.
5. Drink some tea. Not only does it contain caffeine but it also has L-Theanine, an amino acid that helps decrease fatigue and also can improve alertness. Black Tea is also great because it is an antioxidant that can help combat stress.
6. Fruits and nuts are your friends. A great source of magnesium comes from fruits and nuts. People with low magnesium levels have been shown to use up their energy faster, leaving them tired quicker. Aim for 320mg of magnesium in order to boost your energy levels.
7. Have a peanut butter and banana sandwich. The banana contributes potassium and the peanut butter contributes magnesium to your daily palette nutrients. Together they help metabolize sugar which can also lead to a more consistent mood throughout the day.
8. Surround yourself with plants. A study was conducted showing that the use of plants in a windowless office can increase productivity up to 12%. Supposedly, the plants increased the workers creative thoughts and reduced their levels of stress. Is this really true? Who knows. All I can say is that Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of directing energy, uses houseplants extensively. In general, all kinds of plants emit a positive energy and, because they cleanse the air, they contribute to the positive flow of chi throughout a house. It is worth a shot.
9. Listen to music. Music has a calming effect on almost everyone and surprise surprise, the genre does not matter as long as the music is enjoyable and makes you feel more upbeat. Listening to music will alleviate stress . . . which leads to our next tip.
10. Reduce stress in your life. Isn’t is a shame that many of us (and I have been guilty) wear the amount of stress we have as a badge of success? Get over it. Don’t fall in to “bragging” about the amount of stress in your life. Instead, deal with your task list, get things done rather than procrastinate, and feel a sense of accomplishment – even a small one – each and every day.
11. Take a walk and get moving. There is nothing like a bout of physical exercise to set your mood and your energy level on fire. Even a brief, fifteen minute walk with your dog will a long way toward boosting your energy. And even though it does not seem logical, the exertion of physical energy does not use up energy, it accelerates it.
12. Smile. What else can I say? Smiles are contagious, and they actually improve your mood. As a bonus, people will respond to your smile and often times will smile right back. Others will tend to treat you in a friendly and generous manner and your spouse or partner, their day will become better as well.
Bonus tip: Living in the Pacific Northwest can be dreary, especially during the winter months. Often on those dreary days, the get-up-and-go never takes off. The result is low energy and, if not a sour mood, then a “moody” mood if you know what I mean. So, a little over a year ago, I invested in a therapy light. Specifically, I purchased the Philips goLITE and let me tell you, thirty minutes a day and the smile is back, the energy is back, and enthusiasm and go-to-it-ism rules the day. Highly recommended!
The Final Word
The lack of energy is an unwelcome state no matter what, but it is especially unwelcome in the life of the 21st-century prepper. There is simply too much to do to waste time with a lackluster level of energy. So take your pick – mix and match – boost your energy and give yourself the ability to embrace the future with gusto.
Remember, it is all about survival.
Gaye Levy, the SurvivalWoman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable, self-reliant and stylish lifestyle through emergency preparation and disaster planning through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. SurvivalWoman speaks her mind and delivers her message with optimism and grace, regardless of mayhem swirling around us. Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!