Spring seems full of energy—until you consider your to-do list: Clean out the garage, plant the garden, organize that first cookout of the season with friends, plan summer vacation…exhausted yet? Don’t worry. You can keep your energy humming with these natural boosters that will help make all those spring projects and plans feel as effortless as the season itself.
Build a Powerful Plate
Trade in cold-weather comfort foods for lighter meals that pack in big nutrition. At every meal, seek a mix of vitamin-rich produce (like in-season leafy greens and spinach), fiber-full whole grains or legumes, and plant-based protein sources, such as quinoa. This power-boosting combination will give you plenty of energy, without leaving you feeling sluggish.
Sometimes, all you need is a burst of fuel to stoke your energy level. Between meals, Westberry recommends reaching for a snack that includes fiber and lean protein to get you going for the short term and support your metabolism for long-lasting energy. Some good combinations are apple slices with peanut butter or a smoothie that contains fruit, greens, and low-fat yogurt.
There’s a reason people use the phrase “Let me catch my breath” – it’s because breathing deeply actually works to help you refocus your energy when you’re physically tired or feeling stressed. “Conscious breathing brings oxygen to the body, and can bring you back to balanced energy without much effort,” explains Westberry. To try it, simply stop whatever you’re doing for a few moments, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths.
Another easy, natural source for energy is right outside your door: sunshine. Your body needs vitamin D, which it makes when you get just a few minutes of sun exposure. Try to eat your lunch outside or take a walk in the sunshine when you’re feeling sluggish in the afternoon.
Don’t Wait on Water
Even being mildly dehydrated (meaning, you don’t even feel thirsty yet) saps your energy level. One study found that not drinking enough water left participants with lower moods and less ability to concentrate. Instead of waiting until you’re parched, keep a big bottle of water on your desk and sip all day. To jump-start your hydration efforts, reach for a tall glass of water as soon as you wake up.