Thriving Thursday- The Wonders of Energy

Image source: www.photofacefun.com
Image source: http://www.photofacefun.com

Our energy is truly the best thing we have to offer ourselves and others. Without it we wouldn’t be able to work, go to school, keep up with our children and other loved ones, keep house, and so much more. Yet it can be so hard to come by for a lot of us.

It seems like no matter what I do, I still feel tired or fatigue on some level each day. This causes me to absolutely relish the times where I have even some significant energy, because it makes me feel so much more alive! I can accomplish so much more and am more efficient, not to mention just feeling happier and more content because feeling more rested is simply amazing!

There are so many factors that affect our energy that I could never even begin to list them all. However, I will list some that I personally have experienced or have observed in others:

  • Sleep, the obvious first culprit. Anything from an issue with not getting enough, to going to sleep too late or too early, and issues with sleep quality.
  • Diet is another issue. Some foods legitimately leave us feeling sluggish. Particularly processed food or foods with a lot of fat/sugar. The sugar rush might be awesome at first but once it wanes, you can come crashing back to the fatigue.
  • Health issues ranging from allergies to chronic illness or pain. These are a real drain on our energy because it takes a lot out of us to deal with these things since our bodies are fighting themselves or other organisms.
  • Weather: too hot or too cold can drain our energy as well since our bodies have to regulate their temperature.
  • Spending time with others and/or not spending enough time with others, depending on which one you thrive on (introvert or extrovert). We need to spend a good amount of time with others, either just enough or more depending on our personal needs.
  • Not spending adequate time in the fresh air and sunshine. Of course there is the good ol’ Vitamin D that we absorb from sunlight, but there is something so special about being outside in the beautiful outdoors, with nature and animals all around us that is so good for our mind, body, and spirit!
Image source: ME :)
Beautiful Nature. Image source: ME!

Now that we know some of reasons why we are so tired, all we need to do is the opposite of what we’ve been doing. Eating a diet rich of foods with healthy carbs such as whole grains and fruits, as well as protein, can provide us with the right amount of fuel. Water ties into diet and drinking more water can also help with our energy. Treating our allergies or other chronic pain and illnesses as much as we can, given what we have access to, can minimize the effect of those on us. Taking advantage of air conditioning and heaters, or fans, can help our bodies regulate temperature without as much work. And spending the right amount of time with others, as well as outdoors in nature, will benefit us all around.

Sounds simple, right? Well, we all know that these things are easier said than done. I’m a total advocate of taking things as slowly as you need to in order to better your health. So take baby steps, slowly add in more whole grains, fruits and veggies, and lean protein. Slowly increase the amount of time you set aside for sleep each night until you’re getting enough. Spend five or ten minutes outdoors if you can’t tolerate more at first.

Image source: www.bluemountain.com
Image source: http://www.bluemountain.com

Slowly but surely you will get there. You will see increases in your energy. I know when I follow these rules as best as I can, I see such a difference in my energy. With my allergies and joint pain, I know I’ll never be abounding with energy, but I’m going to keep trying to have more energy. Like I mentioned earlier, feeling more rested is an amazing feeling. It’s like a breath of fresh air!

~Bonnie~

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Thriving Thursday- the Importance of Water

  
Let me start by saying, I used to be one of those people who absolutely hated water! The only times I would drink it was if I was thirsty and it was the only choice, or if it was super cold. Now in the past year, since I started focusing on my health, I have learned to love water.

It’s recommended that we drink 8-10 eight ounce cups a day to regain what we lose by normal body functions, we’ve all heard the eight cups a day ideal. Other people say to drink half your body weight in ounces. That would mean a 150 pound person should drink 75 ounces each day. I say… drink however much works for you and keeps you adequately hydrated. Remember you lose additional water when you sweat so you need to pay attention when you’re exercising and/or on hot or humid days and increase your water intake as needed.

Personally, I’m all for using water flavoring packets or other methods of flavoring your water at first. It helps you get used to the sheer volume of water when you’re not used to drinking that much. Then you can slowly decrease the frequency of using the flavoring, or start infusing your water with fresh fruit and veggies to give it natural flavor. Lemon juice is also a great choice if you like it. I prefer my water to be plain most of the time now but occasionally like flavoring when I want a “treat” to drink.

Drinking water has changed my life in more ways than one. First of all, I rarely feel insanely thirsty anymore because I steadily drink throughout the day and I also feel like my body functions a lot better since I’m hydrated. Another benefit I’ve found is that it’s a great filler when I’m craving something and it’s not time to eat yet. I say to myself, “drink the rest of this bottle before you eat that.” That really helps me day to day.

I have found that I actually crave the water itself. The more I drink it, the more I want of it. The funny part is I started at maybe six cups a day and it was a true struggle, but I learned to drink it whenever I was more thirsty and down as much as I could then, as well as starting as soon as I woke up each day. Now I drink at least 12 cups a day, sometimes as much as 14-16 cups a day. It really amazes me how far I’ve come to love water this much. You can learn to love it too, just remember it takes time and practice.
~Bonnie~