By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: May 26, 2010
Menopause took me by surprise. Why is it, for example, that I feel surrounded by people with more energy than I have? The older I become, the more tired and listless I feel. Don’t get me wrong, I want to live the gregarious, enthusiastic active lifestyle I used to, but it seems like such a stretch, like it is completely unobtainable. Why is it the 30 and 40 year olds who weigh less than 115 pounds have all the energy? Have I turned into an apathetic old biddy who wears Spanx?
After a lot of research and many attempts at overcoming what I refer to as The Great Energy Suck, I realize there’s not just one thing, one idea or one medication that’s going to suddenly turn my life around and make it all good. It’s a personal concoction of a combination of them all that works for me. Don’t think I haven’t tried everything; from the ab roller to the flower essences, I always used to feel like I would find a solution somewhere. Little did I know, the answer was in the simple, small steps that were right underneath my nose the whole darn time. So here they are- five simple ways that I find help me counteract The Great Energy Suck and ultimately make me feel more on track, motivated and actuated:
- Get off the sofa and exercise. I’m not talking about exercising to lose weight here, although that’s a nice added bonus. I’m talking about exercising to gain energy. It sounds counterintuitive but exercising when you’re tired will actually give you an energy boost and reduce fatigue. So, next time you’re feeling tired, go for a walk.
- Don’t try to climb the highest mountain all at once. I always seem to get in a funk when I expect something big to happen all at once. I want to lose 20 pounds but feel overwhelmed when I think of how I’m going to do it. It makes me tired even thinking about it. So, instead of looking at the top of the mountain thinking, “I’ll never get there”, try to focus on the next 5 minutes. I try to break my excessive chocolate eating habit (and ultimately lose weight) by going for a 5 minute walk every time I have the chocolate urge. This allows me to create a healthier habit and makes me feel like my 20 pounds of weight loss isn’t so far away because I’m actually doing something to make it happen. I like to celebrate every mole hill.
- Eat a banana every day. The potassium found in bananas is really good for an energy boost. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, sends oxygen to the brain and helps body fluids and electrolytes balance in body cells. It may sound like monkey talk, but bananas really can keep your moods at an even keel by regulating glucose levels. Bananas can also boost serotonin levels, which are associated with relief from depression, anxiety and sleep disorders. If you’re not into the banana scene, snack on dry fruits that are packed with essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins and enzymes.
- Don’t waste my time with negative people. You know exactly who I’m talking about; those people who blame everyone but themselves for every little problem. Those mean spirits who don’t give one lick about other people’s emotions and who criticize, condescend and demean others every chance they get. Just the thought of them drains my energy into a big black hole! Negative relationships make me feel exhausted, depressed and detached. Now, instead of getting burnt out from them, I don’t even waste my time with those Energy Vampires anymore!
- Drink lots of water. Even mild dehydration can make you feel like you have less energy and tire you out. That’s because water is a nutrient that activates energy in our cells. When we’re dehydrated, our blood volume decreases, so less blood flows to vital organs and parts of the body. Dehydration of the brain leads quickly to the perception of fatigue. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink plenty of water. This is a sign that your energy is already depleting. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Your body needs four quarts every day. Usually, two quarts are consumed through water content in food, so I keep a big jug of water with me at all times. It also helps you lose weight by decreasing your appetite.
I remember my life before menopause and how I felt energized, excited and raring to go. Life is different now. I just want to feel better and regain that lust for life I was once oh so familiar with. Getting my motivation and energy back is not something that happens all at once though. To rejuvenate my life, I’ll have to make more of an effort to pull myself up by my bootstraps.
“7 Ways to Get More Motivated.” The Big Leap Coaching Company. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2010. website
Fairweather, Alan. “How to Feel Even More Self-Motivated.” Articlesbase. N.p., 18 05 2010. Web. 17 May 2010. website
“Menopause – Fresh Start.” All About Life Challenges. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2010. websiteWake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. “Drinking Water Can Help Your Diet.” ScienceDaily 5 February 2003. 17 May 2010 website