Simple ways to stay energized throughout the day

Afternoon doldrums got you down?  Do you ever notice around 3:00 pm your energy starts to decline?  You still have a few hours left of work and are feeling sluggish.  Or maybe you have to pick up your kids from school and you are greeting them with exhaustion instead of exhilaration.

What can you do?

Reach for coffee, a cookie, a protein bar?

No, no and no.

Physical sluggishness is just a heartbeat away from sadness; we carry the energy the same way in our bodies.  The only way out of it is through it.

I suggest you first honor what you are experiencing.  Let’s be clear I am not asking you become absorbed and overwhelmed in it.  That is different.  I am asking you to acknowledge it.  Here is what you can do:

Physically relax

Lie down on the floor and let your body sink into the floor.  Feel the weight of your body pressing into the ground.  Feel your muscles relaxing and expanding.  Let your arms fall at your sides and loosen your hips and shoulders and then slowly deeply breathe.  Give yourself 5 to 15 minutes to just breathe deeply from the navel, letting the lower belly expand on the inhale and pulling in on the exhale.  Breathe through your nose and listen to your breath.  The tip of the tongue rests behind the back of the upper teeth.

Pressing your tongue on the roof of the mouth connects the Qi circulating the body.   When the tongue is pressed on the roof of the mouth we are connecting the Ren Channel (conception vessel or sea of yin energy) to Du Channel (governing vessel or sea of yang energy).

Go ahead and set your timer so you don’t fall asleep.   Who cares what your co-workers think.  You’ll be more productive if you take even just 5 minutes to rest.  Ask yourself what you are feeling.  Are you sad, overwhelmed, and irritated?   Breathe with consciousness and understanding.  Feel it on the inhale and release it on the exhale. This is how we honor what we are feeling and work through it.

When your 5 to 15 minutes are up, don’t jump up.  Stretch yourself, wiggle your fingers and toes and gently rise.

Physically stimulate

First, stand up with the feet facing forward about shoulder width apart and shake your body.  You can do this for 1 to 3 minutes. Shaking the arms and legs vigorously add the hips, shoulders, remember to be gentle with the head and neck.  Go ahead and shake your booty!  This stimulates the body and releases stress hormones and emotional tension as well as any stuck Qi (energy) which can get blocked when we are tired.

Second, walk and or dance.  That’s right you heard me.  When the heart beat increases our energy does too.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine the Spleen/Pancreas system rules thinking and contemplation and it also rules our body’s muscles.  When the body’s muscles are stimulated it is easier to focus mentally.  The heart being the most important muscle, because it holds our joy.  So get that heart rate up by taking a 10 to 20 minute brisk walk.  Can’t go for a walk, then stand up and dance.  Throw on your headphones and turn on your favorite upbeat tempo and throw down your best disco moves.  It’ll have the same effect as walking and throw a little joy into your day.

Drink Ginseng Tea

Resist that temptation to grab a bite of food or a cup of coffee.  Buy your favorite ginseng tea and drink a cup. Go to the tea section of your favorite health food store where  you  can get Ginseng  blended with other teas for flavor (I like raspberry or lemon) and add honey if you need to, but please avoid sugar or artificial sweeteners.  Sugar will leave you feeling more tired and artificial sweeteners interfere with your metabolism.

Ginseng is a wonderful tonic herb that is a real energy booster.  You won’t be left with the jitters like with coffee.  Ginseng increases vitality and mental/physical performance, protects immunity and balances stress.  It is a Superior Tonic!  With summer around the corner you can brew a pot, let it cool then place it in the fridge.  Add a sprig of mint and a shot of your favorite juice and that my friends is a delicious pick me up.

So take the small amount of time needed to pick up your energy by doing the above.  Good bye afternoon doldrums.  Hello energy.  Hello happy me.

**Before starting any new physical or health regimen seek advice from your Medical Doctor.

*Photo Credit:

Young Couple Sleeping by, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by 



About the JOY Coach

Nora Sullivan-Houndalas

Nora Sullivan-Houndalas is a Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She practices in Los Angeles. Her practice includes Acupuncture, Chinese Herbology, and Meditation. She is also a certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor. You can contact her at: yatross (at) aol (dot) com.

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