Behind Low Energy - it's a Messenger
Whenever we neglect or are too flexible (aka irregular) in satisfying our bio-organisms aka bodies basic needs, it directly affects the efficiency of our digestive fire, which impacts our ability to effectively absorb and direct our nutrients which then limits the optimal functioning of our mind-body and leaves us at a shortage of energy and functioning.
Because as soon as our body is in survival mode aka fight-or-flight response (it is about our BODY and the threat to its vital functions, that's where it starts), some big decisions need to be made: the body asks itself: "what do I need to prioritize in order to deal with the perceived threat (aka stress, lack of structure and routine, periods of change and transition, trauma or post-somatic/delayed response to trauma) right now?"
As soon as this happens, our body needs to compromise. "Okay, to make it out of here I need to either run, fight or freeze. All of this requires muscle engagement and an alert mind. everything else will need to go on hold".
"Everything else" is your digestion, relaxation response, proper hormone production, etc. and it being on hold, often permanently when not snapping out of fight-and-flight, leaves you permanently exhausted, drained, tired amongst other symptoms.
So here are some simple but profound tips to support that magnificent temple of yours so it can, in turn, grace you with more energy and feeling ALIVE.
Calibrating to Your Circadian Rhythms
The more we can live in sync with our circadian rhythms aka our bio clock or biorhythms, the more our body remains in equilibrium and our parasympathetic nervous system is activated, meaning we are in rest and digest mode/relaxation response and thereby at our best functioning.
Our biorhythms respond to the rhythms of our environment, ideally - the nature we are a part of, and predominantly our own natural cycles are informed by the level of light that is hitting the retina of our eye and then sending signals to the brain to initiate a response.
The part in our brain responsible for driving our daily rhythms of behaviour and physiology is the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the mammalian hypothalamus.
E.g. as the sun sets and it is getting darker around us, the changing light level perceived by our retina is informing the SCN that the day is coming to an end and the brain initiates relative functions via the nervous system, such as triggering the release of the hormone melatonin which causes us to feel tired, so we prepare to turn in for the night.
Unfortunately, modern human-life is interfering with our natural circadian rhythms through EMF, artificial lightening and LEDs, constant white noise and electronics, night shifts, partying until the mornign hours, chemicals and hormone disrupters in the food and water we consume, etc. - All this leads to a confusion of our bio-rhythms and the end result is low energy, fatigue and tiredness alongside other and more serious disease symptoms, including chronic disease and mental health imbalances.
A couple of things you can do to help your body and recalibrating to its natural circadian rhythms:
Rise & go to bed at the same time each day. Wake with the sun, go to bed by 10 pm.
As mentioned, our personal bio clock responds to the natural environment around us. As the sun rises so does life re-awaken around the planet, as it sinks, we set in for rest and restoration of our internal systems for the night. The perfect balance of rest-and-digest (yin) and activity-and-alertness (yang) is required for optimal wellbeing and plenty of energy throughout the day.
It is not just about that you sleep around 8hrs but when - it is in the early morning hours (between 11 pm-2 am-ish) that your liver and inner organs are being cleansed and restored from damage done throughout the day (look at it as your car maintenance). This only happens though if you are actually in deep sleep, which is required for the system to be relaxed and "shut down" enough to be restored.
Eat three meals at regular times each day. Avoid snacking.
When our body does not know when it will get to rest, receive nourishment and nutrients or eliminate (basic needs), it goes into a fight-and-flight response which will disrupt our digestion instantly, often creating indigestion along with other symptoms (feeling sluggish, cloudy, low energy) and low absorption of nutrients.
Eating proper meals mindfully at regular times also prevents energy lulls throughout the day and helps you maintain a healthy weight. The key is to eat mindfully. Even if your breakfast is not more than an apple or chai latte. Sit down with it, indulge in the experience with all your senses:
how are you feeling in your body and mind before beginning your meal?
How does it taste, feel in your mouth, then your stomach, how does it smell, feel, look?
Digestion literally starts with our eyes, then within our mouth via our tongue and pallet that already sends signals to the brain as for what type of nutrition you are sending down your pipe and the body prepares.
Avoid processed foods, sugar and caffeine.
All these culprits are hormone inhibitors, meaning they greatly impair your bodies optimal functioning, stress and tax your adrenals and immune system and lead to all sorts of worse symptoms. Caffeine in fact drains your energy instead of giving your any: it spikes your adrenals by activating your stress response through its stimulating qualities. This results in the excess secretion of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline who literally give you an "adrenaline" or energy rush but as soon as this rush is over you crash. - Because the perceived energy burst is really your body pumping out its last resources of already close to negative energy, leaving you worse off after and drawing you into a spiral of substituting the crash with a little "pick me up" of sugar or caffeine which will lead to another crash leading to another pick me up, etc. and before you know it you spiral downwards ...
Spend time outside. Get plenty of oxygen and vitamin D
Your number one brain foods, mood lifters and instant state-elevators: nature time and fresh air. Get lots of it daily. Choose to spend your lunch break outside. Eat under a tree. Strip your shoes off and earth yourself on the soil. Finish off your workday with a beach walk to reset. Nature is your nature - come back to it, every day. It's medicine.
Support your liver.
Love your liver and life will love you back. Your liver is responsible for your bodies natural detoxification process. Too much stress, processed foods, heated environments and emotions, rushing, coffee, lack of routine, overeating, lack of movement ... will all tax your liver.
When the liver is not working properly, your lymph is not draining and you are accumulating ama, or toxic metabolic waste, in your body, which is the root cause of all dis-ease.
Support your liver by eating dark leafy greens (ideally cooked or steamed) every day, daily movement and routine and ritual. Aloe vera, pomegranate or cranberry juice and herbs like turmeric, guduchi, bhumiamalaki and manjista are also incredibly cooling, detoxifying and toning for the liver.
These are also great remedies if you find yourself falling into anger, irritability, frustration or short temper frequently - which are also symptoms of a stressed over overheated liver!
Eat an early and small dinner.
Remember what I said about deep quality sleep earlier? Well, we can only get into that sleep state that allows the overnight maintenance of our system IF we are actually asleep. If we are still digesting a heavy evening meal as we go to lay down, our system cannot actually fully shut down, nor can it fully digest it. There is an energy-output conflict there, which is the reason why you may wake up in the morning after a night over late heavy dinners and overeating and you feel like the food is still sitting in your stomach - because it is.
Dinner should be your smallest meal of the day and eaten at least 2-3hrs before going to bed. If you do go to bed by 10 pm, that puts your dinner time at about 7pm-ish latest, around 5.30-6.30 pm is ideal!
Lunch is your biggest meal of the day.
when the sun is highest, your digestive fire is in full swing. This is the prime time to get some good nourishing food in ya'. Because of the digestive efficiency at this time of the day, lunch should be your biggest and/or heaviest meal of the day.