Fibromyalgia and other invisible illnesses can take a serious toll on your energy levels – not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. While you may not get back all the energy you once possessed, there are a few simple hacks you can do to boost your energy levels and fight off the physical, mental and emotional toll of fibromyalgia. Here are 12 natural energy hacks you should try:
#1 – Drink an Energy Boosting Smoothie
Smoothies can be a quick and healthy pick my up. Blueberries are a great addition to smoothies as they are packed with tons of rich antioxidants to neutralize toxic “free radicals” in your body. Adding a little d-ribose powder is another great way to boost your energy levels without the risk of a crash later on.
#2 – Eat Low Glycemic Foods
Low glycemic foods such as beans, bran cereal, brown rice and nuts are a must if you struggle with fatigue. Because they are low glycemic – they won’t make your blood sugar levels spike, meaning you don’t have to worry about a sugar crash.
#3 – Try Natural Energy Supplements
Energy supplements can be an effective tool to help get you through the day. Don’t fall for the energy pills you see in the checkout line that promote “quick” energy boosts – they’re usually filled with unhealthy ingredients. Stick to ones that are not only safe, but have been shown to be effective for fibromyalgia. These include CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10), L-carnitine, Alpha-lipoic acid, d-ribose and vitamin B12.
#4 – Try Aromatherapy
Different scents can both invigorate and enliven your senses. Find out which scents work best for you and find ways to incorporate them into your home or workplace – be it through plants, scented candles or other means. One scent you may want to try is rosemary, which is believed to improve memory, boost mental clarity and lift your spirits.
#5 – Have Your Thyroid Checked
If you’re constantly dragging – it may be worth it to have your thyroid checked. An underactive thyroid can lead to extreme fatigue and exhaustion. Other signs of thyroid problems might include digestive problems, hair loss, dry or brittle hair, coarse or dry skin, depression, and menstrual irregularities.
#6 – Take an Iron Supplement
Another possibility is that you might not be getting enough iron. Iron plays a key role in the production of hemoglobin, the protein responsible for carrying oxygen to your cells to be used for energy. Lack of iron can cause fatigue, shortness of breath, elevated hear rate, cold hands or feet, mouth sores and more. Talk to your doctor about taking an iron supplement to see if he/she feels it might be right for you.
#7 – Get some Vitamin D
Whether you soak up the sun for 15 minutes a day or take a vitamin D supplement, this important vitamin plays a role in regulating mood. It is especially important to get enough vitamin D during the winter months when the days are shorter and your sun exposure is limited.
#8 – Try Mindfulness/Meditation
Stress is a part of everyone’s life – but even more so for those of us with fibromyalgia. What’s worse is that stress can actually exacerbate our symptoms – as well as wear us out physically and emotionally. Even just ten minutes a day of mindfulness or guided meditation can help you cope positively with stress and clear your mind. The mental clarity and relief of stress can provide a much-needed jolt to your energy and mood.
#9 – Take Five Minutes to Stretch
Have you ever been sitting or laying for a long time and then stretched? It usually feels revitalizing, doesn’t it? That’s because stretching helps your muscles relax and stay loose/flexible. It also helps improve circulation, boosting the flow of oxygen to your cells – which is important to help fight off fatigue. If you want to take it beyond simple stretching, try doing some yoga or pilates moves every day. Many fibromyalgia patients have found wonderful benefits from practicing yoga, pilates or tai chi regularly.
#10 – Go on a Short Walk
I know – going for a walk is probably the last thing you want to do. But study after study has shown simple, low impact exercises like walking to be extremely beneficial to fibromyalgia patients. Not only that, but walking has been associated with greater levels of gray matter in your brain – helping you to think clearer and stay sharp.
#11 – Drink a Glass or Two of Water
Sounds a little simple, doesn’t it? But it works. Keeping your body hydrated helps fight off weakness and exhaustion. If you’re not already drinking enough water every day, try drinking two full glasses before lunch and two glasses between lunch and dinner. Do this for just two weeks and see if you notice a difference. Trust me – you will.
#12 – Try taking Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola Rosea is one of our favorite herbal supplements for improving mood and energy. The plant is known as an adaptogen, meaning it has special compounds that help it adjust to and deal with stressful external forces. It is often grown in cold, harsh environments such as northern Canada. Rhodiola Rosea supplements can help you cope with stress and improve your mood.