manpunchingIt has been a long slog of a winter this year on the East Coast, and if you’re anything like me the weather and its effects have you feeling sort of perpetually low on energy.

This bothers me, because I’m a busy person, and the more energy I have the more productive and happy I’m going to be.

The following are a few life hacks to help ramp up your energy levels in any weather.

  1. Exercise is key. I’ve found that when I get a workout in during the morning hours, I feel more energetic throughout the day. This may seem counterintuitive, since exercise is supposed to wear you out, but I’m telling you: it works. If you’re not into exercising, going for a brisk walk should suffice. It’s mostly about just getting up and getting moving. Yoga is also a phenomenal morning workout.
  2. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, but not too much. I’m a terrible sleeper, and because of this I tend to stay in bed for longer than I should as a means of compensating for the light or restless sleep I got the night before. But if you stay in bed for more than nine hours, your energy—and metabolism—might decrease. And, if you’re taking a sleep aid, make sure you’re taking it early enough that its effects won’t last into the next day when you need to be active.
  3. Hydrate and caffeinate. Energy levels decrease when you’re not properly hydrated, so make sure you’re getting your fill of water or other nourishing liquids before you start housing the coffee…Because caffeine is great for energy boosts, but can be counterproductive because caffeinated drinks actually help dehydrate you.
  4. Do not be afraid to laugh. The more you laugh, the more energy you’re going to have. Firstly, laughter increases your heart rate and blood pressure, two things that can get you going when you’re feeling fatigued. Also, people who laugh a lot and enjoy life have attitudes and thoughts that are more conducive to a high-energy vibe than someone who is walking around in his boxers all day being a huge Debbie Downer.
  5. Make it a point to eat right, even when you’re swamped with work and responsibility. When people are busy, they tend to go with fast food or something they find in a vending machine. Take them time to track down something healthy. You will absolutely not regret it. You know, the body is a temple and all that stuff.
  6. It’s never a bad idea to stretch. Whenever you’re feeling sleepy or run down, take a couple minutes and stretch your body out. Stretching can stimulate your nervous system, and it just feels downright great when you’ve been hustling all day.
  7. Be loud. Be proud. Sing every morning in the shower. Seriously—it’ll wake you up and, if you’re listening to something upbeat and happy, make you feel better about the day ahead. Do not listen to sad music when you’re in the shower. Just don’t. Trust me.
  8. This one is my least favorite, but cutting back on the drinking can help increase your energy. Alcohol is, of course, a depressant, and depressants sap you of your energy and will to be awesome.  Booze also interferes with your sleep quality.
  9. Get outside for at least a while every single day. The sun is important to energy, happiness, and well-being. My worst, lowest-energy days this winter have been the days when I open my curtains in the morning, discover six inches of snow, and decide not to step foot out of my house until the next day.
  10. If you’re really feeling de-energized, consult your physician. He or she can do tests on your thyroid and other bodily functions to discern if you have a problem or are deficient in any of the vitamins that energize.