Ask a coworker, a friend, your great aunt—anyone—a simple, “hey, how are you?” and more often than not, you’ll get a response that goes something like this: “I’m so tired.” Unpacking that issue was key at Well+Good’s (ironically super-high-energy) one-year Wellness Council anniversary party, hosted at the 92nd Street Y.
Drew Ramsey, MD moderated the first of three back-to-back panel discussions at the event, and this was all about energy. What does energy mean? And how do we get more of it? The panelists, Parsley Health founder Robin Berzin, MD; renowned acupuncturist, herbalist, and energy healer Jill Blakeway, DACM; and celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, had a lot to say on the topic. They even offered easy lifestyle changes to make if you do, in fact, find yourself feeling exhausted all the time. So perk up and keep reading to get the tips.
Scroll down to see 3 lifestyle tweaks to make if you feel exhausted all the time.
1. Pinpoint the type of exhaustion you feel
“First, you have to ask yourself, is it physical exhaustion or mental exhaustion,” Dr. Berzin tells the packed house of 800-plus people. She says a lot of people start feeling tired near the end of the workday primarily because their brain runs out of energy to process stress. “In that case, you don’t necessarily need more sleep—in fact, a nap could actually make you feel groggy—but you need a break from processing stressful things.” Taking 20 minutes to go for a walk, meditate, or grab coffee with a co-worker are all ways to recharge your mind.
If you are physically exhausted, then you can start exploring solutions like getting more sleep (novel idea, right?) or tweaking your diet. Dr. Berzin adds that a lot of people don’t drink enough water or get enough protein or healthy fats, all of which can contribute to chronic fatigue. She also recommends getting your biomarkers checked to pinpoint exactly what foods might be working against you.
2. Surround yourself with people who are energizing—not draining
As an acupuncturist and energy healer, Blakeway has studied how energy is exchanged between people. “You can pick up on someone’s heart waves or brain waves,” she says. Ever feel yourself immediately tense up when someone walks into the room—or, on the flip side, relax a little? It’s like that.
Sure, you’re not always going to have a choice about who you’re around, but if there are people in your life who are total energy vampires, limiting your interaction with them could up your personal levels of it.
3. Listen to your gut
For Snyder, getting to the root of her digestive problems was ultimately what transformed and reignited her energy. “A lot of issues we don’t actually think are tied to the gut, are tied to the gut,” she says. Making changes to your diet—like cutting out dairy or gluten, if you think those could be causing digestive distress—could literally be life-changing.
A huge thank you to Caulipower for serving cauliflower-crust pizza, Vital Proteins for serving collagen-infused mocha peppermint tea, and Flow for keeping everyone well-hydrated. And thank you to the following brands, who all contributed to the gift bags: The Class by Taryn Toomey, Barry’s Bootcamp, Takeya Hydration, CAP Beauty, Vertly Balm, Patchology, MAKE, Côte, Acesco, ASICS, Peach&Lily, Herbivore Botanicals, and Laka Living.