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Categories > Mental and Emotional Health > Stress management

Running on empty

Do your batteries need a little recharging? With so many demands and so little time, it’s easy to feel sapped. But you don’t have to go through your day a zombie. Try these tips to put the oomph back in your life:

Get your zzzs. On average, adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep every night. To get your rest, set a sleep schedule and stick to it. If you need to nap, limit it to 20 or 30 minutes—snooze any longer and you may have trouble sleeping later.

Eat right. Load up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which you can sneak in with a little creativity: For instance, use whole-grain pasta, fat-free milk and low-fat cheese in family favorites like macaroni and cheese and opt for vegetable lasagna instead of all those layers of meat. Leave fruit in a bowl on the table, where it’s visible, and beef up entrées with beans instead of pricier—and fattier—meat. And ask your healthcare provider whether you should be taking a multivitamin to supplement your diet.

Begin with breakfast. Your body needs fuel in the morning to help you get through the day. If you don’t have time for a morning meal, try starting your day 10 minutes earlier. Choose whole-grain cereals, English muffins and energy-rich protein, such as an egg-white omelet.

Get off the couch. Even a short walk can help boost your energy. Aim for at least a half-hour of activity a day. Talk with your healthcare provider before you begin if you have a health condition.

Budget your time. If you’re simply taking on too much at work or trying to meet too many demands, maybe you need to take a step back. Learn to say no.

Reduce stress. Take a vacation, change jobs or confront problems head on. Yoga and meditation are also great ways to relieve tension.

Drink up! Dehydration can leave you listless. Sip enough water so you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or slightly yellow.

Snack on it. Eating between meals is a good way to give yourself a boost. Get extra energy and nutrients from healthy nibbles such as whole-grain crackers, low-fat cheese and yogurt, fruits, nuts and seeds.

Stay sober. Regularly consuming alcohol and illegal drugs can be a downer: They slow your heart rate and breathing and can leave you feeling sluggish and unable to concentrate.