As the days start to get shorter, many of us begin day dreaming about crisp evenings snuggled in the heat of a crackling fire… And while it’s great to look forward to the changing seasons, with the earlier darkness and chillier season comes the fight to keep afternoon grogginess at bay. We lead busy lives — perhaps too busy, but that’s another post — and this instinct to hibernate is only going to make it harder to stick to your goals of getting moving, getting out, and using your body before you lose the strength and flexibility of youth. So, how do we get a healthy energy boost?
While much of society and fall advertisements will have you reaching for a pumpkin spice latte, stop right there and think for a minute. As comforting as a warm cup of coffee or tea is, or a cold can of soda if that’s your poison, caffeine is an unsustainable form of energy. You get temporary hit of energy, then you crash. And look for that next dose of stimulant, and crash, and before you know it, you’re a pot a day kind of person.
While non-stop coffee and junk food consumption may be romanticized by the Gilmore Girls, it’s ultimately a roller coaster that leaves you depleted at the end of the day. And this isn’t just caffeine; nicotine and refined sugars also force the body to produce a burst of energy by amping the nervous system and blood pressure, which acts on our hormones and increases alertness temporarily. But when that burst fades, we are twice as tired and need more rest to repay the energy “debt” we’ve just incurred… but we often don’t rest enough to recover from stimulant use, do we? We reach for what we think works to keep us going — another hit of caffeine, of nicotine, of sugar.
Chronic exhaustion can lead to chronic fatigue, which includes symptoms such as:
- Loss of memory or concentration
- Sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
- Unexplained muscle pain
- Pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness
- Headache of a new type, pattern or severity
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise
Sound familiar? Sound fun? No, not to me either. So, let’s talk about healthier ways to increase our energy.
If we live well and eat healthily several times a day, we can gain an ongoing abundance of energy without resorting to fast fixes.
Consuming the right nutrients is the key to supplying our minds and bodies with the energy to function well throughout the day. Whole, real foods with a good balance of fats, carbs, proteins and micronutrients means we get what we need to stay awake, alert and energetic all day.
This course may take a bit longer as we recover vital nutrition, but it doesn’t create an energetic bio-debt in the process. And while I could talk all day about the direct cellular nourishment of Paula’s Purple Rice provides, I would also like to look at some essential oil pick-me-ups too.
Many essential oils can help us maintain high levels nourishing energy if we learn how to use them!
Below is a list of 12 essential oils for energy, followed by some simple blends and applications that you can use.
Lemon oil is great for anxiety (which can be a big energy drain) and it can significantly reduce fatigue, invigorating body and mind.
Ginger is a warming oil that opens the heart and boosts feelings of self confidence and self esteem. The stimulating effects on the body and mind also invigorate the senses and increase vitality and energy. A simple way to use ginger for energy is mixing 3 drops with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and massaging onto the feet, or to simply diffuse 3 drops in a diffuser.
Eucalyptus oil is cooling and stimulating; refreshing the brain, and clearing mental fatigue. Diffuse 5 drops to clear any sluggishness from the air. Another method is to mix 6 drops of eucalyptus oil with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and massage onto the chest area.
Peppermint oil is a favorite to refresh and uplift mood, helping to reduce mental fatigue and improve concentration.Adding 2 drops to your shower gel in the morning is a great way to stimulate and refresh your senses in preparation for the day to come.
Pine oil has invigorating effects on the body and mind, helping to clear out mental and physical fatigue. Diffusing 3 drops in your home or office will help revitalize the nervous system to produce a clear mind. Pine oil is also recommended to relieve depression. It can create feelings of happiness and joy, while increasing self confidence and overcoming feelings of unworthiness.
Geranium oil is one of the better known oils for promoting emotional balance. It helps alleviate mood swings, restore calm to the mind and promote general feelings of well being. Especially when you’re stressed, Geranium oil can support a balanced nervous system. You can add 15 drops to a 300 ml spray bottle filled with water and spray over the upper body as needed.
Basil oil has an uplifting effect on the mind, It helps to clear mental fatigue and easily promotes alertness. It’s well known for supporting focus and concentration. Basil is both calming and warming, which also makes it a great support for anxiety and nervous debility as well as depression. It’s effective at relieving headaches and migraines as well.
Angelica oil instills clarity and is good for relieving indecision. It’s also beneficial for restoring strength, stamina and normalizing energy levels in the body. If you suffer from physical weakness, this is one of the best oils to use.
Grapefruit is a fantastic mentally uplifting and refreshing oil. It helps to ease a stressed out body and mind while its powerful stimulating properties help prompt positive feelings of hope, happiness and peacefulness.
Orange oil is a very emotionally uplifting oil that helps to lighten and refresh the mind while relieving tension and stress. It’s hard not to have a positive outlook when using orange oil!
Black pepper is a fantastic warming oil with the ability to combat poor circulation and treat sluggish digestion. It helps enhance concentration and improve memory loss. It’s a great oil to use before exercise to improve performance and training by helping prevent pain and stiffness in muscles. Simply mix 4 drops with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and massage into large muscle groups before working out.
Bergamot is a great emotional reliever. It supports the release of anger, frustration, stress and anxiety. It is also eases symptoms of low energy and depression. It boosts confidence and instills feelings of strength.
Energy and Wakefulness Oil Blends
Simple Bath Energizer
Simply add 8-10 drops of rosemary or pine oil to your daily bath / footbath
Simple Inhalation Energizer
Using a portable inhaler, a tissue or a diffuser inhale eucalyptus, lemon or rosemary (you can also use any of the other recommended oils for this)
Simple Massage Pick Me Up Blend
If you like massaging oils into your body, you can make a simple blend of the following oils:
- 8 drops rosemary
- 8 drops pine
- 8 drops black pepper or basil
Add to 50ml of carrier oil in a 2 oz glass bottle or roller bottle
The Energizing Spirit Lifter Blend
- 20 drops bergamot, eucalyptus or lavender
- 15 drops grapefruit
- 15 drops ylang ylang, cedarwood or sandalwood
- in a 5 mL glass dropper bottle combine your oils
- Shake to blend
How to use:
- Inhalation: Place 25 drops in a small, non-reactive bowl. Place the wick of a personal inhaler and allow the wick to absorb the oil. Place the wick back in the inhaler tube and twist close the cap. Inhale whenever you please.
- Air Spray: Using a 4 oz glass spray bottle combine 75 drops of your blend with 1 tsp vodka. Fill the rest of the bottle with filtered water. Shake to combine and spray when needed.
- Bath: Fill up your tub with warm water. While it’s being filled combine 1 tsp milk and 5 drops of your blend in a non-reactive bowl. Add to filled tub and agitate to disperse the oil. Soak for 30 minutes and massage any floating droplets into your skin.
- Massage: Combine 4 tsp grapeseed or sweet almond oil and 8 drops of your blend in a non-reactive bowl. Mix well and massage over your body.
Debility Massage and Bath Oil Blends
- 20 drops geranium
- 15 drops rosemary
- 10 drops peppermint
- 20 drops lavender
- 15 drops sweet marjoram
- 5 drops basil
How to use:
- Bath: Fill your tub with warm whatever. While it’s filling combine 1 tsp milk and 5 drops of your blend in a non-reactive bowl. Add to tub, agitate to disperse then soak for 30 minutes. Massage any floating droplets into your skin.
- Hand/foot/sitz bath: Combine 1 tsp milk with 5 drops of your blend. Add to basin full of warm water. Agitate to disperse then soak for 10+ minutes. Massage an floating droplets int your skin.
- Massage: Combine 2 tsp grapeseed or sweet almost oil and 5 drops of your blend in a non-reactive bowl. Mix well and massage over your body.
Bonus Energy Tips!
Highly nourishing foods to provide a healthy, clean-burning source of energy
- Bone broth
- Nuts & seeds
- Sweet potato
- Paula’s Purple Rice
Some foods that stimulate short-term and ultimately, drain energy
- Refined foods
- Sugars (added, processed)
- Dairy (processed)
- Meat (in excess)
Still thinking about that Pumpkin Spice Latte? Try adding the essential oils below to your diffuser. Breathe deeply while enjoying a healthier cup of coffee or tea without all the sugar. (Read about healthy sugar substitutes)