“Completely drained” and “depleted.”
Those are the words psychiatrist Samantha Boardman, M.D., reports hearing from her patients with increasing frequency. However, there’s a way to think about energy a little differently.
“Treat it like money,” explains Sandra Lanshin Chiu, an acupuncturist and herbalist. “Pulling back in some areas, and making small deposits in others, can build your energy bank account.” Here, we show you how to recalibrate.
1. Embrace Nature
You don’t need a faraway forest to reap the benefits of time spent en plein air. Just get outside daily (during quarantine it’s more important than ever), even if outside is a bench around the corner. “Instead of reaching for an energy bar or a latte, get some fresh air, which has been shown to increase vitality and lower stress,” says Boardman.
2. Try an IV Drip
Intravenous vitamin therapy allows you to counter the effects of depletion quickly, says Barbara Close, founder of Naturopathica in NYC. (Sessions are available at The Elixir Clinic in The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Dubai.) IV treatments are tailored to individual needs but commonly include essential vitamins and minerals such as 3B12 and selenium.
3. Eat Fresher
This one’s easy: “A recent study found that consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables for just two weeks had significant mental health benefits with participants reporting that they felt more motivated,”explains Boardman.
4. Make a (Real) Plan
“The cruel irony is that what gives us energy is foten what we don't feel like doing” Say Boardman. “Activities that feel meaninfful revitalise our bodies and minds.” She suggests making action-orientated plans with a friend, such as a pottery lesson or excercise class. They're more likely to stick versus the vauge “we should get together” sort.
5. Wield Scent Wisely
Aromatherapy is one of the best ways to tap into your energy,” says Close. Set up an essential oil diffuser on your desk, and try a citrus scent like neroli to improve mental sharpness or frankincense to feel more grounded.
6. Up Your Iron and Iodine.
While you should make sure to have your levels tested to rule out a thyroid condition, nutrition coach Daniela Turley estimates that more than half of her female clients have dramatically low iron and iodine counts (often because they’re cutting out meat and dairy).
Besides lean meat, Turley recommends iron-rich foods like black beans, lentils, tofu, and kelp (which is also loaded with iodine). “You can buy kelp granules and sprinkle them on your salad,” she says.
7. Pair your Protein
Another element missing form many of Turley's female clients diets is protein, which is key for energy, not to mention for hair, skin and nail health. The biggest mistake vegetarians make it not eating protein with a grain, which gives you the full benefit, says Turley.
8. Take a Nap
Really. It's crucial for our energy levels to power down occasionally during the day. If one of those breaks is a 15 - to 20-minute catnap, you shouldn't feel guilty about it at all. “We're not meant to work for many hours without quality breaks”, says Christy Whitney-Matz a Reiki practioner and founder of Para Botanica. “Our bodies benefit from periodic rest”.
9. Engage in your Cleansing
If meditation isn’t your thing, let washing your face be your mindfulness practice. Chiu suggests spending three to five minutes massaging in your cleanser. “It can be an opportunity to release the tension that locks up our energy,” she says. “We carry a lot in our face.”
10. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Proper hydration and energy are closely linked, but that doesn't ust mean chugging water, says Chiu. Instead she recommends following tips from the book Quench by Dana Cohen, M/D., and Gina Bria, such as throwing chia seeds in your beverages to raise their hydration factor. “Even adding lemon or lime to water once a day (more can damage your tooth enamel) helps it be more absorbable to your cells,” Chiu explains.
Photography by Elio Noguiera. Styling by Anna Castan. Model wears Gucci.
From Harper's Bazaar Arabia June 2020 Issue