Raise your hand if you’ve ever woken up feeling more tired than when you went to bed. Four cups of coffee into the day and you’re dragging your feet.

You convince yourself to take a nap; you’ll be more alert after, right?

Wrong. Low energy is a human condition influenced by our habits. You have the power to restore your energy and stop feeling so lethargic.

Get your zest for life back. For real ways to boost your natural energy, keep reading.

1. Exercise

When you’re feeling lethargic and sloth-like, exercise is the last thing you want to do. But, if you push through the initial struggle, you’ll end up with more energy.

Exercise causes your body to produce epinephrine and norepinephrine. These stress hormones energize your body. That’s why you feel so alert after working out.

You don’t have to join a gym or start hiking. There are hundreds of physical activities that count as exercise, like swimming. Or dancing, walking, and gardening.

2. Sleep, But Not Too Much

How many hours of sleep do you get each night? Most adults need between seven and nine hours. Unfortunately, busy schedules and anxiety-ridden minds prevent us from falling asleep.

If you aren’t getting enough sleep, there are some things you can do. Put away all devices an hour before bed; use a digital alarm clock for the time. Meditate and focus on relaxing your body before bedtime.

Or, you could be sleeping too much which causes lethargy. Do you sleep nine hours each night and then take a nap in the afternoon? Try cutting out the nap and moving your bedtime up.

Creating a regular sleeping routine with optimal sleep hours can boost your energy.

3. Energy-Giving Foods

Some foods are awful for weighing you down, mentally and physically. When you eat foods high in carbs and sugar, you tend to crash once your body’s burned through them.

Instead, choose foods lower on the glycemic index. These are things like proteins and good fats, and not carbs. Fiber is also super important for energy.

Include the following in your meals: whole grains, veggies, nuts, and healthy oils. Reduce the amount of refined sugar and unhealthy fats you eat, like cookies and fast food.

Everyone’s body is different. Some people function better with three main meals a day. Others prefer to eat many small meals during the day, called grazing.

Learn about your body and what diet makes it feel best. Consider working with a nutritionist to figure this out.

4. Manage Your Stress

Everyone has their own coping mechanisms for stress. Some people overwork and go through burnout. Others withdraw and give up. Many drink alcohol, smoke, and binge watch reality TV.

It’s common for stress to trigger a sleepy coping mechanism. When our minds can handle any more tasks or drama, it wants to take a break. That’s when you feel the urge to nap in the middle of the workday.

If you want to feel less tired, manage your stress better. Find other ways to release excess emotion and feel in control. That could be going for a run, meditating, or journaling.

Work stress can often get resolved by delegating and automating. Reduce your workload so you can focus on what’s important. A more stable energy flow should follow.

5. Don’t Go Chasing…

…waterfalls. But do drink enough water each day. Your body relies on water to function well.

If you aren’t drinking enough water, your brain may feel foggy. Your muscles get weaker and you feel less enthusiasm for life.

This can easily get remedied by increasing your water intake. Make it a competition between your friends to see who can hit their water quota each day. Track your water intake on a habit tracker.

Not only will your energy levels improve, but you’ll get healthier. Every aspect of our health depends on hydration, from brain function to skin quality. Water is the solution.

6. Limit Your Vices

You already knew that quitting your vices was going to come up. There isn’t a health resource on the internet that won’t tell you to give up these vices to live healthier.

Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. When less oxygen travels throughout your body, you feel sluggish. Consider cutting back on the number of cigarettes you smoke.

Many ex-smokers say that e-cigarettes with nicotine substitutes helped ease them quit.

When it comes to alcohol consumption, too much too often affects your energy. Alcohol acts as a sedative in the body, making you feel drowsy. It’s also a diuretic which makes you have to go pee more frequently.

Don’t rely on alcohol before bed to help you sleep. Stick to the recommended dose: one drink per day for women.

7. Engage in Life

Some people claim to be introverts, others extroverts. Introverts say they garner energy by being alone. Extroverts from being around people.

Don’t let these binary labels prevent you from being social. All humans need social interaction; it makes us feel connected and supported.

When you engage with life through connections, you feel motivated. There’s a reason to pursue your passions and work towards your goals.

People who have very little human interaction tend to have low energy levels. You can combat this by finding a hobby, joining a class, and going out with friends. Debrief your day with a partner or just go for a walk down a pedestrian-heavy street.

Making connections, even if it’s just eye contact, will make you feel energized. Try to get in a little socialization every day for consistent energy.

Do You Need a Natural Energy Boost?

It’s far too common for women to feel low-energy and caffeine-dependent. Bad habits and poor lifestyle choices don’t make it any easier.

You can give yourself a natural energy boost by using one of the tips above. Switch around your diet, exercise, or drink more water. One small change can make a huge difference in your energy levels.

If you need ideas of fitness activities to get your exercise on, check out the fitness blog. Or, look through the recipes section for healthy meal ideas. Low energy is often a choice; you can boost yours by making healthy choices.