4 shots of espressoAfter staying up too late, working hard all day, or spending a night out drinking, it’s easy to understand why your energy is low—but some energy zappers are harder to spot.

Colette Bouchez, a guest writer for WebMD, explains that when you have a low-grade energy drain, you may not necessarily feel the classic signs of exhaustion like achy muscles or that all-over feeling of tiredness. Instead, you lack the desire to get up and do the activities you used to love doing.

When you feel your energy level fall, the odds are good that you reach for society’s quick fix: caffeine. You’ve heard the warnings about the negative effects that caffeine can have on your body. Our post isn’t going to tell you that you have to stop drinking your favorite coffee drink every day; one or two cups of coffee a day are fine, especially because the antioxidants found in coffee are actually good for you. However, drinking five or more cups of coffee a day can cause more problems than it solves.

Here are a few healthy ways to boost your energy levels without reaching for that caffeine:

Yawn!. Yawning has gotten a bad reputation as something we do when we are bored. However, that’s not always the case. Research associate at Princeton University Andrew Gallup, PhD, explains that “yawning is your body’s way of cooling down the brain, essentially waking it up.”

Get outside. It’s easy to feel tired or drained when you’ve been sitting behind a desk for most of the day. An office is cold, and the lighting is typically fluorescent. If you’re feeling drained, try to get outside and into the sunshine. “Sunlight energizes and elevates mood,” says Dr. Lorraine Maita, a board certified internist.

If you can’t get outside, get up and away from your desk and stretch.

Drink more water.Samantha Heller, MS, RD, explains that breathing, talking, and yes, going to the bathroom, all use up the body’s water supply. If you let your body dry out, your energy level will dry up as well. Drink more water throughout the day, and you should see an increase in your energy.

Try essential oils. Before purchasing an essential oil, make sure it is safe for both topical use and ingestion. If you are feeling low on energy, reach for lemon, citrus, peppermint, grapefruit, or orange. At night when you are trying to unwind, lavender can be very relaxing. Mind Body Green has some tips on how to use each oil.

If you constantly feel tired even though you watch your diet, get a full night’s sleep every night, and get reasonable amounts of exercise, you should probably consult your doctor as there might be a medical reason for your exhaustion. On the other hand, if your energy levels are low because your life is too stressful, talking with a therapist about how to manage your stress might prove to be beneficial.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at reka@omaha-counseling.com, or via Twitter or Facebook.

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