Instant Energy

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Monthly schedule, sunshine and journaling

6. Check your monthly schedule. A woman's energy also shifts with her menstrual cycle. "There's an oscillation in mood and in quality of sleep," Smolensky says. Typically, PMS makes women feel more sluggish; energy rises after menstruation and before ovulation.

7. Get some sunshine. Spring tends to be the most energizing time of year, while winter is the least. About 10 percent of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression characterized by lack of energy, carbohydrate cravings and the blues. A daily 30-minute dose of outdoor light, preferably in the morning, can help keep your spirits high.

8. Keep a journal. If you still can't figure out why you feel exhausted, start a daily log. Jot down what you eat, how well you sleep, your menstrual cycle and exercise habits, paying close attention to the times you're raring to go and when you're worn out. After two weeks, you may identify an unhealthy pattern of overscheduling, skipping meals or late nights that produce energy lulls the next day. Also, think about what's changed in your life: Did you take on an extra assignment? Has a child been sick? These may cause a temporary overload until you can get back to your normal routine.

Continued on page 4:  Positive people and family balance


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