Ok, I confess. I actually made this list for myself...
1. Eat more VEGGIES, especially GREEN VEGGIES, and less starches/flour and sugars. It's all about nourishing yourself with foods that are nutrient dense, and low-glycemic, so they won't spike your blood sugar and make you crash later. Starchy veggies and sugar are both very high glycemic, which means they raise blood sugar greatly. Green veggies and non-starchy veggies have less of an effect on blood sugar and have fiber that makes you feel full and gives you a more steady kind of energy.
2. Work-out and/or do Cardio. Weight-bearing exercise is especially great for boosting your metabolism - which means quickening your vitality. After an intense workout you will eat more that usually for a day or so, and you're going to sleep well too. I workout minimum once a week but twice a week I notice is better for keeping my energy higher. I've spoken to several competitive body-builders who told me when they were training they felt AMAZING, ie, they were exercising intensely often, and eating low glycemic meals along with enough protein.
Just doing the above two things can really crank up a person's metabolism and energy level.
But if you're really burnt out, you might want to skip the intense work out and just walk each day some. You may be dealing with adrenal exhaustion and therefore need more rest. You can also...
3. Take Adaptogens. These are a class of herbs that are known in Chinese Medicine as 'chi tonics'. This means they boost your energy. 'Adaptogens' refers to the fact that they help us adapt to and recover from stress. I know that some early Olympic medals were credited to the use of adaptogens. Adaptogens include ginseng, maca, ashwagandha (which I'm told can boost your energy in the morning, AND help you sleep at night), rhodiola, cordyceps, licorice and others. I'd start by looking into the first three. I know of one integrative doctor who recommends putting ginseng in everything, even in your stir fry, to recover from adrenal exhaustion. But don't do adaptogens all the time, take a break from them now and then.
4. Reduce Stress. If you are burned out or exhausted, something likely got you to this place - maybe you moved your home, maybe you changed jobs.. or maybe you were on the computer too much, too late, or maybe you overworked yourself at your job. But whatever you did to exhaust yourself, you'll want to stop doing that, or cut back, to allow yourself to recover. (personal confession: I watch Netlix late sometimes, and have a thing for thrillers. I've had to cut back on that).
>> Interlude: on the topic of energy: we ALL want more energy. But what we really want is "Calm-energy". 'Calm-energy' is not what you get from sugar, from refined starches like flour, or from caffeine. Those are all stimulants. "Calm-Energy" is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Achieve this, and you're a happy man/woman. When you've got 'Calm-energy", you feel a sense of vitality, yet calm and at ease. It's the best...and it comes from everything you do, but mostly by nourishing, resting and living in tune with your being.
5. Take Supplements that help us recover from stress. I'm talking things like a good quality B-Complex, an absorbable form of Magnesium (like Magnesium glycinate for ex), and the above mentioned adaptogens can be taken in tea or capsule form.
6. Do what Energizes you! What do you love to do? That will help bring you back to life! I'm talking dancing, making love, taking in an ocean walk, playing with the dog...whatever it be. Just make sure it's not too stressful and don't over do it.
7. Do SOUP!!! Soup, the original soup-er food. Soup is liquid nutrition, easily digestible, and if you make it with a bone broth base (like from free range chickens or even grass fed beef), then wow that is nourishing.
8. Sleep, Baby. You know it's true: you got to sleep to have lots of energy. If you ain't bee sleepin' well, consider checking out my other post, How To Sleep Better (it's coming).
Now go forth, and be energized!
ps getting your B12 level checked might also be wise, even if you eat red meat, since many people have a problem absorbing B12 (I do). But - If your energy is low, I suggest skipping the test and just get some B12 - it's cheap. Take 1000 mcg a day in a sublingual form for a month.
Also if you're digestion is impaired, you might want to take some digestive enzymes, HCL, and even an active-form B-Complex.
pps for more on eating for energy, check out the All Day Energy Diet by Yuri Elkhaim. Yuri suffered from chronic fatigue for like 8 years and then finally healed himself. Today he writes and educates like a bad ass (and looks freakin' healthy). His book has a great section on supplements and also on exercise.
ppps if you're sensitive to gluten, dairy, peanuts, or any of the most common food sensitivities (there are many), eating those things can definitely interfere with absorption of nutrients, and hamper your energy. Gluten and dairy are by far the most common sensitivities. You might have candida overgrowth - google that.
You don't have to believe these suggestions, you just have to try them. Start with what's common sense and go from there.