Getting up in the morning feeling as if you haven’t slept? Afternoon slump? Dozing off on the sofa in the evening? Are any of these familiar?
Why are we so tired and lacking energy and what can we do to change things?
It will come as no surprise that the answer lies in how well we look after ourselves. We can deal with the odd late night or stressful day at work but the problems start when this becomes an endless cycle. If every day is full of stress and we are getting poor or limited sleep then we don’t ever reset and get back to ‘normal’. What we fuel our bodies with has an impact as does how much activity we build into our day. Don’t panic though, it is not all doom and gloom!
Here are my five steps to improving your energy levels.
- Get outside and get some sunshine to really lift your mood. At this time of year, particularly for those of us in Scotland, we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. After months of getting up in the dark and coming home in the dark it gets lighter and we start to feel so much better. You need to get outside and get some sunshine. Take a walk at lunchtime, walk the kids to school and drink your coffee outside. We need daylight to give us vitamin D which is essential to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Without it you can end up with bone deformities and pain in your bones too.
- Think about how you fuel your body. In the last 50 years or so we have sacrificed our health for convenience. Takeaways and processed foods might be quick and easy but they deliver little nutritional value. It is no wonder that we are feeling the strain when the quality of the food that we are consuming is not good enough to fuel our complex engines. The result is not only a problem with fatigue but also weight gain and frequent illness. It is not hard to eat well. You need to plan your food for the week and build your meals around fresh meat, fish, vegetables and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and pasta. Cut out the sugar and you will feel the difference. No more wasting energy on cravings and getting the next fix. Find my plan to help you make the changes.
- Cut your stress levels. We all know how harmful stress can be and the huge strain that it places on the body. Think about how much energy is wasted by the body coping with stress. It is important to deal with your stress and not allow it to become a permanent feature. I have had to work hard at this one and have found that a combination of yoga and taking 10 minutes to sit and focus on my breathing each day has made an incredible difference. I feel much calmer and react less quickly to what is going on around me.
- You knew it was coming – WE NEED TO MOVE MORE. Too much time sitting at work, whilst commuting and on the sofa is not good for us. Bodies are built to move and the advice now is that the best way to ward off injury and joint issues is to keep active. Aerobic exercise is vital for our heart health and has a unique capacity to exhilarate and provide stimulation whilst also helping you to relax and calm your mind. It is an outlet for your stress and frustration and vital for your overall health too. So where did you put those trainers?
- Sleep quality is vital. Who would have thought that something so simple would become such an issue? If you get a great nights sleep you feel as if you could take on the world and do anything. Sadly for many crawling out of bed struggling to see how you will get through the day is a common scenario. So what can you do to get a better sleep? The best action that you can take is to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Establish a bedtime routine giving yourself time to wind down – no television, phone, ipad and make your bedroom a sanctuary. I have written a more detailed blog about sleep. I will forward it to you if you enter your details here
Every one of those steps is easy to implement and will make a huge difference to your energy levels. We need to go back to basics and take much better care of ourselves. Convenience and saving time have compromised our health and we need to take control and look after ourselves.
Please add your comments and let me know what you think. Feel free to share your tips and experiences too.