If you find the darker mornings draining, and perhaps already feel the pre-Christmas rush starting to sap your energy, remember there are some simple ways to naturally boost your energy to help you manage life better.
Lets face it, your energy is precious and unfortunately limited which means many of us put our energy into the things that we really need to just get done, day to day. For those already anxious or stressed, you get the double whammy of feeling both physically and mentally exhausted.
When stressed or anxious, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol to rouse itself for action, regardless of what type of "stressor" we perceive, so a lot of the time we rush around with our bodies full of stress hormones that physically drain us, and our heads filled with worries or lists to do, and the combination leaves our mind and bodies feeling simply exhausted.
Think of your energy like a sponge.
If you keep squeezing your energy into everything you do, at some point it will run out.
There is a huge difference between emotional tiredness and physical tiredness but you can't improve one area of your life without it having a positive effect in other areas too. And because some things are much easier to change than others, I actually recommend trying the easiest one's first. Not only do we feel an immediate benefit, but we also open to the empowerment that comes from making a good decision for ourselves, which naturally motivates and inspires for the next little change.
Remember, a well nourished body copes better with day to day stresses and there are some simple things that can improve your energy levels easily, and I've popped a few things below which I hope you will find helpful.
1. Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy, so relaxation therapies like meditation and self-hypnosis are a great way to relax and therefor boost your energy levels. But anytime you create quiet & quality for yourself to enjoy, it will help improve your energy in a positive way.
The key is often accepting that self care is a necessity, not a luxury for now and again. If you can reframe your perception of it, then we can also begin to feel good about looking after ourselves.
2. Lighten Your Load
One of the main reasons for fatigue is overwork. And don't be fooled into thinking this is just professionally and in the workplace, because it can be family life and social obligations.
There is a balance to be found, and although you may always be tweaking life a little bit to try find the balance, it's worth recognising if there is some area that is draining you, and of course don't be scared to take action and make changes to your schedule if it's what's needed.
You can also break up your to do list into smaller bite size chunks to make it more manageable, and never be afraid to ask for a bit of help.
Not only will more exercise almost guarantee a better sleep, but it also gives your muscles including your brain more oxygen helping to re energise them. Any movement is great, whether its dancing round the living room for 20 minutes, going for a walk or even some stretching, so you don't really need to think of it as exercise, (as many clients I've worked with were put off with the idea), just find some way of moving and using your body more.
Deep breathing is another great way of increasing the amount of oxygen in your body to raise your energy, and of course normally coincides with exercise, but you can take some time for deep breaths and notice your energy levels increase.
4. Eat for energy
I'm not a nutritionist, but I certainly don't need to be to appreciate the old saying "you are what you eat" is completely true. Have a look at what you are putting into your body on a regular basis, is it the kind of food and drink that inspires energy?
Yes, there are some times I really don't want to acknowledge my diet, but often have to face the fact there are improvements that can be made. As I've said above, not only will a well nourished body cope with stress better, but the right kinds of food and drink are essential for your energy. Your brain needs a steady supply of nutrients throughout the day to maintain your energy levels and keep you going!
As Harvard Medical School point out, eating foods with a low glycemic index whose sugars are absorbed slowly, may help you avoid energy drains that typically occur after eating sugary foods or starches.
Foods with a low glycemic index like whole grains, high-fiber vegetables and nuts are all great foods for energising your brain and body throughout the day.
5. Drink more water
What list would be complete without mentioning it? If your body is dehydrated one of the first signs is fatigue. And of course there is a huge difference between emotional tiredness and dehydration but small changes can make a huge improvement. There are plenty of apps out there you can use as a reminder or even set a nearby alarm, but like anything else, building it into your routine makes it more sustainable.
For those who do wish to begin reducing their stress, it’s time to teach your brain and body what "relaxed" actually feels like.