Always tired? Regain your energy with these 10 easy steps.
A day doesn't seem to pass without at least one person telling me that they are tired. Lack of energy seems to be rife in this day and age and it usually results in inactivity, low mood and it inhibits productivity. Feeling tired as a result of work and family life is sometimes unavoidable but there are a few things that we can all do to help manage our energy levels and combat tiredness.
1. Eat right and light.
Huge meals, junk food or anything that 'sits in your stomach' is hard work for the body to process and will sap energy. When the weather gets cold and dark it can be all too easy to lean towards comfort eating but this will just weigh you down and make you feel worse.
Eat food that comes in its natural form so you can digest without sapping energy. Prepare meals from scratch and keep them fresh and light with healthy snacks in between.
Keep it real and eat food your stomach can digest without
2. Cut the sweet stuff
Foods and beverages that contain sugar and simple carbohydrate (these carbs are usually white) spike our blood sugar which totally messes with energy levels and also makes us crave more of these foods.
Avoid processed foods and always check labels for sugar. (look out for words like glucose, fructose & sucrose). Natural sugars should still be eaten in small amounts and choose whole fruits instead of juices as these are usually higher in sugar.
Try eating more healthy fats, fibre and protein to curb cravings
and stabilise blood sugar levels.
3. Hydrate and keep rehydrating.
Our body needs water and when we are dehydrated our energy levels drop. This can be caused through things like losing water by sweating or going to the bathroom, consuming alcohol and caffeine and then failing to rehydrate. Being dehydrated can slow down the mind as well as the body leaving us feeling lethargic and unfocused.
It is easy to intend to drink more water but forget to do so. Keeping a bottle of water to hand will help remind you to keep hydrating. If you never drink water start by committing to a litre a day or even a couple of glasses, whatever you can manage! Then try to increase this to at least two litres.
Dehydration has a huge affect on energy levels. Note: Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink water, keep a bottle to hand all day.
Obviously regular workouts help energy levels, but exercise aside, just by making sure that you don’t spend too long on your backside will help prevent energy levels dipping. Just like the body, the brain relies on good blood flow to function at its best. If you are struggling with inspiration to exercise then check out my article on how to motivate yourself to get to the gym.
Making a conscious effort to move will help to keep the mind sharp and keeping active could prove to be a good distraction from tiredness. Try to get out and about when you aren't at work. If you have a desk-based job then by taking regular breaks from sitting in front of your computer will reduce the strain on your eyes and give your brain and body an oxygen boost.
Taking frequent breaks from sitting and from looking
at screens will stop your body and your brain going to sleep.
5. Take time out and use it wisely.
When you have time to yourself make sure you use this time to do something that makes you feel like you have taken a break. Surfing the internet and checking social media may seem like a distraction from the norm but it can also prevent the mind from switching off, particularly if your job calls for sitting in front of a computer.
Do something that shifts your focus from every day life. Meet up with friends and have a good laugh or plan a fun activity with the family. Taking time to just stop, disconnecting from technology, reading or pampering yourself can have a positive impact on your energy levels.
Take time to pamper yourself and recharge the batteries with
It is easy to take on too much but spinning plates can be stressful and you could end up neglecting your needs leaving you feeling wiped and unable to give to yourself.
Occasionally put your needs first and don’t be too proud to seek help from others if you need it. Saying no may feel impossible but this is something everyone should practice and can stop you taking on tasks that are not your responsibility and becoming burdened. Serving your own needs you will ultimately give you more energy to deal with other people.
Saying no will stop you taking on too much and draining
your energy levels.
7. Stop thinking about being tired
Constantly telling yourself and other people that you are tired usually reinforces these feelings. You may even worry about being tired or even about becoming tired! You have probably noticed that some people are more tired than others despite having similar demands. This implies that tiredness can actually be self-inflicted. Maybe tiredness has become your default setting?
Firstly, stop telling yourself you are tired. Even if you are! Have faith in yourself and believe that you can manage life's demands and you will feel less worn down by these pressures and more able to cope. In addition to this, spending time with positive people who lift you up can be a distraction from how you feel.
Worrying about being tired is tiring in itself!
8. Get organised
Life can feel overwhelming with work, family and other demands. We never stop and there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. This can affect our ability to feel on top of things and we often make poor lifestyle choices or end up burying our head in the sand, avoiding the world around us.
Learn to manage your time by planning ahead and prioritising important tasks. Be sure to bear in mind decisions that impact health and well-being. Managing your time effectively will help you feel on top of things and in control.
9. Switch your brain off
Overthinking, worry and stress can play on our emotions, drain our energy and usually achieves nothing. An overactive brain can also affect sleep patterns resulting in more tiredness. By listening to negative thoughts rather than facts we can become convinced of all sorts of unhelpful thoughts which make us feel anxious, stressed and worn down. Worrying about those around us is another common pass-time that doesn't help us or those we are worrying about and instead can leave us feeling wiped.
Learn to recognise when you are overthinking things and find ways of switching your brain off when this happens. When you have an issue that is playing on your mind look at possible solutions rather than just going over the problem again and again in your head. Maintain healthy relationships and talk to others about your feelings; having a support network will help you cope with any problems. Writing thoughts down is another useful tool in helping to managing your feelings.
Writing thoughts down will 'unload' your brain & help you to look at things objectively.
10. Have a goal
Going from day to day without a sense of direction can leave us feeling demotivated. Most of us have things we would like to achieve but we neglect or put these things off for various reasons - too busy, lack of self-belief, procrastination or avoidance.
Setting yourself a target and actively working towards it in itself is energising. It doesn't have to be a life-changing goal (it could be though!) just something that gives a sense of achievement, however small this may be. If it takes you out of your comfort zone then even better; it's hard to feel de-energised when you are feeling challenged!
Getting out of your comfort zone is a sure fire way to
Louise Appel Personal Trainer, St John's Wood & Personal Trainer Maida Vale offers customised, individual Personal Training and Pilates at Lords Cricket Ground, St John's Wood. Personal Trainer Harpenden & Personal Trainer St Albans is located at EsTR Fitness.
Ask Louise is a free service offering advice on all things health and fitness. Contact me and ask me a question.