10 tips for boosting your energy
I often hear from people who tell me they don’t feel they have the energy to do all the things they want in their life. They get to the end of a busy day or week and all they want to do is flop on the sofa - they struggle to find the energy and motivation to fully enjoy all the things they’ve got planned.
So how do we build our energy levels so we can fully participate in every aspect of our life, doing the things we love with the people we want?
Here are my top 10 tips on increasing your energy:
1. Control stress
Being in a stressful environment can zap your energy quickly. Some level of stress from time to time is inevitable, but if you’re experiencing stress for long periods of time, perhaps it’s time to look at the cause of the stress to see if you can control or limit it.
2. Pace yourself
Even for very energetic people, there is a limit to how much can be done in a day. Pacing yourself so that you have enough energy to last is sensible. What do you have planned in your day/week and is it realistic in relation to your energy levels?Are you setting yourself up for a fall because you've planned more than your capacity allows? If you feel that you've planned too much, perhaps it’s time to ask for help or spread out some things on your to-do list a bit further apart.
Exercise is proven to increase levels of dopamine, which helps heighten your mood. Whether it’s a swim, work out, a brisk walk in the woods or playing football with your children, exercise can help you stay healthy, increase your energy and improve your sleep.
4. Plan your day according to your energy patterns
Some people are most energetic in the mornings while others have more energy in the evenings. Noticing your energy patterns can help you plan a day that fits in with when you feel most energetic. For example, if you’re a night owl, rather than feeling resentful that you have to get up early to go for a run, maybe test out what it feels like to run in the evening.
5. Keep active
Maybe you’ve had your run this morning and you are going to a yoga class later in the week, but for the rest of your week you are mostly sat in front of your desk. Keeping active throughout every day is really important. It could be using the stairs rather than lifts at work, or parking the car further away than you need so you get to walk more. Maybe it’s setting a timer so every hour you get up from your desk and do some stretches or movement – keeping active will all help boost your energy levels.
6. Take breaks
Whatever you’re doing – if you’re at your computer, ironing, reading, or maybe your work is more physical, if you feel that your energy levels are dipping, take a break. It might be a five minute stroll around the garden for a breath of fresh air or maybe a cup of tea and a sit down to give your mind a rest. Taking breaks will help you return refreshed and energised.
7. Work out how many hours sleep you need
How much sleep you need is different for everyone, some people will say six hours sleep is enough while others need more like eight. Play around with how many hours sleep you get, try going to bed 10 minutes earlier each night and pay attention to how you feel in the morning so you can identify your preferred time. Then make sure you plan your evenings so that on the whole, you get the right number of hours sleep each night.
8. Drink more water
One of the first signs of dehydration is fatigue. Water is one of the best drinks we can have to stay hydrated so drinking lots of water throughout the day is a great way to boost our energy levels.
9. Limit alcohol
Alcohol has a sedative effect on our bodies so if you’re wanting to feel full of energy be mindful of when (and how much) alcohol you drink. Overindulging in alcohol can also leave you with a hangover which is pretty much guaranteed to leave you feeling low on energy.
10. Eat well
Overeating, eating large amounts of sugar, or a diet that is low in natural foods are just three ways your diet can leave you feeling sluggish and low in energy. If you suspect your diet isn’t that healthy, keep a food diary and see where you can make improvements.
Having a diet full of natural foods, with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit can help you feel more energetic. Rather than eating processed food why not cook something from scratch - you can always make more than you need so you can freeze some and then you’ll have a healthy ‘ready meal’ to eat next time.
There are so many small ways we help ourselves build more energy. Why not test out a few and see how they work for you?