Feeling drained? Emotional? Like there’s not enough hours in the day? You’re not the only one! Whether it’s the chilly days or long, dark nights, or the glow of New Year’s Resolutions fading into massive to do list; our energy levels are low, and depleting…
But it doesn’t have to be this way! Here’s 4 common energy zappers, and what you can do about them, to feel more energised, more revitalised, and like the hero you are.
1) Goodbye, sugar
Sugar is everywhere; in so much of the food and drinks we consume, sometimes mysteriously hidden in things which don’t even taste that sweet! There’s debate surrounding sugar, but in short, avoid refined sugar (fizzy drinks, chocolate, sweets, table sugar etc) to avoid the sugar crash. If you’re interested in finding out more about sugar; the different types, and the debate, read this gem from friend of Yoga Hero, Laura Thomas PhD.
2) I must stress, don’t stress
The Stress Management Society defines stress as:
Stress happens when we feel that we can’t cope with pressure and this pressure comes in many shapes and forms, and triggers physiological responses. These changes are best described as the fight or flight response, a hard-wired reaction to perceived threats to our survival. When survival had meant facing immediate and real threats such as confronting a charging elephant, our response has saved lives.
We don’t want to ‘turn off ‘ or ‘dial down’ the fight or flight response; we just need to work to limit it to situations that are actually threatening. The fight or flight response releases cortisol levels to trigger the release glucose (sugar – see above!) to fuel our immediate needs, i.e.: fighting or flighting (running!) and adrenalin to help us to think quicker, see more clearly etc etc. But life-threatening situations, these days, are thankfully few and far between, however, the fight or flight response is more active than ever! This is because we take more and more on, at home and at work. Downtime is decreasing due to ever-present smartphones, so we’re more tired, with more on our minds, and the more this increases, the less sane we are to make the distinction between life-threatening and vaguely annoying situations (such as: impending meeting, unforgiving bank balance, long to do list. You get the picture).
So what to do? Meditate! Take 2, 5, or 10 minutes to close your eyes, and observe your breath. Or count your breath, whichever is easiest for you. I’m a big believer in removing all the obstacles you can, so if it’s easier to count to 4 on an inhale, and 4 on an exhale, do it. If it’s easier to put your headphones in and listen to Headspace, do it. But do do it.
3) Lack of sleep
Just like when we’re stressed out; when we suffering from lack of sleep, we can’t easily distinguish between major disaster and minor bump. The smallest things tip us over the edge; making us worry, and affecting that night’s sleep, making us even more fatigued. Nightmare! (Bad pun). Good job we’ve already covered top tips for improving sleep here on our blog >
4) Letharegy breeds lethargy
When energy levels are low it can seem so hard – impossible even – to do anything active, but getting moving can turn the vicious cycle of feeling stressed > not sleeping > not firing on all cylinders > feeling more stressed > getting even less sleep…. (you get the picture) on it’s head.
Exercising improves general mood and reduces anxiety, and increases energy levels. Just like meditation: getting the body moving can help give you that step back from your life that you need, to see everything with a bit more clarity.
Whether it’s walking, running, yoga, dancing, even a vigorous clean around your house – if it gets your heart pumping, it’s a winner.
What are your best tips for beating energy zappers? Tell us below…
Written by Holly
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