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Many of us, especially during the darkest days of the year, feel tired and fatigued and just can’t find energy to do what we want or need to do. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to find more energy. All it takes is some lifestyle changes. Remember, focus on a few steps at a time, perhaps one from each category and slowly add to that. It will not take you long to feel the benefits, perhaps as little as a week.
Make these things habits and you’ll avoid most fatigue and constant tiredness, which can lead to depression and mental health problems.
Food and drinks
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid fast food and sugars, it’s quick empty energy which burns out in no time and leaves us feeling even more tired afterwards – not to mention, hungry again.
- Eat breakfast, even if you don’t feel hungry. A solid breakfast with cereals and fibres will give you a good start and be the foundation for the rest of the day.
- Make sure your blood sugar level doesn’t become too low – symptoms are often tiredness, grumpiness, lack of focus and patience. Eat a healthy snack or a small healthy meal when you begin to feel your blood sugar level going down.
- Avoid caffeine, especially the combination of caffeine and sugar. They give a quick short boost, but tend to leave you feeling more tired afterwards. Caffeine makes the heart beat faster and eventually tires you more. Don’t drink caffeine after dinner as it can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Take a shower, dress up and look your best. It’ll boost your mental energy and give you drive to go out and do things.
- Use music for relaxation or for gaining energy. It’s hard to feel down and tired when you listen to quick happy music. Studies show that runners run better and longer when they listen to music. Listening to calming and relaxing music can lower stress and make you relax, giving you an opportunity to recharge in a good way.
- Let go of anger and annoyances. It takes energy and makes your body react as if it’s under stress. Also let go of worries you can’t change, such as the weather, world crises, catastrophes etc. They only serve to create a negative thought-pattern in your mind which drains you from energy.
- Focus on positive things. The smile a child gave you, the sun on a frosty leaf, the sound of rain on the window, the warm sweater you’re wearing. When you begin to appreciate beauty and good things, energy will be drawn to you and you’ll feel lighter and more positive.
- Clean and tidy up the old piles and organize your environment. Throw out or give away all that you don’t need and don’t use. Get rid of broken items or deliver them for repair. It gives energy to accomplish things, so cleaning the apartment will bring in a bunch of positive energy, and you’ll no longer waste energy thinking “should do”.
- Do a good deed. To help others makes you feel happier, more satisfied, better self-esteem, a feeling of control with your life, good mood and mental well-being.
- It’s easy to neglect sleep when we’re busy. It’s a bad idea as our performance and energy levels are dependent on the quantity and quality of sleep we get. If you’re busy and spending a lot of energy, make certain you get more sleep, not less.
- Many people are woken or sleep poorly because of a pet or partner. If that’s the case, take the steps to change the situation. Let the pet sleep elsewhere, talk to your partner and find solutions so you have uninterrupted sleep.
- Lower the temperature. Heat makes it harder to get a good nights sleep. Instead have a cooler room and use an extra blanket if it feels too cold. It is also more refreshing and energising to wake in a cool room instead of a warm.
- Don’t drink in the evening. Even if alcohol makes us feel more tired, it actually makes it harder to sleep properly and in some cases harder to fall asleep.
- Exercise makes our muscles relax better and produces a healthy tiredness by the end of the day which increases the quality of our sleep. Exercise will also increase our overall energy level as we release a lot of tensions and frustrations while exercising. The metabolism is stimulated and our body has an easier time clearing out waste products and bringing fresh oxygen to our muscles and brain.
- Don’t use TV or computer just before bedtime. The light from the screens resembles sunlight and tricks our brain to think it’s day. Computer and TV also activates our mind which can be stressing and again lead to poorer sleep. Make sure you do something else the last half hour before going to bed.
- Use the 15 minutes rule. If you can’t fall asleep in 15 minutes, get up instead of becoming frustrated over your insomnia. Read a book, take a relaxing stroll, meditate and then go back to bed and see if that didn’t help.