Do you also feel more tired during winter and you’ve been wondering what you could do to boost your energy levels?
What prompted me to write this blog post was I noticed a few of my friends yarning and generally looking tired.
Here are a few tips you can do to gain more energy even if you are tired to do something about it.
Why do we feel more tired in winter months?
Less sunlight means your brain produces more of a hormone called melatonin, which makes you sleepy. Because the release of a sleep hormone is linked to light and dark, when the sun sets earlier your body also wants to go to bed earlier – hence you may feel sleepy in early evening. If you live in the UK or northern countries such as Norway or Canada, you sometimes don’t see the sun for a few days/weeks/months in a row.
Lack of sunshine doesn’t only affect you physically but also mentally too. Going out when the sun is shining even for a few minutes will boost your energy. (More in tip #4) You don’t have to worry about the sun exposure. It’s not strong in winter months.
# 1 Sleep
If we don’t rejuvenate the body over night and we wake up tired that means something didn’t happen over night that should have.
We live in a culture that heavily downgrades sleep and rest. Aren’t you tired of hearing how politicians can get by 4 hours of sleep a night? To be honest, only a super small amount of people can actually survive on that. So don’t feel bad you cannot. There is a large body of evidence that shows the consequences of overwork and fatigue. Of course it’s so easy these days to turn a blind eye to the feeling of tiredness and keep working.
The main downside of being exhausted is the ability to make decisions quickly.
My husband used to have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). He lived with it for 2 years. For these of you who know someone with CFS or have experienced it yourself, you know what I’m about to share. Getting up tired, hitting the snooze button and negotiating: ”I’ll skip shower today or I won’t shave this morning”, falling asleep behind the steering wheel…my husband even slept on the cold floor at work instead of his lunch break in order to gain some energy to face the afternoon workload….
It’s terrifying how many car accidents are caused by tiredness. I’m sure you also saw the signs on the motorways:
“Tiredness kills, take a break”.
So, often it doesn’t matter the length of the sleep but the quality.
# 2 Rest not to be mistaken with sleep!
Good rest can involve something physically invigorating or mentally engaging. If you do something you absolutely enjoy, it’s a form of rest and relaxation. Creatively successful and productive people know that.
For example taking up a new hobby is defined as active rest. For mental rejuvenation is often more beneficial to do something that is effortless, engaging and little challenging at the same time than just sit in front of the TV.
# 3 Food – what we fuel our body with matters!
If you know about Ayurveda and three Dosha – Pitta, Vata or Kapha, it’s an old Indian system that helps people understand what type of food energetically agrees with them and what food doesn’t. So designing your lifestyle and eating habits will influence your energy levels.
But in general, a large number of people are deficient in Magnesium and B vitamins, Vitamin C and Green Superfoods. When you top up your levels you might feel the boost in energy.
I’m also happy to point you in the direction of what I’ve been using and has been working well.
#4 Exercise – moving your body is crucial to get the blood moving. Oxygenate your brain and body. Whether it is a brisk walk or a run combining with yoga or Pilates, doing it regularly you’ll be rewarded.
I set myself a goal to do 10 to 30 min long yoga practice and walk or run 3K each day. If I can I prefer to go during the day time to catch some sunshine.
To track your physical activity there is a number of apps you can choose from.
# Breathe! The first step is to be aware of your breath as Perla Aviram, a Kundaliny yoga teacher points out. When you feel tired at work (go out if you can), take a deep breath in and out through the nose and repeat that three times. If you do that say every 2/3 hours a day I’m sure you notice a huge difference.
Some information taken from Psychologies Magazine, March 2017 and Natural health magazine September 2016.
In conclusion, even when your plate is full, make sure you respect your body and do one or more of the above tips.
Remember, this year is all about you and you looking after yourself. Self-care is important and it will pay you dividends in years to come.
The work load, the busy lifestyles and gadgets around us – mobile phones, social media…don’t make it any easier to stay on track so be aware of your lifestyle daily and be disciplined. You’ll be rewarded.
If you’d like to know what I do to keep the tiredness at bay give me a shout and I’m happy to share them with you.
Did you find this useful? If yes, be sure to comment below. I’d be grateful if you share it on Facebook or your favourite social site.
Skype: Lucie Patel Varekova
Email: [email protected]