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Low energy levels impact every other area of your life significantly. Here’s how to be more energetic, starting with small modifications to your life.
It is the New Year, and the beginning of the year always surrounds us with a positive and an invigorating energy! I am sure we all wish this feeling of freshness would last us longer. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could sustain the wonderful, upbeat mood for the rest of the year?
Occasionally, we all suffer from lack of energy, lethargy or weariness owing to our lifestyles. There may even be times, when our energy levels are persistently low and we experience chronic fatigue, due to different reasons, which may well be a health reason – anaemia, an underactive thyroid, heavy menstrual periods, diabetes, heart or kidney disease, an illness or even medications for which one needs medical help.
If it is your lifestyle that is making you feel ‘drained’ or ‘down in the dumps’ here are 6 easy tips, which you can follow at home and see the difference it brings to how you feel.
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Drink enough water even during winter as dehydration can sap your energy, alertness and concentration and cause tiredness. Have small sips of water, all day long, and do not wait until your throat is parched and gulp down large amounts in one go.
How you start the day and what you eat affects how you feel. It is important not just to have breakfast on time, but making the right choices.
One of the most common mistakes is starting the day with caffeine. An ideal choice to ‘break’ your fast is to have a fruit. A breakfast rich in carbohydrates (slow release) protein and fibre, not only uplifts your energy levels for the morning, but also benefits your blood glucose level, helps you focus and maintain your weight. This can include unsweetened oats and cornflakes, porridges like daliya, sattu, semolina, sabudana (sago) poha (flattened rice), puffed rice and lapsi with milk. Add jaggery (which is packed with iron) or honey instead of refined sugar.
You can chop a seasonal fruit like strawberry or a regularly available fruit like banana or some dried fruit like dates or chopped up nuts as I sometimes do – almonds, walnuts and cashews or the ones you prefer-they keep your energy going for a long period.
At work, you can carry fruit likes oranges (that are easy to peel) or bananas (which are full of energy), munch grapes (carry them in a zip-lock bag), keep peanuts or chana(Bengal gram)and other nuts handy, as they make great mid morning snacks, especially when you think you need an energy boost. This can also stop you from reaching out for unhealthy snacks made out of refined flour or sugary snacks like cakes, chocolates and biscuits sugar only gives a temporary burst of energy.
On days when you need a break from cereals ,you can make your own ‘power’ smoothies which can be so refreshing and not time consuming at all, if you have a hand mixer. Some combinations, which taste great together, are banana and apple/pear/ chickoo (sapodilla) – which instantly revitalizes the body/ apple (full of fibre)/ figs and even strawberry smoothies. All these fruits contain natural sugar.
A shortage of good quality sleep is one of the major reasons for daytime exhaustion. The solution to this is getting to bed on time, so that you get a full night’s sleep and wake up feeling rejuvenated. If possible, squeezing in a power nap in the mid-afternoon can make you feel refreshed for the rest of the day.
Clutter, can be things accumulated over years in your house E.g. junk items which no longer serve any purpose, heaps of un-used items in the loft or terrace, random items strewn about on the floor/tables, cupboards or drawers overflowing with clothes and objects. Clutter can also be emotional e.g. pent up emotions, negative emotions like worry, fear of failure/ future or feelings of resentment towards a person.
It is very important to ‘clear’ clutter as it creates a stagnant and negative energy, which you absorb; making you feel drained, depressed, sluggish and stuck. This can be done by sorting out items, which have been stored for years and need organizing – they can be given away to the needy, sold or thrown if they are useless.
If you are feeling sluggish, one of the best remedies is to spend more time with nature and less time with technology. All you need to do is take a break, switch of the T.V or the computer, get yourself out of the sofa, the office chair or the car! In addition, most importantly-leave the cell phone behind!
Get yourself out in any natural environment and enjoy the outdoors- watch the sun rising, enjoy the sunset, stop and smell the flowers, listen to the chirping birds. Nature can have a calming and healing effect and it increases levels of positive energies.
Pampering can include a variety of activities. Make a list of all things that make you happy or you enjoy doing. Then go, ahead- make yourself the time and spoil yourself without feeling ‘guilty’.
Give yourself a grand day at the spa where you can rest, relax and rejuvenate. If that is not feasible; give yourself a luxurious bubble bath at home- light some scented candles, add bath foam, bath salts and essential oils to your bath tub/water and put on your favourite music! Soaking in will be both peaceful and revitalizing. Give yourself a manicure and a pedicure or alternatively spend a day at the salon and treat yourself- massages, a new haircut.
Indulge in a treat, which you would not otherwise-it can be a creamy cupcake, a ticket to a show/concert/short vacation that you have desperately been wanting to. Buy yourself new clothes, get down to doing a hobby that you don’t usually have time for-like gardening or painting, settle comfortably on a rocking chair or sofa and read a magazine or a book, catch up on your sleep.
Whenever you feel low, even when you do not feel like it, get up, dress your best (even at home) and put on a dash of make-up. When we look good and are dressed well, we receive compliments, which automatically make us feel good. When we feel good, we are more likely to feel good inside, have more confidence and vigour.
When you look after yourself and your well-being, you are more likely to have the robust and energetic life that you deserve. For that reason, your health is your best investment! Let us try to make 2015, the best year yet.
Image of jumping girl via Shutterstock
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