Fatigue and lack of energy are some of the most commonly reported effects the winter months have on people. These can lead to heightened irritability, a lack of motivation, high stress levels and a lack of attentiveness that can lead to problems in all facets of life. Often, these shifts in energy levels are attributed to shorter days and fewer daylight hours. While these are typically important factors in the equation, there are ways to help fight off the onset of the low-energy blues. You’re not at the mercy of the world around you!
Take control back with the following tips:
1. Sleep well. There’s a difference between sleeping long and sleeping well. Your focus should be primarily on getting enough sleep – experts recommend between seven and nine hours a night – but also on going to sleep at a consistent time. Your body responds best to routine, and consciously telling it when it’s time to shut down for the night will ensure the best quality of sleep.
2. Exercise. Perhaps unsurprisingly, getting your blood pumping is a great way to stay energized and motivated. After all, a body in motion can’t possibly be a body at rest, right? Let’s be clear here, too – we’re not necessarily talking about extreme levels of fitness. You don’t need to be climbing a mountain or running a marathon every morning. Something as simple as a 10-minute walk can be a huge asset for boosting flagging energy levels.
3. Eat and drink well. Much like sleep, it’s not necessarily enough to eat a lot – eating the right foods will go a long way toward helping keep your energy up. Avoid high-sugar foods that will cause a rapid spike in energy and an even more rapid crash in a few hours. Focus on foods with healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Nuts, avocados and bread products will all give you far more sustainable energy than a chocolate bar can. Vitamin D has also been shown to help fight off Seasonal Affective Disorder in some people, so consider adding foods like fatty fish, cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms to your diet.
4. Take care of yourself. Put simply: stress saps energy and makes it difficult to get through the day-to-day. Take whatever time you’re able to do things that help you relax and recharge, whether that’s time with friends, meditating or even curling up by the fire with a good book. If you’re taking care of yourself, you’ll find your energy levels taking care of themselves in the process.
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