The winter months will soon be upon us, and many people start to feel more tired and sluggish at this time of year, so it's a great time to look for ways to boost your energy. There are loads of different things you can try, from a relaxing massage with aromatherapy oils to healthier snacking and a more active lifestyle, so try out some of these handy tips. Prepare to discover some ways to boost your energy that will leave you feeling ready to face the new year!
1. Fill up
Filling your tummy with inviting autumn soups and stews is a great way to boost your energy, and even a humble tin of Heinz Tomato soup can be turned into a nutritious meal with the addition of some vegetables and pulses. Hearty winter stews with lentils, chickpeas and other beans are a great way to fill up without overloading on meat, and they'll help to stabilise your blood sugar levels, making them one of the best ways to boost your energy when it's cold!
2. Get Active
It can be tempting to laze on the couch when it's cold outside (hey, we all do it!), particularly if you're tired from work, but try to stay active even when you're feeling sleepy. Go for a run, clean your apartment or do some yoga. By staying busy and active you'll actually boost your energy levels, and you'll sleep sounder at night as a result!
3. Snack Healthy
Put down that bag of crisps (chips) and reach for a healthier snack this winter - you know you want to! By eating healthy, sustaining snacks, you'll feel more energetic as your body will have the fuel it needs to get through the day. Swap crisps for a handful of pumpkin seeds or Japanese rice crackers, or dig into some wholemeal crackers and hummus for a protein-packed way to see you through until 5pm.
It might sound counter-intuitive, but taking some time out to sit and meditate can actually help you to feel more awake and energetic. Whether you have 1 minute or 20 minutes, you can relax and unwind, letting your mind empty and your troubles float away, and this is the perfect way to gain a little 'me' time in your busy day! You'll feel better for it, I promise.
5. Have a Massage
A deep-tissue or aromatherapy massage is a great way to release toxins and blockages in your body, and whilst you'll usually feel sleepy afterwards, you'll wake up feeling great the next day! Make sure your massage therapist custom-blends aromatherapy oils to suit your needs - grapefruit, mandarin and rosemary are all great oils for waking up your mind and body!
6. Stay Hydrated
The next time you feel sluggish, think about whether you're drinking enough water. Most of us are guilty of being dehydrated throughout the day, particularly if we're busy at work, and it's important to drink enough if you want to feel good. Cut down on caffeine which actually dehydrates you further and instead opt for herbal teas, fruit juice or water.
7. Cut the Carbs
Whilst it's not a good idea to exclude any food group from your diet long term (unless you have an intolerance), research shows that limiting your carbs can help you to feel more energetic. Avoid heavy pasta dishes or sandwiches at lunchtime and opt for stews, soups and salads instead. Save your carbs for the evening when you don't mind feeling sleepy.
8. Keep in Touch
Staying in touch with family and friends not only boosts your mood, it helps you to feel better in yourself, which can also boost your energy levels! Instead of slumping in front of the TV, ring a friend for a catch up, or Skype your sister.
9. Take a Break
It's important to take regular breaks from your desk at work, but even more so when the weather turns cold and dark outside! Even if it's just 5 minutes to take a quick walk around the office or get a drink, escaping from your computer screen gives you a little boost that will help you to feel more energetic, and regular breaks also make you more productive - so tell that to your boss!
There are plenty of ways to boost your energy this winter, but diet, exercise and a healthy mind are a great place to begin. I love winter, but I know I'll be employing some of these tactics to see me through cold, dark afternoons at work when I start to feel tired! What works for you when you feel sluggish and sleepy?