As we're well and truly in the thick of winter, there are some wonderful ways to keep energy levels high and boost vitality before we get a spring back in our step in just a few months' time. I can understand why many species hibernate in the winter months and there are many times when I have wished I was part of such a group. However, there are some ways to keep energy levels high, which will mean that such drastic action will not be needed.
I love sleep and getting your required amount of shut-eye is essential all year round and is one of the ways to keep energy levels high. This will ensure that you feel well-rested and ready to face the day head on. Too little sleep will mean you're more vulnerable to infections and illnesses which will deplete your energy resources. I find it difficult to function properly without my eight hours and whilst there is no set amount people should get, as it varies from person to person, it's essential to ensure that you get the right amount of sleep for you.
2. Fresh Air
It may be winter outside but make sure you get out into the great outdoors regardless. There are so many reasons to take advantage of the fabulous fresh air outside during the colder months. It's great for your digestion, blood pressure, heart rate and immune system and it just generally makes you feel better. In fact, it is believed that Charles Dickens put his recovery from depression down to walking. So there you go, a brisk walk in the fresh air can really boost both your body and mind. Walking is just one of the outdoor activities you can indulge in. Any outdoor activity will do...within reason!
3. Big Breakfast
It doesn't necessarily have to be big but make sure you have a good wholesome breakfast and that it will sustain you for longer than your commute to work or college. Opt for a slow-releasing energy breakfast such as nut butter spread on wholemeal toast with a chopped banana (one of my favorites) or wholegrain cereals. A wholegrain breakfast will make you feel more energetic, less stressed and more alert. Oats are another great option and if you really want a vitality boosting breakfast, add some zinc-rich pumpkin seeds to your cereal as it's vital for the immune system during these colder months. No matter what other diets tell you, a good breakfast will kick-start your brain and help you avoid the fatigue later in the day.
Many of us forget to focus on that thing we do every minute of the day but it's vital not to underestimate the power of breathing. In fact, one way to bring oxygen into your body is to breathe deeply. This will release tension and increase those energy levels. Breathe in through your nose and count to five, then breathe out through your mouth whilst counting to eight. Continue this until you feel more refreshed and revived.
5. Cigarettes, Alcohol and Other Energy Leeches
Most of us like to have a little drink every now and then but too much of it can play havoc with sleep quality and therefore affect your energy levels. The toxins present in both cigarettes and alcohol will eventually take its toll on your body and deplete you of the vitamins you need to feel full of life. Cigarettes and alcohol aren't the only energy leeches of course. Avoid the negative people who bring you down and try to mix with more up-beat and positive ones who will make you feel more energetic.
Anxiety and stress can really deplete your energy levels, so make sure you spend some time doing something that you enjoy to help you relax and take your mind off things. Exercise, meditation and spending time doing the things you love will make you feel happier and less stressed. You can also try using some calming essential oils to soothe, such as lavender or some energy restoring ones such as jasmine and lemon to revive.
7. Little Challenges
Over the colder months, it can be difficult to find the energy to stay motivated but by setting yourself little challenges and goals, it can make all the difference. This could be something as simple as volunteering for a group, joining a fitness class or a book group or just doing something else that takes you out of your comfort zone and injects some energy back into your life. You will feel invigorated and restored as a result.
These are just a few ways to help boost those energy levels. What types of things do you recommend doing to put the zing back in your step in the winter months?