It’s been yeeeaaarrrss since I was at ‘school’, but I still feel like my energy always drops around ‘end of term’. Every 3 months or so, theres a real lull in my energy as I’ve being powering on that treadmill, day after day, week after week, for a solid amount of time. My brain and body gets a little tired… and I start to crave downtime, a holiday, or a little adventure.
At times like this, it can be difficult to shake off that sluggish feeling. Especially, if there is no ‘recharging’ holiday (or getaway) in sight. So, if you’re a little like me… are feeling those ‘end of Term’ blues… and want to be feeling more energetic… then these “10 ways to re-energise your day” are for you…. small changes that can make a big difference.
1. Avoid the snooze button
If your alarm goes off in the morning and the first thing you do is hit snooze and nod off again, look out! Apparently, if you fall back to sleep in that snooze time you could be interrupting your hormone cycle, which can actually make it harder to get going in the morning. Couple of ways you could combat this:
- Invest in a sunrise alarm clock. These alarm clocks wake you up with a gradual brightening light, creating a natural cue for your body to reduce the production of sleep hormones and wake on up.
- Keep your alarm across the room, so you have to physically get up to switch it off
- Set your alarm for 10 minutes later than you normally would, so it forces you to get up
- Apply the 5 second rule. If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it. So, alarm goes off, count 5-4-3-2-1-GO, and get up!
- Switch your alarm tone to something you actually enjoy and are happy to hear.
- Keep a drink bottle next to your bed and reach for a drink as soon as you wake up. In a subtle way this gets you doing something physical whilst also supplies the body with it’s most precious resource.
2. Make friends with morning movement
You don’t have to be one of those energiser bunnies hitting the gym first thing every single morning to score max energy gains. It’s not all about getting up and doing a high-intensity workout – you could do something as simple as a 5minute stretch routine in your lounge room or go for a 15min short walk around your neighbourhood. It’s also good to consider choosing something that fights fatigue rather than something that drains you you and leaves you feeling even more exhausted. We are big believers in alternating high intensity workout days, with lower intensity workout days, and we’ve designed our timetable with this in mind.
3. Choose snacks wisely
There’s a big difference between reaching for a quality source of protein or some fruit/vegetables that are packed with metabolism boosting ingredients and fibre, or snacking on packaged snacks. Packaged snacks often contain chemicals or preservatives that can strip your body of nutrients and leave you struggling for energy. Choose wholefood snacks instead.
4. Reach for water
Dehydration can leave you feeling drained and fatigued. You don’t necessarily have to follow the “eight glasses a day” rule, but you do want to drink enough water to keep your body well hydrated. You can tell you’re well hydrated when you don’t feel thirsty and your urine is light-colored. Try to get to the fridge or water cooler for a refill every few hours. The walk there will also help you wake up.
5. Belt out your favourite song
Ever noticed how good you feel after listening to a favourite song? Music is energising – even more so if you sing along to it. According to research it can increase energetic arousal and decrease tension nearly as much as a cardio workout. It may only be a few minutes of disconnecting from your day, but we think it’s definitely better than nothing. So next time you feel exhausted in the office mid-afternoon, ditch the chocolate bar and take a walk around the block with your phone blasting your favourite tunes instead!
6. Take a moment of meditation (it doesn’t have to be hard or take a long time!)
Being still and silent can revive you. All day long your body and brain are constantly being stimulated, which can be seriously tiring and exhausting. Take several moments in your day to breathe deeply and concentrate on your inhalation and exhalation. It takes only one minute of silence to replace all that dissipated energy, according to Deb Shapiro, co-author of Be the Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World.
7. Eat smaller portions
Most people eat too much in one go and large portions equal sleepy hormones! Try reducing your portions by half, or simply splitting them into multiple small meals throughout the day. This means your digestion doesn’t have to work too hard all in one go and your energy levels remain high throughout the day.
8. Catch up with the girls
Humans are made to connect in the real world. Whether it be through fitness, arts, culture, or sport…. whether it be a club, group, team or Girl Gang…. connecting with others in real world places and spaces can have a powerful impact on our both your energy levels and your health.
9. Greens before caffeine
There’s nothing wrong with caffeine, in fact it can be a healthy drink in moderation. But when coffee becomes a crutch and you get to the point where a large/strong mug full barely gives you a buzz anymore, a shake-up is in order! Try switching your morning or afternoon caffeine hit with a supergreens supplement, green juice, serve of green vegetables, or low sugar green smoothie. It’s an extra serve of vegetables, vitamins, antioxidants and micronutrients, while giving your adrenals a bit of a break. I’m not saying you need to ditch caffeine altogether – but every now and again, give greens before caffeine a go.
Hot Tip – If you are a coffee lover, a good way to approach this is to set yourself an achievable goal. Going cold turkey and ditching coffee altogether is most likely going to cause some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Setting yourself an achievable goal (rather than setting yourself the strict rule of ‘no coffee’) is a much more user friendly way to go. So perhaps your goal will be “choose greens before caffeine 3 mornings a week”.
10. Shut off your screens and sleep more
Surviving on 5-6 hours sleep a night is going to take its toll on your energy levels and how you tackle your day. Try shutting down all your screens at least an hour before bedtime and aim to get between seven to eight hours sleep a night. It can help to come up with a night time ritual that has you relaxed by the time you hit the pillow. Herbal teas, a good book and magnesium spray can all help. And, – but ideally two hours, for max energy the next day!
Hot Tip: Go to bed at the right time so you can take advantage of your body’s natural rhythms. Here’s a handy calculator!
Mumma Tip: Mummas – this is always a tough one I know! Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep, even if it rarely happens. Aim to maintain some kind of night time ritual for yourself, even if it constantly gets interrupted. We do our best, and we do what we can.