Now that we’re over that beginning of the year slump and entering Spring, I’ve decided to give you tips on how to put a real ‘Spring’ in your step!
Energy is essential in this sleep-deprived, overstretched, high-speed world. How do we recharge our batteries when we feel drained?
Here are five areas you can get to work on today by making some simple changes in your daily habits.
Tip 1: Try “Diaphragmatic” or “Belly” Breathing
A simple idea! Practice better breathing. In Chinese Medicine, energy is called “qi” (pronounced “chi”), and one of the most important ways we make qi is by breathing deeply. Stress, poor posture, a snug waistline, and habit are some of the reasons why our breath doesn’t make it down to the bottom of our lungs. Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, is a simple way we can increase our qi energy and improve our stamina.
Tip 2: Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Most of us know that 8 hours of sleep per night is optimal. But what many people don’t know is that the actual time you fall asleep is important too. Sleeping from 1 am to 9 am is not thought to be as restorative as sleeping from 10 pm to 6 am.
The reason why is because hormone secretion, body temperature, digestion, and other important restorative processes follow a 24-hour cycle linked to natural light exposure. The later in the evening we fall asleep and the later in the morning we wake up, the more out-of-sync our cycle becomes. If you’ve ever gone to bed at 3 am and woken up the next morning at 11 am, you may have noticed that you feel worn down and not fully “with it”.
Tip 3: Eliminate Energy-Sappers from Your Diet
Not enough alkaline-forming foods in your diet – Foods that are alkaline-forming include green leafy vegetables, almonds, beets, figs, celery and parsley. In addition to eating these foods, taking 1 teaspoon of a greens powder every morning mixed into juice or a smoothie can also raise energy. Too much sugar – Excess sugar causes fluctuations in blood sugar, which can result in plummeting energy levels. Try to decrease all forms of refined sugar. Watch out for “low-fat” foods — many have forms of sugar, such as high-fructose corn syrup, added to make the food more palatable.
Insufficient protein – With high-protein, low-carb diets being so popular, it’s hard to believe it but insufficient protein is a common reason for fatigue. Pack some almonds and nuts for a quick and convenient protein snack.
Too much tea and coffee – Although tea and coffee initially raise stress hormones and gives a rush of energy, consuming several cups or more of either per day can promote burnout. Try to gradually cut back to one cup a day.
Tip 4: Take 20 Minutes Every Day Just for You
Create a daily ritual where you take 20 to 30 minutes for yourself just relaxing and doing nothing (not watching tv or surfing the internet!).
Pick up a book, listen to music, meditate, or even have a cup of tea!
Tip 5: Consider a Stress-Formula Multivitamin
People who are under chronic stress require more B vitamins. A stress formula multivitamin often has more B vitamins than standard multivitamins. One of my own favourite vitamin boosters is Pharmaton® capsules which I have been recommending for many years and always take myself when I feel the need for a tonic.
The makers of Pharmaton make a lot of claims for how effective it is and in fairness I have found it does really make a difference to most people!
The efficacy of Pharmaton has been proven in various clinical trials It is also appropriate when stress, poor diet and illness imposes additional demands on nutrition and when vitamins and mineral supplementation is needed.