Ever had one of those days where your energy’s flagging and your butt’s dragging before your feet hit the floor? You know it’s going to be a hard slog when you’re still trying to shake the grit from your eyes at lunchtime. Ugh! You could limp along on caffeine and doughnuts but that won’t really help. What’s a girl to do? Number one, identify the fiend who stole your zip-a-dee-doodah (hint, you may be more complicit in this crime than you care to admit) and two, try these easy pick-me-ups.
Quick fix 1
Book in your bedtime
Even Superwoman needs her beauty sleep. It’s the foundation for almost everything. Skimping on zzzs makes you fuzzy brained and you’ll be more likely to eat the wrong things in an attempt to regain your missing oomph. When we’re overtired, inner gremlins scream ‘Gimme all the chocolate!’ It’s hard to resist when your defences are down, but eating sugary, fatty, carby stuff won’t give you the sustained energy you’re after, and may contribute to weight gain. Treat sleep as you would an important appointment: put it in your calendar, turn up on time and give it your all, starting tonight.
Quick fix 2
Step into the light
The temptation to shield your eyes from light is strong when you’re fatigued, but it’s exactly what you need. Natural sunlight, absorbed through the retina, helps regulate circadian rhythms, which control many body functions. Spending a little time outside without sunnies will help you feel human again. At night though, artificial light tells your body it’s not yet time to sleep. Put down your phone and power off early!
Quick fix 3
Sip on it, Susie
Water, that is. Without sufficient H20, energy quickly plummets. Lap it up straight, on the rocks, laced with a squeeze of lemon or warm with a couple of tablespoons of raw, organic apple cider vinegar.
Quick fix 4
Snack on a small handful of almonds, pistachios or pumpkin seeds instead of bickies, chips or a honeycomb bar. It’ll give you the crunch you want, with the energy giving benefits you need.
Quick fix 5
Get up, stand up
Trapped at your desk and it’s still hours from quittin’ time? Stand up. To get your blood flowing again, jog on the spot or try a few squats in place for 30 seconds; stretch your arms above your head, out to the sides and behind your back. Shake, rattle and roll it out. You can sit back down now
SEE THE DOC
Is there something else going on? Any number of health conditions can cause an energy dip. If you can’t identify a reason and it’s been going on for a while, see your GP. Among other things, he/she can order a full blood count to check your vitamin D, B12 and iron levels.
Quick fix 6
Practise mini meditation
A power nap isn’t always possible or socially appropriate, so try mini meditation sessions throughout the day instead. Close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply through your nose while picturing yourself somewhere peaceful and warm where the skies are a brilliant, calming blue. Just three minutes is all you need to regroup and revitalise. Do it at your desk, in the bathroom or in your car – while safely parked, of course!
Quick fix 7
For all-day energy, you need a morning meal packed with protein and healthy fats. Think eggs and avocado on wholegrain. For a fab brekkie on the go, fold that eggy goodness into a wrap. Try Helga’s lower-sodium, preservative-free wraps (available in white, mixed grain and new low-carb). Non-traditional breakfast foods (leftover grilled chicken breast, even a tuna salad) also make great brekkie wraps!
Quick fix 8
Walk, run, dance, move!
Moving weary muscles increases blood flow and puts a pep in your step. It may seem counterintuitive but when you expend energy, you create energy
Quick fix 9
Sing it, sister
Crank up your tunes and belt ’em out (hairbrush mic optional). Singing triggers the release of feel-good endorphins and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. You don’t have to be Adele to reap the benefits.
Quick fix 10
Try this neat trick
Rub your hands together vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds then place your warmed palms gently over your eyes. Hold them there, blocking out all light, for 30 seconds or so. Slowly remove your hands and let your eyes readjust. This is an ancient yoga relaxation technique known as ‘eye palming’.
Quick fix 11
Use common scents
Certain aromas have the power to uplift and energise, including orange, lemon, lime, mandarin, peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus. Choose a favourite and go to town. Add a few stimulating drops of essential oil to your bath or use a scented body lotion and fragrance. For instant effect, diffuse oils in a burner or light a candle.
Quick fix 12
Hang with the fun crowd
Whenever possible, surround yourself with upbeat people and enjoy a good laugh – it does wonders for the soul even when you’re running on empty.