Tips to Maintain Your Energy during Changing Seasons
In the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, most of us can easily feel tired and drained. If you struggle with winter blues and lower energy levels, here are some tips to maintain your energy during the changing seasons and keep you feeling your moat energized self!
Why is maintaining our routine important?
As the days get shorter and darker, and the temperature drops outside, lots of us are left feeling like hibernating on the sofa and begin to see our healthy routines slip away. To make matters harder, the inevitable cold and flu season has started to gain traction and all too often we can find ourselves feeling low in energy, which is why it’s important to be prepared. Fuelling your body with vitamins and minerals over the winter months is crucial in helping to maintain energy levels and vitality, as well as making sure our lifestyle habits are helping, not hindering our immune systems.
Stress tends to affect our energy and strength, as our bodies trigger a ‘fight or flight’ mode, which can leave us more vulnerable to outside influencers. While it may not be possible to completely remove stress from your life, there are things you can do to find calm, including scheduling in relaxation time and practicing mindfulness exercises. A quick YouTube browse for ‘guided meditation’ will give you plenty of free options if this is something you’d like to try out. There are also some meditation apps on the market such as Headspace, Calm and Aura that are great options if you want to set a reminder or build towards a certain goal. Keeping a journal can also help you stay grounded and assess how you are feeling in the moment.
As obvious as it sounds, making sure you are prioritising healthy eating habits and including a variety of important nutrients into your diet will go a long way in supporting your immune system and keeping your energy levels where they need to be. Embrace heart healthy foods loaded with Vitamin C, such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers and citrus fruits, and iron rich foods, like red meats, lentils and green leafy vegetables. Also try slowing down on the sugars; often the winter months can entice us to reach for sugar laden comfort foods, which can be as bad for our energy levels as they are for our waistlines. Try swapping sugary foods for root veggies and soups that are just as comforting, but nutritious to boot!
So many of us talk about getting more sleep, but often it seems to elude us. A lack of sleep can make you tired and impact how energetic you feel throughout the day, so it’s important to try and get around 8 hours of sleep a night. Our top tips include winding down from your day by taking a long bath or reading a book, avoiding phone and other screens and trying meditation to calm your mind before bedtime.
We all know how important staying hydrated is, helping prevent dehydration and maintain energy levels, but many of us know we don’t drink enough. In a survey conducted by Britvic, 62% of people admitted to not drinking enough water.1 When you don’t necessarily feel thirsty, monitor your water intake day-by-day. You might discover that you are not drinking enough. So, to help you stay more hydrated, maybe go to sleep with a bottle or glass of water next to your bed, that way it’s right there for you when you wake up. Similarly, place a large water bottle in your main living spaces. We recommend a bottle with a straw if you have one, as you’re more likely to drink more! There are also plenty of Water Reminder Apps you can get to send you notifications on your phone.
Daily exercise can help boost your metabolism by getting the heart rate up, increasing oxygen in the blood and releasing endorphins, which all help increase energy. Exercise is also a great way of boosting the production of serotonin, known as the happy hormone. Although you might be tired from work, you might live a more sedentary lifestyle, and you may not have the time to exercise every day, a 10 minute workout on YouTube, or even some light stretches in the morning can help get your blood flowing, activate your muscles and sustain your energy levels throughout the day.
Get outside and get that vitamin D
As our body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight exposure, most people should be able to get all the vitamin D they need from simply being outside from around late March/early April to the end of September. We all know that taking a break from our busy lives to take a quick walk outside in the fresh air makes us feel better, in fact being outside and basking in the warm sunshine has been linked to playing an important role in regulating mood swings and reducing feelings of stress. It’s important to remember that body is unable to make vitamin D if you’re sitting indoors by a sunny window, because the UV rays which produce the vitamin can’t get through the glass. So, it’s very important to make sure you get outside during the summer months. Set aside a time in the day to take a walk, have a picnic in the park with friends or complete that gardening project you’ve been putting off. With that said, you should also remember to make sure you’re taking precautionary measures such as wearing a high SPF sunscreen, seeking out some shade, or covering up with light loose clothing so that you don’t burn your skin when exposed to direct sunlight.2
Create a schedule
For most active people, exercise isn’t the only aspect of their life that’s organised – they have a daily routine that keeps them on track. They wake up at the same time every day, so there’s less room for distractions to enter the picture. Not only does this mean they can carve out time for morning exercise, they’ll also be more likely to eat at the same time every day, which helps cut down the likelihood of emergency snacking. Think about how your routine could set you up for a more active day. Could you incorporate exercise into your commute? What about bedtime? A regular bedtime routine signals to your body that it’s time to sleep. And with a great night’s sleep, you’ll be up and raring to go the next day.