You’re a bit tired, empty and in need of a large boost of energy. Sound familiar? We all need a little pick-me-up sometimes, perhaps even more right now as we’re still getting used to this new reality we’re living in. Even though the sun’s shining, and nature’s bursting out into its warmer-months glory – you’re probably feeling stuck at home and depleted of your energy. However, the change of seasons offers an opportunity to pause, to reflect and to check in with yourself. To prevent reaching for the coffee (or wine!) every time you experience a rut, here are a number of easy things you can do to get a burst of energy when you need it most. Come the spring, the wake-up call after the dark and short days of winter, let’s recharge our energy levels and start afresh with 9 easy habits.
1. Talk it out
You may have never thought about it before, but the simple act of talking can also give you more energy. It can sometimes help to get everything out before you go to bed, which allows you to sleep better. This means you’ll wake up completely rested. Not only will you be more alert the next day, but talking to others also prevents social isolation.
2. Check in with yourself
Begin a daily mindfulness practice where you take stock of when and what drains you of your energy. Once you’ve charted this out, you’ll be able to prevent these situations from happening again.
3. Water is your friend
Make sure you’ve got a bottle, carafe or glass of water at hand to keep you hydrated throughout the day. It’s both essential for your metabolism and a powerful tool in keeping fatigue at bay. Bored of H20 straight up? Try infusing your water with citrus fruits, watermelon, strawberries, kiwi or berries.
4. Check your checklist
Many of us will likely admit that checking things off our list is an instant mood and energy booster, however, did you know that failing (now there’s an icky word) to check things off will have the opposite effect and lead to frustration and lethargy? So, slow down, cut down that mile-long action list and stick to a solid list that will benefit you the most or give you the most energy. Whether that’s related to your work, your social life or your personal well-being. We’re also more energetic in the mornings, so it’s best to get the tough tasks out of the way first, if you’ve gotten some important work done, your mood is usually good and you’ll feel more energetic and productive later. Win, win!
You only have a finite amount of energy each day, so use it wisely.
5. Power posing is back
Amy Cuddy argued that your body language helps influence how you feel and how you think. She found that adopting a high-power pose can change your body chemistry, increasing your testosterone and decreasing your cortisol levels. Several studies have shown that low testosterone levels, even for women, can result in low energy levels [link to ]. So, if you’re feeling low during the day, simply get up, stretch a little, and strike a pose. You may close the curtains if you feel you’re putting on a show for the neighbours.
6. Dance break
This one is my personal favourite and I’ve been using it rigorously over the past year. Whenever I start feeling sluggish, or find myself staring into space like a 20-year-old laptop that’s frozen beyond all help, I stick on my headphones (trust me, nobody wants to hear my singing voice – not even me) and choose a trippy tune. Sometimes that’s a golden oldie or a track that reminds me of going out with friends, whatever floats your boat – I can guarantee this will get your energy back up even if it’s just one song. Oh, and yes, you may close the curtains for this one too.
7. Vitamin d for energy
Being outside in nature can help you feel more alive, says Richard Ryan, lead author and a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. "Often when we feel depleted, we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energised is to connect with nature, […] Nature is fuel for the soul."
8. Squeeze to power up
According to traditional Chinese medicine, squeezing or stimulating some acupressure points on the body can also help to up your energy levels. Try massaging your ears all over for about a minute until they start to feel hot, the increase in blood circulation should make you feel more alert. Start at the lobe and work your way up to the top of your ear.
9. The power of a good headstand
The king of all yoga poses might well be Sirsasana, the headstand. Inverting your body increases blood flow to the head, which can help to improve your energy and focus. It reverses the effect of gravity on the body, and some say it might even have anti-ageing benefits. We’ll report back on that later…
Now this one comes with a warning; we don’t want you to hurt yourself! Be careful, use a towel or round cushion to protect the crown of your head, a wall to come up against, and perhaps even a friend or loved one to help you as you start out.
Sometimes the obvious needs repeating
Nutrition for energy; This is one of the simplest solutions. When you feel a dip coming on, choose a snack that’s rich in protein, such as edamame beans, avocado and eggs. These are the best energy-boosting foods you can try.
Active for energy; physical activity can give you an energy boost as it literally creates energy in your body as you power up your mitochondria, the power generators of the body. Why not start your day with an uplifting yoga flow.
Sleep for energy; the quality of your day is reflected in the quality of your night, and vice versa. Create – and stick to – a personalised night and morning routine to make the most of both and keep your energy levels up!