How To Boost Your Energy Levels And Prevent Burn Out
by Renée Leonard Stainton
Posted: August 31, 2016
Want to banish stress and fatigue, once and for all? Take a deep breath, relax and read 10 tips from Naturopath, Nutritionist and Western Herbalist, Renée Leonard-Stainton, that will help you replenish your natural energy levels.
Have you been working long hours? Feeling sleep deprived and yawning at your desk? Thankfully, there are some simple and low-cost ways to transform your body into a fatigue-fighting machine.
Here are ten tips to help you boost your energy levels, natural health and prevent occupational burn out.
1. Manage stress
As we all know, stress is a major drain in every way! Stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy.
To help you manage stress, try talking with a friend or colleague or perhaps see a natural health practitioner or counsellor to help with therapies and techniques to diffuse stress.
Relaxation therapies like meditation, yoga and tai chi are also effective tools for reducing stress.
2. Lighten your load
One of the main reasons for fatigue is, surprise surprise, working too hard or doing too much. Overwork can include professional, family, and social obligations.
Allow yourself to say ‘no’ sometimes and remember there will be plenty of opportunities to say ‘yes’ again in the future when life calms down and your energy levels are restored! Try to streamline your large ‘To do’ list to a ‘Today’s tasks’ of daily activities. It makes your day-to-day tasks seem less overwhelming.
Set your priorities in terms of the most important tasks and lower down those that are less important. Don’t be afraid to ask for extra help at work and at home… People are usually more than willing to help out!
3. Exercise in the morning
Exercise causes your body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine stress hormones, that in modest amounts can make you feel energised.
If you’re feeling knackered by the end of each day, why not exercise when your energy levels are the highest they’re likely to be all day? Exercising in the morning also compliments the other important aspects of managing your energy levels as well.
Starting your day with a workout can set the tone for the rest of the day, meaning you may be more likely to make healthy choices and maintain your energy through good food choices.
4. Eat for energy
It's better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day. Eating foods with a low glycemic index (meaning that they release glucose more gradually into the bloodstream) may help you avoid the lag in energy that typically occurs after eating quickly-absorbed sugars or refined starches.
Foods with a low glycemic index include whole grains, high-fibre vegetables, nuts, meat, and healthy oils such as olive oil. In general, high-carbohydrate foods have the highest glycemic indexes.
5. Limit alcohol
Let’s face it, work lunches or social study breaks with friends are fun! But one of your best bets to avoid the 3pm slump is to avoid drinking alcohol at said lunches.
The sedative effect of alcohol is especially strong at midday. If you're going to drink, do so in moderation, at a time when you don't mind having your energy wind down.
6. Prioritise sleep
There are so many aspects of modern life which can vastly reduce the quality of sleep you’re getting. Not sleeping well can (for obvious reasons) lead to low energy. Some simple tips for getting a better sleep include:
- Going to bed at a regular time each night (preferably before 10pm as between 10pm - 12am - are considered the most restorative hours for energy)
- Avoiding computers, TV and other screens for at least an hour before bed
- Keeping the room at a fairly cool temperature
7. Listen and respond to your body’s cues for rest
We’re all guilty of occasionally sidelining our body’s signs and symptoms that we’re doing too much in order to just ‘push on through’ to get what needs to be done, done.
While we can ignore the body’s signs it needs more rest, inevitably, when we ‘push through’ too often, we usually come crashing down with exhaustion.
Tune into your body’s signs that you need to slow down, and you’ll find you have more sustainable energy stores that you’re able to tap into.
8. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a wellness industry buzzword right now... and for good reason. Mindfulness is essentially focusing the mind on the present situation and living in the moment to help decrease stress levels.
Maybe try downloading an app onto your phone that can help you tune into being mindful at regular intervals in the day. Or, if it just doesn’t seem like you can feasibly schedule it into your day, incorporate it at random intervals such as when you’re making a cup of tea at the office, driving to work or sitting on the train.
Turn off your phone, park up your mental chatter and really tune into how you are feeling in the moment, both physically and emotionally.
9. Practice deep breathing
Practicing deep diaphragmatic breathing helps to calm the nervous system whilst increasing energy levels. Taking a moment out of your busy schedule to focus on taking deep breaths can rapidly re-energise you as it brings more oxygen into your body!
10. Consider taking a magnesium supplement
Magnesium is a mineral responsible for hundreds of vital biochemical reactions in the body. It’s crucial for breaking down glucose into energy. Having even slightly lower than normal magnesium levels in the body can mean a noticeable drop in energy levels.
It’s important to eat foods high in magnesium, such as whole grains, nuts and seeds, leafy greens and beans. However, it’s not always possible to obtain all we need from our diets. So in periods of high stress, a magnesium supplementation should be considered.
A final note
The difference these easy-to-incorporate tips can have on your energy levels and mood is profound, and you’ll find other aspects of your life most likely improving as a result.
You’ll have more time to have fun with your family and friends, you’ll perform better and get more done at work, and you’ll no doubt be in far better physical shape. All it takes is actively managing your energy!
Want to learn more about a career in Health and Wellbeing? Get more tips from Wellness expert, Renee, on how to forge a successful career in the wellness industry, here.