This is the time when the days are getting colder and the nights are getting longer. It seems like it does not matter what we do as we tend to feel extremely tired every year around this time. Wouldn’t it be great if we got to this time of the year and we got more energetic? or we wanted to get out all the time? and had lots of energy all day?
Many of us wonder about this and I have noticed that there are certain things that we can, and we should do to get more energetic in these winter months. A few small changes here and there in the habits will completely improve our energy levels, so let’s get on with it!.
I am from Spain, and this summer I spent more than a month there. It was great but let me tell you: It was really hot! 38 degrees and sunny every day. I spent many days just reading by the swimming pool and having drinks in the ”terrazas”to bear the weather.Nothing to complain there! When I came back to Ireland I immediately felt the difference in my energy levels mostly because of the lack of light. But now in November Dublin gets dark at around 4:30pm so we can easily suffer from lack of light exposure and I noticed that a conscious effort to mix things up a little really pays off at the end.
So check out the following ideas to get the most of your energy this winter:
TAKE BRISK WALKS WHENEVER YOU CAN
You won´t believe how good this feels even on the coldest day. It does not matter if you go for a 10′ walk early in the morning or just after dinner as it does feel fantastic. If you do it early it energizes you for the rest of the day and if you do it later in the evening it will relax you before going to bed. This practice helps a lot especially if you are stressed at work and nothing seems to calm you down. I learned this great habit when I was a teen. Whenever I was freaking out and nothing would calm me down, my mom would send me out for a walk around the block. I remember I never wanted to go, but I always came back in a much better mood. It may be the fresh air, the change of activity or the endorphins because of the exercise, but who cares if it works?
EAT A SNACK IN THE AFTERNOON FROM 2-4PM
Yeah, in the winter we get into hibernation mode or something, right? We don’t get hungry after lunch as much and we forget to get a snack from 2-4pm. This practice can completely change your evening! The few times that I didn’t eat something in that period, I was extremely hungry at 6 or 7 pm. What happens is that in that ”hungry-I can kill for a muffin mode” either you RUN home to have food and then just stay there in laziness mode or you have something really sugary or not as healthy out. In that zombie-mode, we rarely go for an apple. And it seems that those food choices will make us even more tired for the sugar they have. So trust me and have that yogurt or fruit from 2 to 4pm as it will give you enough energy to socialize, exercise or do whatever you want to do in the evening.
ARE YOU DRINKING ENOUGH LIQUIDS?
Funny question that most of us do not even consider, myself included many times. Sometimes we are tired simply because we do not drink enough liquids and our body becomes dehydrated. Set reminders on your phone to drink more water or have a bottle of water in front of you all day and try to finish it. This way you will make sure that you are getting the water that you need.
SWITCH UP THE LIQUIDS
In the winter is quite easy to have just a couple of coffees and not much water because the temperature is not warm enough to make us feel thirsty. But instead of having two coffees, maybe it would be better to have one coffee, a tea and an herbal infusion later in the evening. This usually helps us to sleep and relaxes us at the end of the day. Some good herbs for relaxations are melissa, lavender, chamomile, and linden blossom tea (Tilleul tea). Of course, if sleeping is a problem a herb that is fantastic for relaxing our muscles is valerian root. Be careful with this one though as it is quite strong!
FIND A NEW HOBBIE
This is great when the days are getting shorter because we do not feel so inclined to get out as much. if we have a new hobby we would make the effort to continue with it and the variety will naturally give us more energy in other areas of our life.Energy is contagious after all! Definitely worth trying out.
TAKE VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS
I find that supplements can be very beneficial in general. But in the winter days, the ones that seem to have a better effect on our energy levels are magnesium (found in leafy greens for example) and iron (lentils). I personally take echinacea on a daily basis to strengthen my immune system so I don’t get as many colds or that I recover faster from them!
STICK TO A GOOD SLEEP ROUTINE…ZZZ..zzz…z.. AND SLEEP MORE!
For the last couple of years, I have noticed the effect of this. People that go to sleep really late, usually feel extremely groggy in the mornings and it is usually because they don’t get enough hours of sleep. You have to consider that for those of us that wake up at 6am in the middle of the night, it is extremely hard not to feel tired when it is so dark outside. There are studies out there that state that we feel this because our body is naturally connected to the light. So when it’s dark our body tells us: -hey! what are you doing??back to bed!. So in order to avoid the grogginess of the early hours, a longer sleep than the one you would have in the summer would do wonders to your energy in the morning.
Meditation and yoga are always mentioned in this kind of posts I know. And I was the first one to think that their effect can’t be as amazing as people say. But I have to admit that their effects on our muscles and our minds are beyond amazing. First of all, it does give us control over many things that happen in our bodies and in our minds and this has a fantastic effect on our health.
If you do this in the morning before having breakfast you will feel its wonderful effects in less than a week. We can go through life being completely unaware of what is going on in our heads, what are our most common thoughts and our inner dialogue. By meditating you can become aware of this and by recognizing this you can accept it and redirect your focus somewhere else. This is very powerful!
For me, it helps to do some yoga before meditating especially on the days that I don’t feel like meditating at all. When I focus on the asanas I have to be ”in the moment” as they call it, and for me, that means that I either focus on what I am doing or I may loose the balance in one of the yoga postures and may fall on my face!. But, yes, that keeps me present and after I have done it all (maximum 30′ on days I don’t have time) I feel much more energetic.
So thank you for reading and let me know how these tips are working for you and your energy levels.