Feel like you’re running on empty? You’re not alone.
Many of us are battling tiredness and a sense of flatness as we navigate our way through work, life demands, stress, caring for others and a lack of sleep.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 5 simple ideas that might help you get your bounce back.
If you’re feeling low in energy, the worst thing you can do is skip meals: it causes a dip in your blood sugar levels and leaves you with less energy to burn .
Good eating habits include regular mealtimes, healthy snacks and a variety of whole foods, with research showing these practices keep your body on a more even energy keel.
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It’s best to avoid too many sugary foods. Blood sugar levels that are too low mean your brain and other tissues aren’t getting the energy supplies they need , while high blood sugar isn’t good for you either. Instead, focus on foods that are fresh and make your body feel great.
Foods that are a source of iron (lean red meat, leafy green veggies and kidney beans, for example) are good for increasing energy levels, and are particularly important for women, who are prone to iron
Up to 75 per cent of your body is made up of water; it’s vital to the healthy functioning of your blood, digestive juices, muscles, brain, joints and bones. Because you lose a lot of water each day, through sweat, urine and even breathing, it’s important to replace those losses regularly .
Staying hydrated can fight off weariness by supplying your brain cells with oxygen-filled blood , helping you stay alert and ready for action.
So, how much water should you drink? Between 1.5 and two litres a day is ideal (men need to drink up to 2.6 litres ), or one to 1.5 litres each day for kids .
Get good quality sleep
It sounds obvious: sleep and you’ll have more energy. But, as anyone who’s had a bad night’s sleep can attest, there’s more to it than simply lying in bed and waking up feeling rested.
FIND OUT: How much sleep you really need
There are habits you can create that support better sleep for the seven to nine hours that are recommended a night. These include:
- Switching off all devices an hour before bed
- Avoiding caffeine for four hours ahead of bedtime
- Staying awake all day (for example, no afternoon nap)
- Using your bedroom only for sleep (and intimacy). This helps your body learn that when you lie in bed, it’s time for some shut-eye)
- Having a regular bedtime and waking time
Move your body
When you’re feeling flat, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising. It’s a really effective strategy, though, for getting that zing back into your days.
Moving your body shakes off those afternoon slumps, gives you a burst of endorphins , and helps you stay on top of both your physical and mental health.
For adults, between 2.5 and five hours of moderate exercise is a wonderful addition to each week .
As a bonus, exercise also helps you get better quality sleep, by decreasing daytime drowsiness, increasing body temperature (which promotes falling asleep easily) and reducing feelings of anxiety .
Stress uses up a lot of energy, so it makes sense that experiencing less of it will open up more space for the things you’d rather do.
READ MORE: 5 easy ways to be more mindful
The big question is how to reduce stress, and we suggest starting with some relaxation. Different people find different things relaxing, and you could try yoga
, meditation, reading, chatting to a friend or curling up on the couch with your favourite movie.