You are feeling sleepy… You’re eyelids are getting heavy… This is not a hypnosis sessions just the everyday afternoon coma. Winter is especially hard to keep your energy levels up, without the energizing and motivating sunshine.
Here are a few things I found very helpful in the battle with mid-day snooze.
If you are working full time there are precious few opportunities to get outside and top up your vitamin D the natural way – through sun exposure. And of course in autumn and winter sunny days are harder to come by and the intensity of sun-rays is low.
I am not big on supplements, but since I can’t get enough of vitamin D through sun exposure I take a supplement twice a day. This year I felt a boost to my energy levels after just a couple of days of taking the supplement.
The reason vitamin D is helpful with energy levels is it’s connection with phosphorus. Vitamin D helps absorption and metabolism of phosphorus, while phosphorus improves stable energy release.
Vitamin D has also been found to help the immune system – perfect to fight of those seasonal colds.
It is an essential mineral for sleep deprived parents. It helps to get rid of fatigue and boost your energy, as it helps distribution of oxygen in your organism. All the cells in your body, and especially brain, needs oxygen to function. Iron also improves concentration, because of good oxygen levels in the brain.
When Little F was 5 months, and still only sleeping 2-3 hours at a time, I found myself succumbing to the black dog. I was so tired. I was cracking-up. A simple thing like taking iron supplement really helped within days. Now I just make sure that we all eat plenty of vegetarian sources of iron: beans, nuts, dried fruits, whole grains, green leafy veg.
Like vitamin D, iron helps to boost immune system.
It’s not as easy as taking a pill or making sure you eat the right food, but exercise, especially outdoors, is an excellent way to raise your energy levels. It helps to oxygenate your entire body and gives you the muscle strength to deal with your day.
Even a brisk 15 minute walk will help you feel refreshed. If you feel the afternoon coma coming your way get up from your desk and walk around for a few minutes. If you have kids, you will all enjoy a visit to your local park or playground.
I found that cycling is the best form of daily exercise for me. I commute on my bike and so have no excuses not to do it after work – I need to get home. I always had plenty of excuses when it came to going to the gym or a class…
Of course this is not something you will have time to do on daily basis, but even one or two sessions a week will help to balance your body. Yoga encourages deep breathing and so helps to introduce oxygen to the body. It calms your mind and helps to refocus, making it easier to deal with everyday ‘noise’ of life.
I do a 40 minute session on Sundays, when Little F is having his nap, though sometimes I’d rather join him in snoozy land. I make myself do it, as after the session not only I feel the energy boost, but it also helps to release muscle tension from my body accumulated over the week – it’s a bit like a massage really.
what and when you eat has a big impact on how you feel. Having more frequent smaller meals helps to distribute energy evenly throughout the day and stops you from having a big meal. A heavy meal will make you sleepy, as your body struggles to digest it.
All of the above are free (except the supplement) and easy (except the exercise) to introduce into your daily life. I hope you will try at least one and see your energy sore!
Have you got a good way of keeping up your energy in autumn and winter? I’d love to hear from you so do leave me a comment.