publication date: May 28, 2007
author/source: Anne Coates
Laugh – a great boost to a tired body as laughter releases endorphins which induce a natural “high” feeling. So spend some time with a friend who makes you laugh, sit back and allow the children to entertain you (forget any mess and untidiness) or watch one of your favourite comedy programmes on TV or DVD.
Avoid caffeine - drinking tea or coffee after meals inhibits the absorption of zinc and iron – both necessary minerals for keeping you “in the pink”. A glass of orange juice is much better as it supplies vitamin C and increases the amount of iron your body can absorb from food.
Exercise – although it may take some effort to summon up the energy, exercise will increase your stamina and general feeling of well-being. Walking is excellent for you so take the kids to the park where you’ll all benefit from fresh air and a change of scenery.
Natural light – research shows our bodies benefit from natural light so it’s especially important to make the effort to go outdoors during the winter when we’re more inclined to stay indoors. Ten minutes in the sun is all you need to absorb your daily amount of Vitamin D.
Breathe deeply – most of the time we don’t use our lungs to their full capacity. Shallow breathing makes you feel tired and lethargic. However a deep-breathing exercise can give you an energising boost. You can do this while you are walking, lying down or sitting upright with your back straight. Exhale through your mouth for the count of four, hold for four, breathe in deeply through the nose to the count of four and hold for four. Repeat five to seven times.
Cut down on refined sugars – biscuits, cakes and sweets. Eat more fruit and vegetables – you don’t have to limit yourself to five a day! And go for a variety of colours.
Change your routine if you’re feeling jaded – rearrange the time you normally do something. Minimise chores and do things that you really enjoy.
Don’t skip breakfast – the most important meal of the day. Porridge, fruit and wholemeal toast will keep you going longer than sugar-coated cereals. And if you find you have no time for a proper meal at lunchtime, have a nutritious wholemeal sandwich or nourishing soup plus some fruit.
Drink water – about two litres - throughout the day. If you wait until you are thirsty you’re already dehydrated and this can make you feel tired. If you’re really thirsty, even simple tasks can seem challenging.
Snack - eat an energy-boosting piece of fruit, or mix of sunflower, seseme and pumpkin seeds when you feel you are running out of steam.
Keep cool – don’t turn up the heating too high as this will make you feel sluggish. Ventilate rooms well and wear another layer of clothing if you feel the cold. When your body overheats you will feel lethargic so in summer drink plenty of cool water and use a fan if necessary.
Catnap - many people swear they feel much better after a ten-minute snooze – if you are at home with young children who have a sleep in the afternoon, put your feet up rather than dash around doing household chores.
Learn to relax - yoga and meditation are a great aid to relaxation and clearing the mind so you feel more energetic and in control. Join a class or invest in a DVD that guides you through the process.
Limit alcohol intake - booze makes you feel tired as it depletes the body of valuable minerals and vitamins.
Think positively - don’t waste your time thinking about how tired you are feeling – just concentrate on boosting your energy.