By: Nanette Fairley
October 5, 2021
Do you ever find yourself in an energy funk? Have you ever experienced it going on longer than you would like? The months leading up to me leaving full-time employment were so busy, ensuring projects that could be completed were, detailed handover briefings and documentation done and farewells attended. I then fell in a heap, literally, and slept for a month! I felt like I had used every bit of energy I had to get across that line.
Chinese medicine’s approach suggests we are born with a certain amount of energy, or chi, and to maintain health and well-being we must continually replenish chi because we use it every day to think, work and play. Energy fuels our life!! The more energy you have, the greater will be your ability to achieve what you want. From my research, reading and own experience, here are ten things you can try to replenish your energy stores so you can do more of what you love.
This may sound illogical, but there is good evidence to suggest that in order to get more energy, you have to do the very thing you don’t feel you have enough energy to do! Regular exercise boosts your energy in multiple ways. Exercise has a double impact as it may help you sleep more soundly which in turn fuels your energy levels.
2. Manage your stress
Stress-induced emotions consume a huge amount of your precious energy. There are many ways to decrease stress from talking with a friend or therapist, to relaxation techniques like meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and tai chi.
3. Have a mini break
I like to use the term ‘step off the world for a while’. Basically, for me this means planning a couple of days with zero obligations. That means having nothing AT ALL planned, no alarm set, no one visiting and easy access to food so you don’t even have to cook if you don’t want to. Sleep, meditation, reading, TV binge watching, whatever takes your fancy – but nothing that is planned in advance. A quiet, unplanned, take it as it comes, weekend perhaps?
4. Get realistic with your To Do’s
One of the main reasons for fatigue is overwork. Overwork could include professional, family, and social activities. If your To Do list is never ending, try to streamline it down to your “must-do” activities. The productivity specialist, David Allen, says that unless you can put a specific action verb in front of an action, it shouldn’t be on your list. He is also a big fan of ruthless prioritisation, encouraging you to drop things that are nice to get done but not essential.
5. Review your food patterns
Eating foods with a low glycemic index — whose sugars are absorbed slowly — may help you avoid the lag in energy that typically occurs after eating quickly absorbed sugars. I know for a period of time I fell into a terrible habit of binging on chocolate at about 4pm in the afternoon to get me through the last few hours of work each day. Not a good idea! Focusing on proteins and fats with a low glycemic index like whole grains, high-fiber vegetables, nuts, and healthy oils such as olive oil, may help.
6. Assess your alcohol intake
It’s not unknown for a mid afternoon slump to be facilitated by drinking alcohol at lunch. Some say the sedative effect of alcohol is especially strong at midday. Similarly, avoid an afternoon cocktail if you need to have energy in the evening.
7. Drink water
If your body is short of fluids, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue. A little review of how much water you drink in a day may also help.
8. Consider your magnesium intake.
Magnesium is needed to break glucose down into energy. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 300 milligrams for women and 350 milligrams for men. In order to make sure that you’re getting enough magnesium, one nutritionist recommends that you do the following:
- Add a handful of almonds, hazelnuts or cashews to your daily diet.
- Increase your intake of whole grains, particularly bran cereal.
- Eat more fish, especially halibut.
9. Find your passion
Work on something that you’re passionate about. To quote Oprah Winfrey: “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. encourages us through her Psychology Today article to determine your “why” – why you get up in the morning? What activities or plans give you a sense of purpose?
10. Call a friend
We all have friends who are cheerful and full of energy. Some of their positive energy will rub off on you, leaving you feeling energized and ready to tackle the world. So pick up the phone for a change rather than texting!
Overall, recharging your personal battery is about taking care of yourself physically and mentally. Having more energy allows you to enjoy life more, do more of the things you love and be present for those you care about. Of course, it makes sense that if you still feel drained after taking steps to recharge, make an appointment with your doctor to rule out other causes.
#replenishingyourenergy #energyrecharge #thirdage #retirement