What are your energy levels like?
Do you refuse the snooze button on your alarm clock and wake up full of beans with a “ready to get up and get going attitude ” in the morning?
Are you able to maintain high levels of energy throughout the day?
Do you have much energy left at the end of the day or do you crash in front of the television feeling exhausted?
During the day you are bound to go through stages of feeling up and down with changing energy levels. Your bodies go through a repeating energy cycle (ultradian rhythms) every 90 to 120 minutes. The implications are that we can only do solid work for up to about 90 minutes at a time and then we need a break or to at least switch off and do something a bit easier or lighter.
The real skill in managing your health and daily energy is to work on the more difficult things when you are alert and focused and to work on the easier things when you’re feeling lower in energy. To maximise your energy, you need breaks. Taking a short mini break every ninety minutes is a good idea. If you are desk bound get up and have a good stretch.
One good tip is to get up and get going in the morning. The brain, as a goal seeking mechanism, likes to get going once we are awake so, if we refuse the snooze on our alarm, we will embrace our day already more energised.
Typically, everything we do either builds or takes away from our energy reserves. Effective time usage depends on looking after multiple sources of energy. These include physical, emotional and mental energy.
Exercise is an excellent energiser. I saw a strap-line once that said: “Energy – the more you give the more you get” which, I thought, sums up exercise very well. People who exercise regularly are likely to live longer and enjoy a better quality of life. It is very important for your heart.
Regular exercise also improves mental and emotional health. The chemicals and hormones that are released in the brain through exercise can help deal with stress, promote wellbeing and provide us with more sustainable energy. If you are challenged with depression, research has shown that thirty minutes of exercise a day can be as effective as a mild anti- depressant. So get up and get going.
- Go for a walk each morning and each evening – Even if it’s just for 15 minutes before and after work.
- Take the stairs – Climbing stairs is actually a great workout especially for your legs and bottom.
- Give someone a massage – This is one of the best ways to work with your hands.
- Ride your bike to work – If it’s not too far away this is a great way to get some extra exercise
- Go swimming – Swimming is just about one of the best ways to exercise and it is a great aerobic workout no matter what your physical shape is
- Stretch each day – Stretching helps to prevent muscle cramps and alleviates back pain as well as reducing stress.
- Volunteer – Whether it’s distributing food to the needy, helping elderly people, or participating in a fundraiser for a worthy cause in your community.
Learning to relax and let go of worry and stress at the end of the day is key. By keeping a clear conscience so that you can relax in the knowledge that you have stuck to your values and principles is one way of being able to clear your mind of anxiety.
Stress can affect sleeping patterns, and poor quality sleep will most definitely affect energy levels. If you are worried about something, it can often be on your mind even when you try to forget about it. This may cause sleepless nights or bad dreams. You may find it difficult getting to sleep or you may wake up a few times during the night. This can also make you tired and groggy the next day.
With regards to mental energy, it is important to be careful with what we feed our minds as negative thinking can be a real drain and we can be our own energy saboteurs. We need to learn to switch off so that our mind and body has time to recharge, so some kind of meditative activity would be good, even if it just going for a walk, having a hot bubble bath or spending more time with loved ones.
Healthy eating with plenty of vegetables and fruit and being light on the fats and sugars is important, as is making sure you are hydrated by drinking sufficient water. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it sets you up after a good night’s sleep. A good slow carbohydrate-releasing breakfast like porridge is excellent for sustaining energy levels. Sugar-rich food will give you a quick energy fix but will leave you feeling even more tired later on. Keeping raw vegetables and fresh fruit as energy boosting snacks is a far better habit to get into.
One of the very best things you can do is to drink lots of water, which will keep your body hydrated, flushing out toxins and controlling your appetite. Drinking two litres of water throughout the day is one of the healthiest habits that you can have and I highly recommend this for energetic and healthy living.
With so much pressure now on our health services it is becoming more and more important that you take more care and responsibility for your own wellbeing.
The greatest wealth is health
Some of the organisations that Liggy works with include the BBC, the NHS, Macmillan Cancer Support, the World Trade Organisation, the United Nations, Sainsbury’s, The Walt Disney Company, Ralph Lauren and various universities and public sector organisations.
Liggy believes that the diversity of the clients she works with provides her with a tremendous insight into the challenges that people currently face across all sectors.
Her current book, Resilience: How To Cope When Everything Around You Keeps Changing, is a practical and accessible guide for coping with change and offers advice on how to recover and flourish through challenging times. The guiding principles in the book have just been televised for a series with the BBC world service due out in 2019.
Latest posts by Liggy Webb (see all)
- Mental Health – 12 ways to live a happier and healthier life - October 10, 2019
- How to intelligently manage your emotions - August 22, 2019
- Follow your inner moonlight - July 26, 2019