As we emerge from the cocoon of winter coats, thick socks and woolly hats, we usually breath a sigh of relief. The days are longer, the weather is (supposedly) warmer and summer is that bit closer. But often, it takes a bit more than lighter mornings to feel energised after a long, cold winter.
Here’s how you can feel more energised and ready to take on the fresh new beginnings of spring.
Short term stress might give us a bit of get up and go, but chronic, long term stress is only going to drain us. Modern life often means that stress is inevitable, but how we deal with it can make all the difference.
Being mindful and doing things we enjoy can help. And they don’t have to be big things either. Simply waking up 15 minutes early to have time to have a morning cuppa outside to watch the sunrise is a really positive way to start the day.
Make a promise to yourself that you won’t create unnecessary stress either. If someone is doing something you don’t agree with, and its not directly impacting you, let it go. Spend less time with the people who cause you stress, and more time with those who enrich your life.
Yawn, I know. We’re always told to move more, but if we’re shattered, how do we even start? All I need to say here, is that starting is the most difficult part – once you begin walking/jogging/playing tennis/doing yoga, you’ll feel amazingly energised! (If not during, you definitely will after, trust me.)
Eat a Nourishing Diet
Our five fruits and vegetables a day will help keep our immune system strong and all the little functions of the body going on as they should. But it’s the protein in our diet that keeps us energised.
Lean meat, fish, eggs and cow’s dairy all provide good protein, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get enough as a vegetarian or vegan. Nuts, seeds, nut milks, tofu, chick peas, beans and lentils are all excellent sources of plant-based protein.
Aim for protein to make up around a quarter of each meal, with another quarter made up of slow release carbs such as wholewheat pasta or bread or brown rice. Add a small amount of good fats (avocado, olive oil, oily fish) and let fresh fruits and vegetables make up the rest.
If you think you may lack protein, add a protein shake to your daily routine.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Many of us pour ourselves a glass of wine at the end of a long day. Including me, the power of this fast de-stress is not to be underestimated!
But if we’re draining the whole bottle on a regular basis, that’s not so good. Nothing saps energy like a hangover, and even if you don’t have a full on feeling of ‘the morning after’, you’ll no doubt be feeling a little groggy. Which might even mean opting for the cheese toastie over a bowl of porridge, which isn’t going to fuel you for long. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there.
Keep alcohol to a minimum or save it for the weekend (no binge drinking, though) and you may find your energy levels skyrocket.
Drink Plenty of Water
If you’re doing all of the above, but you can’t quite get enough energy to get you through the day, then you might be dehydrated. When the weather gets warmer, we naturally need more fluids and we perspire more. Months of being indoors with the central heating on is also dehydrating.
Aim for eight regular size glasses of clear fluids each day. Herbal teas count as well as water, but try to limit caffeine as it has a dehydrating, diuretic effect, and sugary drinks which add empty calories.
May your spring be wonderful, and energised!