Energy is probably your most important asset – for facing the day, handling pressures and difficult situations with ease, managing stress levels well and generally just living with grace and happiness. Yet we often don’t think of our energy as a resource to preserve and nurture. 1 in 5 of us complain we feel drained “all the time” – that’s because we feel depleted of precious energy. Here are some great ways to elevate your energy each and every day:
1. Love your alarm – we tend to dread it and try to avoid it but why not try setting your favourite music as your alarm tone? Studies in Nature Neuroscience found that when you hear your favourite song, your brain releases significant amounts of dopamine and makes your brain light up on 3D scans, which means it makes you feel more alert.
2. Try the Downward Dog – if you find you actually just feel dreadful first thing then drag yourself out of bed and bend into Downward Dog. Place your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders and push up into an inverted V – you’ll feel full of zing in no time.
3. Be a Sun Seeker – get into daylight as much as you possibly can – include short walks in your day, sit by a bright window, get out into nature and breathe deeply. These kinds of actions create balance and bounce very very fast.
4. Get a Citrus Burst – the scent of oranges, lemons and grapefruit boost your body’s production of happy hormone serotonin, reduces stress hormone norepinephrine and has a powerful effect on mental fog and irritability. Try essential oils.
5. Sleep – get enough of it at night – it’s free and it’s incredible when you sleep properly. So many of us underestimate the huge value of sleep. Make sure you have a wind-down routine in the evenings. Do consider taking a short catnap in the afternoon – 20 minutes will do it and will give you a fresh boost of energy to last you through that afternoon slump.
Okay – those were easy…
5 relatively easy tips, right? But if you really want to protect your energy levels you also need to be thinking about the people you surround yourself with – are they radiators or drains? How much time do you spend with them and do they nurture you or deplete you of energy? This is a really important question to ask. If we want to build our energy levels we also need to have good boundaries – around our time, our focus and around other people’s demands – that can mean choosing consciously when you respond to emails, when to take calls or meetings and when to work on brain-heavy tasks.