5 Great ways to boost your energy levels naturally

5 Great ways to boost your energy levels naturally

1. Have a good morning routine.

Your morning routine sets the mood for the rest of the day.

Open your curtains (and a window if you can) to let the sunlight shine in. Whilst the kettle boils for your morning brew, sip a glass of water. This helps stave off dehydration. Make your bed if you’re able to.

If possible go for a morning walk (or run if you prefer). It doesn’t have to be a long walk, a short walk around the block can be just enough. This helps your body to recognise that it is daytime.

If you’re chronically unwell or have issues with your mobility either sit in the garden or by a window or door, if you’re able to. Again it doesn’t have to be for a long time. Just a few minutes can be enough to make a difference. 

Have breakfast within an hour or two of waking up. Try to include some protein and carbohydrate in your breakfast. Try scrambled eggs with your toast, or a little peanut butter with your banana.

Protein keeps you fuller for longer and when in conjunction with some carbohydrate helps keep your blood sugar stable and your energy levels constant. Meaning you’re less likely to have an energy dip mid-morning

 2. Avoid Energy Vampires

Energy vampires include

  • Stress
  • Dehydration
  • Empty calories
  • Draining friends
  • Boring meetings
  • Pointless tasks

All of which drain the life force out of you and make your energy levels plummet.

Instead treat yourself to a regular massage or reflexology treatment, listen to your favourite podcasts or listen to relaxation music. Or learn mindfulness, or take a yoga class.

Keep sipping water throughout the day. 

Spend time with people who make you feel happy and who are on your own wavelength. Find support from other people who are going through the same things as you. 

Watch funny movies and make time for your hobbies. Whatever you do that makes time simply fly by. Do more of that!

Cross any pointless tasks off your list. If you don’t HAVE to do them, don’t do them!

3. Boost your energy levels by upgrading your nutrition!

Ensure all your meals include protein and some carbohydrates. It can be helpful to eat smaller meals throughout the day, spaced about every 3-4 hours.

Avoid eating heavy meals towards the end of the day.

Avoid empty calories (processed foods, refined carbohydrates, low-calorie drinks etc.)  They often cause your blood sugar levels to spike and dip which can leave you feeling more tired.

Avoid excessive caffeine. Caffeine in moderation can be helpful for boosting energy levels but in excess can affect your ability to sleep and leave you feeling drained.

Alcohol also negatively affects energy levels so avoid excess alcohol consumption, especially in the run up towards bedtime.

If you find that your energy levels are greater first thing in the morning, consider getting a slow cooker. You can pop that on in the morning and by dinner time you have a freshly cooked meal waiting for you.

If you find chopping vegetables too tiring you can buy frozen vegetables including diced onions, mushrooms and peppers. Whilst they might not be exactly the same as fresh, they can allow you to make home cooked meals, despite having low energy.

4. Stick to a routine

Our bodies seem to like knowing what to expect so keeping to a fairly regular routine really helps. 

Aim to get up the same time each day and go to bed at a similar time every night. Don’t be tempted to sleep in, especially if you’ve struggled to sleep the night before. 

Experiment with having naps. Some people find that having a nap helps their energy levels and other people find that having a nap plays havoc with their sleeping patterns. So do whatever works best for you.

5. Take regular gentle exercise*

Whilst you might think it makes no sense taking exercise if you don’t have a lot of energy but it can be helpful. It can also help you release endorphins or feel-good hormones. You don’t have to do anything strenuous.

Gentle swimming sessions can be beneficial or going for a walk or taking a yoga or pilates class.

There are also Gentle Yoga classes available for people who need something a little more nurturing.

Doing even 10 mins exercise once or twice a day can make a big difference. There are plenty of free and paid-for online exercise classes available

*If you have chronic fatigue syndrome or ME this may not be as helpful as it will for those who do not have it. Speak to your GP before increasing your exercise levels if you have ME or CFS 

 

What do you find helps boost your energy levels?

Please let me know in the comments below.

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My ultimate guide to creating the perfect lazy day

My ultimate guide to creating the perfect lazy day

What is a lazy day?

A lazy day is one of those dreamy, perfect days when you do as little as possible, all day! Some people call them ‘duvet’ days or ‘pyjama days’ or a ‘mini retreat’ yet the principle is the same. Lazy days provide the ultimate antidote to a hectic, adult lifestyle by allowing us time to rest, restore ourselves and recharge our worn down personal batteries. For just one day we can forget the hustle and bustle of daily life and start to go with the flow.

lazy day pyjama day

Why are lazy days so good for our wellbeing?

Life can be hectic, fast-paced and stressful. Having a lazy day is the complete opposite of this. It allows you time to rest and unwind and to allow the stress to start to leave you. Often when life is going at 100 mph it can feel like we don’t have time to catch a breath, to be able to think things through or to plan ahead. It allows us to press ‘pause’ for the day so we can catch up with ourselves, restore our bodies and take a nap!

I remember once being very busy, and feeling like I had a thousand things to do every day. My daughter told me to ‘just breathe’ I remember yelling ‘I DON’T HAVE TIME TO BREATHE!’ I know, I know! Of course I had time to breathe, even though at that moment in time, it didn’t really feel that way!

Lazy days allow us to rest and restore our body and calm our frazzled minds, even if it is by binge-watching a box set on Netflix or reading a great book!

 

lazy day sleep

How do I have a lazy day?

Firstly clear your diary of anything else. Put ‘busy’ in your diary to protect your time. Ensure you don’t have any meetings, mum/dad’s taxi runs to do and ensure that the wider family and your friends know that you’re not available (unless it’s an emergency!)

Next think about what your ultimate lazy day is going to look like. For me it is sure to include a pot of nice coffee, maybe some beautiful stem ginger biscuits. I’d need a good book and / or a magazine, and some chocolate. I also love making and eating soup (and find soup making deeply relaxing) I also love pre-baked bread buns which take 10 mins to finish in the oven.. I’d need access to some paper and a pen as I love writing and find that deeply relaxing too. I love giving myself a holistic facial using beautiful facial products and hot cloths so I’d need that too. You could treat yourself to a face mask if you wish.

Ensure you’ve got the yummy food you’re going to eat, already bought, or the takeaways menu to hand.

Once you know what you need in order to have your perfect lazy day, ensure you have it all to hand ready. You might like to create the ultimate ‘lazy days’ playlist on Spotify with all your favourite lazy days songs on it.

Switch off your alarm clock so you can let your body wake up naturally!

 

Decide what you’re wearing

What to wear for your ultimate lazy day is up to you. I’d wear something that’s comfortable and fairly floaty, so you can move/nap with ease. Some people love pyjamas, others love having a long hot shower or bath and then popping on some comfortable clothes like leggings or a tracksuit. I have a stash of what I call ‘daytime pyjamas’ which are pyjamas that are too thick and warm for wearing in bed, but perfect for mooching around the house in on a lazy day!

Enjoy your day!

Enjoy your lazy day. Listen to what your body needs and give it what it’s asking for (within reason!) If you need to nap, nap!

If you need to stretch a little bit, look online for a yoga workout or go out for a short walk. If it’s a nice day and you have a garden, you might want to spend time outdoors in a shady spot.

Read if you fancy that, or do some art or sewing. Or whatever it is that you love doing and that allows you to relax. There really are no rights and wrongs with this as long as the goal is to rest and relax for a while.

Resources

My favourite soup recipes are here

Blog Post: How to create the life you want

Over to you! 

Please let me know what your perfect lazy day would look like in the comments box below!

What is stopping you from achieving your dreams?

What is stopping you from achieving your dreams?

What is stopping you from achieving your dreams?

We all have our dreams, our ultimate goals. But we don’t all manage to achieve them. Why is this? Often it can be as simple as giving ourselves permission to try, to give it a go. To see what happens. To experiment, to play. We might be scared that it might not work well. That we’ll fail or embarrass ourselves or somehow looking stupid. Like that one time as a child when we stepped out of our comfort zone and ended up humiliated because it all went wrong. Or maybe we were chastised for daring to dream.

Maybe as teenagers we got into trouble for staring out of the window in class. For dreaming of becoming a ballerina or a train driver or writing bestselling books, or being the next big pop sensation headlining at Wembley. But instead of being encouraged to think big and to try for the Royal Ballet (apply for a train drivers course!) we are told not to be so silly and told to get a ‘proper’ job. One that can comfortably pay the bills. Maybe one that means we need to be in an office, in a suit, or driving a fancy car. But whilst this is what some people dream of, if it’s not for you then that’s ok. It is ok to create a life that makes sense to you. Even if it makes sense to no one else around you.

Well-meaning adults tried to keep us safe by telling us that what we dreamed of simply wasn’t possible. Maybe whatever we dreamed of didn’t sound possible. That’s not to say it wasn’t possible. A lot of children dream of becoming an astronaut.  Now not all children will achieve this goal, but some of them will and have become astronauts. So it’s important not to dismiss out of hand our dreams. Dreaming elevates our thinking, it makes us think expansive thoughts and helps our powers of creativity and logic. Dreaming is so important. We need to reach out for our dreams and see what steps we can take to help them become reality.

Achieving your dreams: How do you make your dreams become a reality?

Firstly we need to decide what it is that we’re dreaming of. And make sure it is your dream, not clouded by anyone else. If you, at the bottom of your heart want to live in a log cabin, in a wood, with a camp fire then that is absolutely fine. If you want to be earning a million pounds a year (or a week!) then that is fine too.

But make sure it is your dream. No one elses. Only you can dream your dream. Ignore what your parents think you should do. Nevermind what your nana, your children, your boss, your partner, your dog wants you to do. Dig deep and consider what YOU really want.

My Dreams

I know that for me, a simple life is very appealing. I like being able to wander around at home wearing my fluffy socks and to have the freedom to decide what I do with my days. I know that I don’t want to have a coprorate 9-5 job, stuck in a stuffy office.  The whole thing sends shivers down my spine at the very thought.

If I wasn’t a Reflexologist I would definitely be an author or writer and if that didn’t quite pan out I’d love to go back into catering. I love listening to peoples’ stories and know that regulars at a coffee shop would provide me with a wealth of interesting stories and passing chatter.

I’d also love to be able to create coffee art, have a small home which was cosy and warm and be surrounded by friends and family. I want to easily pay my bills and have plenty of free time. I’d like to spend rainy afternoons curled up on the sofa with a pot of tea and a good book. Or take a walk in the sunshine. Build snowmen on snowy days. Make lots of delicious soup and crispy crunchy croutons. Like I say. A simple life would be perfect for me.

Your Dreams

But what about you. What do you dream of? Do you need luxurious holidays in the sun a couple of times a year? To have a nice, shiny new car. Or a big house? Do you like luxuries like expensive skin care? Do you want to work with animals, or spend more time in your garden?

Maybe you want to see your grandchildren more? Or work only part time hours? Or maybe you’d like a holiday cottage by the sea where you could get away from the madness of your daily life and simply relax? Maybe you crave the bright lights and hustle of a big city?

Or would you rather be on an island on your own, for at least some of the time? Do you dream of moving to France to drink vin rouge and eat du fromage whilst listening to the sea gently lap on the harbour wall? Work out what it is that you want and then figure out what one simple step would be towards that goal.

image of achieving your dreams

Achieving your dreams: How would it be possible?

For me it could be to reduce my working week down by one day and to take that as a day to write. Or it could be to find a job in a little coffee shop where they could teach me to make cafe art! Or my first step could be to give myself permission to reach for my dreams, to realise my goals. To stop dismissing them as a whim or a flight of fancy. To see how possible reaching my goals would be.

This week another of my friends has published a book which has highlighted the fact that it IS possible to write and publish a book. I just need to give myself permission to start to write. To knuckle down and figure out what book to write. To decide on a topic, to lay out the bones of the chapters. To think about who would want to read what I have put. Who NEEDS to hear what I have to say?

I firmly believe that we all have something to say that would help others in some way. If only we could settle down to actually write it. If we believed that it was possible. If we only knew that it was going to be a success and would be well recieved. Rather than imagining that it would end up on some publishers slush pile with a cup of cold coffee dripping onto our lovingly prepared manuscript.

I got into website design in a simliar way. One of my friends had his own website back in the days when hardly anyone had a website. I asked him if I needed any special skills or training in order to create a website, I thought his answer was going to be something like ‘I did a computer course at university and then I created a website’ His actual response was something along the lines of ‘nip down to the newsagents, find a computer magazine, they’re bound to have some free webdesign software on it, buy that and have a play’ Well he made it sound so easy! Bearing in mind that until this point I’d never downloaded a cd onto my computer, let alone created a website. It all sounded a bit well impossible at first!

Anyway lo and behold I popped down to my local paper shop and bought a magazine, downloaded the software and had a play with it. It took a while for me to work out how to get my website online but hey I did it and never looked back really. I just needed him to tell me that what I thought was impossible was actually possible. He never told me to stop being silly. Nor did he berate me for dreaming of having my own website. He just calmly broke down the stages from concept to creation as simple as that! You could do the same to help you achieve your dreams. 

 

 

Over to you!

What do you dream of doing?

Please let me know in the comments below 

Further reading

If you like this article you might like to read my article about creating the life you want. 

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Why am I tired all the time?

Why am I tired all the time?

Why am I tired all the time?

If you find that you’re tired all the time you’re not alone. Around 20% of adults in the UK complain that they are tired constantly. Around 10% of adults feel that they have chronic fatigue.

Physical Reasons for being tired all the time

There are a wide number of physical reasons why people feel tired all the time. These can include

  • Side effects from medication or chemotherapy or other cancer treatments
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Being under or overweight
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • Vitamin, mineral or iron levels being too low
  • Having an underactive thyroid
  • Pregnancy
  • Caring for sick family members or new babies
  • Carbon Monoxide poisoning
  • Being up in the night every night to feed, change or soothe your baby.
  • Night shifts at work.
  • Needing to get up to pee during the night.
  • Being so busy you’re not finding time to eat, drink or sleep properly
  • Adulting!

If you feel tired all the time, it would be worth contacting your GP (or oncologist if you’re living with cancer and having treatment for that) to rule out anything physical. They will be able to run some blood tests if necessary or suggest something to help you feel better.

tired all the time

 

Emotional and Psychological reasons for being tired all the time

There is also a range of emotional and psychological reasons for being tired all the time. These can include carrying worries for other people. Worrying about work, financial stuff or family. (Feeling like you’re!) having to remember where every item of your children’s belongings are at any given point in time. Worrying about elderly parents or looking after young children. Trying to juggle and arrange a million thoughts in your head. Planning what’s for dinner, ad infinitum. 

It could be due to feeling a sense of grief or sadness or loss. Or even guilt. It could be because you’re in a situation that is so sticky it feels like you’re swimming through treacle. It could be due to a recent change in circumstance like redundancy, bereavment, a house move or retirement. Whatever emotion you’re feeling, express it gently and try not to bottle it up. Be kind to yourself. Surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through or who can allow you to express what you’re feeling in a safe way. Avoid anyone who simply tells you to stop crying. Let it go

It could be because you ARE bone tired! It could be that you’ve just not stopped for so long that you’ve depleted all your emotional and psychological reserves. Maybe you’ve been living in survival mode. Just getting through each day without anything sparking joy for you. Often the first thing we do when we’re busy or stressed is to stop doing the fun things in life. We stop the hobbies or give up socialising with friends. Or we don’t find time to go for a walk, or we stop reading books. The colour goes out of our day. Sometimes the quickest way to start feeling more energised is to find something you love doing and incorporating that into each day without fail! 

If you have the sense that you might have bitten off more than you can chew either with work or with your family, see what you can delegate to other people. Cross anything you don’t actually need to do off your list.

Be yourself!

Sometimes we can tire ourselves out trying to keep up with other people and what we think they expect of us! If you’re yourself you’re not going to end up feeling as exhausted as pretending to be someone you’re not. I find that people heave a sigh of relief when they see me as they know I’ll just accept them for who they are without them having to pretend to be anything else! Masking your mental or physical health symptoms can also be exhausting, as can not having the support you need. If you need support either at home or at work it is ok to ask for it. There is no shame in admitting that you’re struggling with things and that you need help. 

Like yourself!

Criticizing your own every move can be exhausting so don’t do it! Be your own new best friend and praise and encourage yourself like a perfect parent would do. Speak kindly to yourself, always.

 

Lifestyle Factors

Certain lifestyle factors can also contribute to feeling tired all the time!

Having too much caffeine or alcohol, eating too little or too much, relying on a diet that is full of high fat, high sugar quick fixes can all cause energy levels to plummet. As can being dehydrated. Therefore aim to drink plenty of water (you can add a slice of lemon or cucumber if you like) and try to eat a healthyish diet, full of vegetables and protein.

Eat regular meals and get plenty of sleep if you can. If you’re able to having some daily exercise can hugely help your energy levels and boost your mood. Start off gently at first, and build up! A daily 20 minute walk is a good place to start if you can manage it. Read my article on Simple ways to be more active by clicking here

If you do have to do nightshifts for work it can help enormously to stick to the same kind of sleeping patterns when you’re on your off-duty days. The worst shift patterns have to be those which change on a daily basis. If at all possible let your body know what it can expect by keeping it relatively constant where possible.

What can I do to stop feeling tired all the time?

  • Visit your GP to ensure there is nothing physical going on that needs addressing if you’re worried
  • Drink plenty of water and eat a good diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take time out for your hobbies or meeting friends
  • Avoid caffeine overload, 
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Have some gentle daily exercise, building up to something more active over time
  • Incorporate fun into your life. Do those things you love
  • Surround yourself with people who get you and who you can be yourself with
  • Delegate any non-essential jobs or cross them off your list completely
  • Try to have an early finish at work if you can, a couple of days a week or negotiate working from home if that would help
  • Sleep when your baby sleeps! Ignore the housework that can wait! 

 Resources:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/10-medical-reasons-for-feeling-tired/

 

Over to you! 

What makes you feel tired the whole time? Have you found anything that will help? If so please tell me what in the comments below! 

 

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How to make a difference to your life in 5 simple steps

How to make a difference to your life in 5 simple steps

How to make a difference to your life on a budget and with minimum effort!

Do you find that you keep doing the same things over and over again, getting the same results? What if there were a few simple steps that you could take to make a difference to the way your life flows?  It could be that taking an hour or two out of your life today could help you save lots of time and money in the future! Here’s how! 

Firstly we need to think about what will make the biggest difference

Take a few minutes and decide what one thing you could change that would make the biggest difference in your life.  What one thing annoys you the most? Let’s call this the superficial problem. This is the problem that’s presenting itself to you in its rawest form.

It could be that you’re always late for work because you can’t find matching socks! Or it could be that you’re tired all the time because you’re not getting enough sleep. Or maybe you have clutter that you no longer need but you’re not sure what to do with? Maybe you don’t have time to sort out the laundry as you’re busy at work and too tired once you get home? Or it could be that you’re feeling burnt out due to never having a minute to yourself. Or you’re tired and stressed after work so relying heavily on takeaways and fast food as you’d don’t have energy to cook? Maybe you’re working from home from the dining table and your back is hurting after staring at a computer screen for 8 hours flat sitting on a hard dining chair? 

 

make a difference what is the main problem

Now we need to think of the bigger issue

We’ve looked at the superficial problem, the ‘what!’  Now we need to think about why it’s a problem? What can we do to solve it? 

Going back to the unmatched socks. Maybe the reason there are no socks to be seen is because there’s no specific place of them to live? Or creating a system of dealing with socks like having a basket for them to go in may sort the problem out. It could be that you need to buy 7 pairs of plain black socks for each family member so that everyone has a weeks worth of socks!

If you can’t sleep, think about what wakes you up on a night? Do you need to use the loo? If so consider having fewer drinks during the evening and cut back on caffeine and salty snacks. Or maybe you wake up feeling cold, hungry or too hot? These things need to be addressed in order for you to get a good nights sleep. Maybe someone is snoring or a light has been left on, causing you to wake in the night?

Maybe your head is spinning with thoughts, ideas and reruns of your day? If this is the case writing everything down in your diary or journal is a great way of offloading these things, allowing your brain to be able to switch off and rest.

 

Think of solutions to the problem

For this bit you may need to buy something, or speak to someone. You may need to ask for advice or book an appointment to see someone. There are often lots of different ways to solve the problem that you’ve highlighted. I invite you to be playful and creative finding a solution. Solutions can be fun!

If you find your mornings are fraught with finding things for the day ahead, try laying everything out the night before. Having a hook behind your door for your outfit can be helpful. Or create space in your hallway for your work bag and shoes. Create a space to keep your car keys and glasses if applicable so you’re not having to spend time looking for them! 

If necessary buy more storage so you have a home for everything. Also declutter if necessary so you can find things more easily!

Let go of anything you no longer need. Find the telephone number of local charities that collect big items or list things on your local online marketplace.

 If you’ve not got any energy towards the end of a busy day pop dinner into the slow cooker before you go out then you’ll come home to a hot meal with no extra effort needed on your part!

If you’re struggling with your at home office and your dining room really isn’t cutting the mustard, maybe investing in a desk chair or adjusting the height of your screen would help?

Evaluate the situation!

Once you’ve found a solution to the problem, it’s time to evaluate to see how well it’s working and if it’s managed to make a difference to your life! 

Has the solution you’ve put in place completely resolved the issue you were facing or do you need to do something else? If so what? It could be you need some labels so you can clearly see what is in your storage baskets or something else. 

Once you’re happy with the solution to the problem you can think about what other things are causing problems for you right now and start the process again!

 

What now?

If you’ve enjoyed this blog post please check out my Pinterest page where you’ll find more articles on similar themes www.pinterest.co.uk/sarahcooperreflexology

 

 

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