Corinne Austin | Personal Training

Energy Pick-me-ups at a Busy Time of Year

There’s a reason they call this time of year the ‘Silly Season’ – it’s because everything seems to go just a little bit, well, silly.

Life gets busier than ever, the number of things we’ve got to tackle in a day rises, more people are chasing you for one reason or another, social appointments increase ten-fold, and everything at work has a fast-approaching deadline – Christmas.

The Silly Season quickly becomes quite overwhelming and all-together exhausting for many of us. Our shoulders slouch, our bellies protrude, and our eyelids need to be forced open with toothpicks. The Silly Season tires us, we become grumpy sods, and our energy levels plummet.

Thankfully there are an abundance of strategies and techniques you can apply as an energy pick-me-up at times of lethargy and fatigue, things that will get your blood pumping, your oxygen flowing, and your feet dancing once again.

To help you confront the Silly Season head on I’ve compiled a list of the top 20 pick-me-ups that will have your energy levels soaring quick smart:

  1. Stride it Out – A brisk 10 minute walk in the outdoors will re-awaken your spirit and lift your mood. It’ll be the last thing you feel like, but it’s exactly what your body is asking for.
  2. Always eat Breakfast – Breaking the fast soon after rising will inject your body with fuel, lift your mood, and raise your daily energy levels.
  3. Drink More Water – Feelings of hunger and fatigue are quite often a result of dehydration. We all need to drink more water throughout our days and consume less alcohol at nights.
  4. Drink Green Tea – Chemicals found in green tea speed up the conversion of fat to energy, increasing your energy and endurance output by almost 50%.
  5. Eat less Sugar and More Whole Grains – Eating sweet and sugary foods produces spikes in blood sugar and therefore energy. Whole grains promote a slow and steady release of energy, providing you with a consistent energy level for the next four or five hours.
  6. Don’t Drink Coffee, Smell it Instead – Drinking coffee, especially in excess, will make your energy levels soar and then plummet, leaving you fatigued. However, studies are now showing that getting just a ‘whiff’ of coffee can lift your energy quite radically.
  7. Sing Out Loud – Choose one of your favourite sing-a-long sing-out-loud songs, and sing it! Don’t be shy. This is a really effective and fun way to beat exhaustion and get adrenalin flowing – and will give your co-workers a good awakening chuckle too.
  8. Afternoon Power Snack – Grab a small snack that is both low in sugar, and is a good source of fibre and/or protein i.e. mixed nuts, yoghurt, trail mix, or a berry smoothie.
  9. Berry-licious – Blue, red or purple berries contain a powerful antioxidant that boosts energy. And the added bonus is that they’re highly nutritious.
  10. Eat low GI foods – These promote a slow and sustained release of energy, keeping your energy in balance for a good period of time (google ‘low GI foods’ to find out more).
  11. Splash your face with Water – The sensation of water on the body stimulates your circulatory system and metabolism. It also metaphorically washes away the strains and stresses of your day. Get wet to feel more energetic.
  12. Build a relationship with Lavender – Having the scent of lavender flowing around you will increase alertness and concentration. Put a few drops in a glass of water, or cut a few stems from a lavender bush on your way to work.
  13. Wake up the Same Time Everyday – This includes weekends. This will set your body clock. The key is to go to bed at the same time every night.
  14. Get your dose of B Vitamins – These are involved in a large range of bodily functions, but are also dominant in the conversion of blood sugar into useable energy.
  15. Look on the bright side – Look for the positive in any situation. An optimistic and enthusiastic outlook on life will keep your energy levels high. Worry and pessimism, on the other hand, will drain you.
  16. Exercise in the Morning – Exercising in the morning will encourage your endorphins to flow, which in turn will keep you happy and productive for the rest of the day.
  17. Eat Yoghurt – To help your body absorb all the right nutrients from food, try consuming yoghurt daily. Yoghurt contains live cultures that’ll clean and detoxify your digestive system enabling efficient nutrient absorption.
  18. Socialise and Laugh – Humans are social animals, and we need regular socializing to maintain great health and energy. Socialise with people who’s company you enjoy, and who you know you will laugh with – laughter promotes positivity, good vibes, and transports energy.
  19. Puff it Out – Take part in a high intensity exercise session – boxing, outdoor group fitness, or a quick mountain run. Anything that gets your blood flowing will pump oxygen and energy around your body.
  20. Do something that relaxes you, daily – Choose an activity that you find relaxing and replenishing. Set aside a time and do that activity each and every day i.e. reading a book, chatting on the phone with a friend, or listening to some soul-searching music. Spending time on yourself during a crazy busy time will comfort you, renew your energy, and redefine your mood.

Don’t let the encroaching Christmas chaos get the better of you. During those times where all you feel like is curling up on the couch and having a sleep, try one of the above pick-me-ups to keep you alive and kicking. Pick-me-ups are a healthful and satisfying way to re-attain your peak energy. Choose a couple that will work for you, and implement them, daily. Your positivity and elevated mood will rub off on those around you, and pretty soon you’ll all be bouncing off the walls.

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