Boost Your Energy in 9 Easy Steps

The clocks have changed and the nights are definitely drawing in.  Soon we will have darker mornings and for many of us our energy levels will plummet.

Any health food store can offer you a wide range of supplements, herbs and vitamins that promise an energy boost, and the lure of caffeine is of course ever-present.

But before you shell out a fortune on pills or down more espresso than is good for you, try these natural energy boosters to get through winter full of energy and good health.

1. Sort out your sleep

You've heard about clean eating, but what about clean sleep?  Tidying up your sleeping habits and establishing a regular sleep pattern will restore and re-energise your body like nothing else.  Find out how to have a good night's sleep every night in this guide.

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2. Get a handle on stress

Stress is one of the biggest energy suckers.  Take a long look at your life and work out what is causing you stress.  Then take some time, perhaps go for a walk or take a bath, and think about what you can do to change it.  Follow this 5 step plan to deal with stress and overwhelm.

3. Say no more

Are you guilty of taking too much on?  Whether at work or at home, many of us are people pleasers who don't like to say no.  Of course you'll stay late to work on that presentation / make a pavlova for the family get together / re-decorate three rooms before Christmas.  Stop.  Say 'No' more.  Only take on what you actually want to do and what you can achieve alongside all the other things on your plate.

4. Put yourself first

As partners, colleagues, daughters, parents we are many things to many people.  And all too often this means that those roles come first.  Make sure you take some time each day just for you.  Not sure where to start or how to fit it in?  Read how to fit me time into your every day.

Related post: 50 Easy Ways to Practice Self-care

5. Learn to relax

Book time to relax with friends and family, put that essential time in your diary and stick to it.  Book a regular massage or facial, or take up a relaxing class like tai chi, yoga or Pilates.  Learn relaxation techniques, begin practicing meditation, or take a hypnosis course.

6. Prioritise health

I'm not going to tell you anything you don't know,  but if you smoke you need to give up.  Now.  If you drink alcohol most or every day, you need to stop.  If you eat junk and processed foods regularly, you need to stop.  Your body can't cope with nutrient-poor food, alcohol and nicotine, and all fo them sap energy.  It's time to make some changes and prioritise your health.

Related post: How to eat healthily on a limited budget

7. Exercise 

No-one expects you to run a marathon, just start with a short daily walk.  Exercise, and fresh air, will combine to help you sleep better, regulate your appetite, release feelgood hormones and boost energy by circulating more oxygen in your body.  Get up and get out, you can find the time to fit a walk into your day.

Related post: Sneaky ways to boost your daily steps

8. Eat better

Eat for energy by eating more regularly.  Start the day with a nutritious breakfast which combines carbohydrate and protein, then aim for regular smaller meals and snacks during the day.  Eat foods that are low GI with slow-release wholegrain carbs, vegetables and fruit to ensure your body has a regular supply of nutrients throughout the day.

9. Drink water

Forget the advertising for fancy sports drinks, the fluid your body needs is plain old water.  By all means invest in a filter system for your tap or a jug for your fridge, but don't waste your money on anything in a plastic bottle.  Combat fatigue by drinking at least 2 litres of water a day to keep your brain and muscles hydrated and boost your energy levels.

Follow these 9 steps and you will sleep better, eat better, feel better, reduce stress and sky rocket your energy levels through winter and beyond.

Related post: How to boost your immune system naturally

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