feeling tired?

Feeling a bit tired and sluggish after the Easter break?

Today I’ll share with you some handy tips to reduce tiredness and get your energy levels soaring again. Before I do this I want to make an important point:

Our energy levels are not passive

The amount of energy we have, is directly proportionate to the choices we make in life. So – if you see someone with bags of energy – it’s likely they are behaving in a certain way to create that energy. Likewise if you see someone who is constantly tired – it’s likely that they too have made choices that have resulted in a depletion of energy.

The point is – we all have the choice to either create energy or take it away from ourselves. If you’re feeling a little tired today you need to ask yourself if you’re willing to do what it takes to get your energy levels back on track. If you are, the good news is there are a few simple things you can do to start re-energizing yourself. It’s just a matter of taking a few minutes today to focus on making some changes.

So now, let’s take a look at why we feel tired in the first place and what we can do to get our energy levels back on track.

Too much mental activity

When we’re stressed our mental activity goes through the roof. This is usually in the form of over-analysis and excessive worrying.  If you read this blog regularly you’ll know that the topic of stress is one that really interests me and I’ll soon be launching a ‘Less Stress’ e-course, so stay tuned for this.

What most people don’t realize when they stress and worry is the amount of energy this process consumes. It takes a considerable amount of brain-power to charge all of those thoughts! This is why long periods of stress often leave us feeling tired, run down and unwell – we simply burn ourselves out!

So one of the first things to do is check in on your mental activity – is it peaceful and calm in there or is it more like a jumble of confusion and chaos?

Over communication

I (partly) blame technology for this one! In a world where the expectation is for us to respond immediately to emails, phone calls, SMS messages, tweets, Facebook messages…all of this communication can really drain our energy levels leaving us feeling tired and grumpy.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and just switch off from communication. The world won’t end if we turn our mobile phones off for an hour or two. In-fact just like our mobile phones – we need to recharge our own batteries to be able to work efficiently!

Taking on too much

Being a people pleaser is one of the fastest ways to tire yourself out. Before you know it you’ve said YES to so many people that you have literally nothing left in the tank! This is a really common situation and it’s based on human nature. At a basic level we all want to be liked by others and so the act of saying yes when someone asks something from us (even when we know we just don’t have the time or energy) is our way of ensuring we are of value to others.

The reality is – it’s OK to say no every once in a while and to be honest with those around us about our own needs. Your friends and family are not going to drop you if you can’t make every single social gathering. In-fact I’m sure they would prefer an energetic, charged up version of you rather than a run down, fatigued version.

Poor sleep

Sleep is one of the most efficient ways to replenish your energy levels. The sad thing is that most people struggle to get the quality sleep that they need. More often than not this relates to my first point – too much mental activity. When we are worrying about things before we go to bed it’s very difficult to shut the body down and enter your natural sleep cycle.

The best thing you can do is to force yourself to shut down any negative thoughts and think positively before you go to sleep. The easiest way to do this is by reminding yourself of what you’re grateful for. Research has proven that gratitude is one of the most effective ways to increase happiness – plus if you think about it, gratitude is simply a form of positive thinking.

I often remind myself of 3 – 5 things that I’m grateful for from my day and this allows me to switch off from any negative thoughts before bedtime.

Poor diet

I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a healthy diet. While it’s fine to have a blow out every now and then (chocolate Easter eggs included), what we eat on a day-to-day basis has a huge impact on the amount of energy we have.

Is it time to take stock of your diet and make some healthy changes? What unhealthy food choices can you swap out for more healthy options? This year I made the change from eggs every morning to fresh fruit salad and believe me I feel a huge amount of difference in my energy levels and general wellbeing. What one small change can you make today to start increasing your own energy levels?

Lack of exercise

Research has shown that exercise increases energy levels. Almost every successful person that I’ve met or studied takes part in some form of physical exercise. It’s just a basic way to ensure your body is fit and healthy enough to charge ahead with the day.

Think about how you can increase the amount of exercise you are currently getting? What can you do to make it more fun? What exercise do you really enjoy? Can you try a few new form of exercise to identify what works for you?

For me personally I enjoy practicing Yoga most days and I find that this gives me a surge of energy to get everything done. In-fact I’ll let you in on a guilty secret – in my past corporate life I even used to do sneaky backbends in the bathroom when no one was watching to get a quick boost of energy!

No ‘me time’

We are often so busy with everyone else’s demands and everyday tasks that we forget to make time for ourselves. Think of your body like a car – it needs to be re-fuelled every now and then! In my experience if people don’t take the time to rest then their body will at some point force them to do so (usually through physical illness).

Our society has become a ‘doing’ society where we constantly fill every spare second of our lives with getting things done. As soon as we have finished one thing we get straight onto the next without a spare second in-between.  This constant activity is what runs us down and steals our energy.

I know that at times it can feel like there is just no way we have time to fit in any peace and quiet or ‘me time’ – but it really is worthwhile doing this in the long run. Start with just 5 or 10 minutes a day where you do nothing. Simply sit or lie down, close your eyes (if you wish) and pause for a moment.

Simple Life Strategy: 7 Ways to Stop Feeling So Tired

1. Reduce mental stress. Take a moment to notice if you’re spending too much time in over-analysis? If so – you can read my article on over-analysis for some more tips to overcome this negative habit.

2. Communicate less. Take a break from over-communication. Switch the phone off for an hour or two and let your own battery re-charge!

3. Say no. Refrain from saying yes to everything that’s asked of you. It’s not essential that you attend every single social occasion. Try saying no a few times so you can make time for yourself to rest.

4. Get quality sleep. Make a concerted effort to get enough quality sleep. Aim for between 7 – 8 hours each night. Try reminding yourself what you’re grateful for before you go to sleep to remove any negative barriers between you and your sleep.

5. Adopt a healthy diet. Commit to making one small change to your diet today. Choose just one thing that you can change to make your diet a tiny bit healthier.

6. Exercise. Make time for regular exercise. If you don’t have a favorite type of exercise make it your mission to try something new. Who knows you may discover a new passion in the process.

7. Schedule ‘Me time’. Everyone needs to re-charge at some point – or they wind up becoming sick. Put aside just 5 or 10 minutes each day to do nothing.

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