The human race has an incredible knack for overcomplicating everything.
We cannot resist the easy way out, despite quick fixes generally leading to more work down the line. Understandably, nobody is lunging at the opportunity to invest maximum effort into every aspect of their life, but between early starts, late nights, virtual social commitments, family, groceries and maintaining sanity, we are forever running on reserve – which is why an extra-large cup of coffee can resemble a modern-day fairy godmother.
Yet, the truth behind our cloudy, tired judgement reveals that such fuel promoting snacks generate an even greater energy crash given their excessive sugar content. But, this is not new information.
A true, adulting style movement is in order where, as opposed to sailing ourselves down the river of poor decisions and regret we become smarter with our choices.
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Health can be tricky and it's even more difficult to know where to start, but it is the one subject not worth cutting corners for. Keeping it simple, here are a few natural ways to boost energy, mood and productivity.
Exercise (OF ANY KIND)
Cliché but true, you really don’t ever regret a workout. Exercise is a loose term so don’t feel like in order to get some movement into your day you need to climb a mountain (unless that’s your vibe). Also, ensure that your reasoning behind exercising is coming from a place of love for your body and not hate. If you regard working out as a form of punishment I think we all know how that love story is going to end.
Exercising is not a one size fits all activity, exercise is personal and it is important to prioritise what works best for you. For example, running is not for everybody but alternatively, HIIT, Boxfit and high incline walking all provide a similar pump and that good sweat. Equally, simply opting to walk or cycle as opposed to driving somewhere releases happy endorphins, boosts energy and helps the environment (bonus points for you).
take a cold shower
The thoughts of a cold shower before noon isn't exactly thrilling, but research has shown that exposing yourself to cold water can activate components of the brain responsible for regulating wakefulness, and the shock of cold water on your body can also increase your metabolic rate, reducing feelings of fatigue.
eat a decent breakfast
While a bowl of your favourite sweet cereal might be your go-to morning meal, eating straight-up carbs and sugar can cause a quick energy spike, and then a crash. In order to keep your energy levels stable throughout the morning, aim to eat carbohydrates that digest slowly paired with protein and satisfying healthy fats. For example, oats, whole grain bread, and high-fibre berries with avocado, eggs, or Greek yoghurt.
In the past few years, mental health has been pushed to the forefront through the realisation of how much power and control it withholds. Our minds can drive us into that dream CEO position we always believed was far fetched, or in a negative turn of events quash our chances and self-esteem. Similar to anything of a delicate nature the mind needs to be nurtured, cared for and maintained.
Living in blissful ignorance of your mental health status could have you operating on false energy or feeling empty and lethargic.
Setting aside some time every day to develop a mental TLC ritual could revolutionise your life. Practising positivity and retraining your inner voice is an instant pick-me-up knowing you have someone on your side. Journaling, exercising gratitude and meditation are also incredible therapeutic methods of mental TLC, you have total creative control.
take a nap
Taking a nap can be a double-edged sword because if you sleep too long, you'll have trouble sleeping at night. The key is to keep your nap short if you need to be refreshed, later on. In general, 20 to 30 minutes tends to be the sweet spot.
Refusing to indulge in the phrase, but it is true what they say about a tidy house (you know what I mean). Your space reflects what is happening inside and a chaotic workspace or bedroom is not doing your body any favours. Clutter and mess induce stress and promote exhaustion with little space to breathe and gather your thoughts.
Also, endlessly searching for items among carnage is undoubtedly life’s most soul-destroying and time-wasting tasks. Cleanliness is as simple as washing up, picking up the clothes sprawled across the floor or making your bed. In fact, making your bed in the morning is viewed as one job already done before you have even left your house, setting you up for an energised and productive day.
Sometimes a funny video on Twitter is just what you need to power through the rest of the day, and other times the internet is a massive bummer.
Make a point to get off your phone or laptop when you notice you're dragging, and especially 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. The blue light that radiates from your device can interfere with melatonin production, which is the hormone that helps you sleep.
Main image by @cathykasterine
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