In these stress-ridden times, a few simple lifestyle changes can re-charge you and keep you going. To find out how, read on.
Millions of people complain of tiredness and put it down to their busy
schedules. But what most of us do not realise is how much of our
fatigue comes from our lifestyle choices. You can follow these few simple steps and see the difference it makes to how you feel at the end of the day.
Do not miss out on breakfast
The old saying about 'breakfast being the most important meal of the
day' is now a proven fact. Studies have shown that a morning meal makes
you feel better, both physically and mentally. The main reason for this
is that it jumpstarts your metabolism and gets you into gear. Also,
eating breakfast regularly lowers the level of the stress hormone
cortisol in your body according to a study carried out at Cardiff University.
Try a mini-meal
A normal meal requires more time and energy for your body to
digest. This can leave you feeling bloated and lethargic. Instead, try
and eat smaller meals at regular intervals. This also cuts down the risk of diabetes since your body
does not have to break down large amounts of food at any given time.
Plus, your energy levels remain constant throughout the day.
Take a few minutes and look at what you normally eat. Your regular diet
probably consists of items like wafers and sweets. These may taste
great but have no nutritional value. Snacking is okay, but opt for
healthy alternatives like nuts and fresh fruits.
These are not just low on calories. They are a good source of fibre,
which acts as a regulator for slowly releasing carbohydrates into your
Make sure you eat a balanced diet. At every meal, aim to have
carbohydrates and proteins, along with a little healthy fat. Walnuts
and tuna, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are good examples of healthy fat. They play a vital role in keeping your brain functioning at its best. They also stimulate your body to store the extra carbohydrates as glycogen instead of fat.
Do not forget the fluids
Water makes up 85 percent of your body, and most of it forms a part of your blood. When the water content of your body drops, it makes your blood thicker. This means your heart has to pump harder to carry blood to the different parts of your body,
which contributes to fatigue. To prevent this, your daily fluid intake
should include six to eight glasses of water. Caffeine has a
dehydrating effect onyour body . Reduce your consumption of coffee,
colas, and chocolates. If you simply cannot do without coffee, try and
limit its intake to one or two cups in the morning. Consuming caffeine
a few hours before bedtime may interfere with your sleep. Consequently,
it will make you feel more tired the next day.
Feel better within
Feeling good mentally plays a big role in how your body feels
physically. Mental stress is one of the biggest contributors to
fatigue. You need to find a way to relax your mind when things get
difficult, to make sure your troubles do not get you down.
There is no one-stop solution to keeping the blues away. But there are
a lot of options available for you to try and see what works for you.
- Listening to music is an excellent way to take your mind off things. If it entices you to dance, this will help on the exercise front too.
- Take a shower when you get home to stimulate those tired
nerve endings. If you need a quick solution at work, try splashing some
cold water on your face.
- Wear one of your favourite outfits. When you see your reflection during the day, it will act as a pep-up.
- Express your feelings. Talking about your fears and anxieties
is a great way to relieve tension. Anger tends to increase your heart
rate and blood pressure, so try not to hold grudges. You will only make
yourself more miserable.
- Practice deep breathing. When you breathe from below your
diaphragm, you maximise the amount of oxygen reaching your brain as
well as the rest ofyour body.
- Do some volunteer work. Helping people makes you happier and
gives you a sense of well being. This leads to an improved mood and,
hence, a healthier body.
- Get a daily workout, usually in the morning or afternoon.
Exercise stimulates blood flow and increases the production of
endorphins, which are feel good chemicals in the body.
Rest is important too
Sleep is usually the first casualty of a busy day. We tend to
cut back on it, especially when those deadlines loom large. But lack of
proper rest can take a toll on your concentration and productivity, and
leave you feeling terrible. The key to staying alert lies in knowing
how much sleepyour body needs to recuperate, and making sure you get it.
A good way to start is by limiting time you spend in front of the
television and computer. The light from the screen limits the
production of melatonin, a hormone that tellsyour body
it is time to sleep. Set a deadline for television viewing and stick to
it. See that the deadline is at least an hour before you normally go to
Establish a bedtime routine and stick to it. Small things such
as having a warm bath, or drinking a glass of milk, have a relaxing
effect on the body. You could also try reading a book to help you fall
asleep. Avoid something fast paced though, as that will keep you up
Clear your mind before you hit the sack. Write down a list of
things that need to be done, so you do not spend the night worrying
that you will forget something in the morning. If you are in bed and
have trouble falling asleep within fifteen minutes, get out of bed and try something relaxing to get yourself to feel sleepy. Something like knitting or meditation should help.
If you have trouble falling asleep on a regular basis,
examine your environment. If you have a lot of external noise getting
in, try a pair of ear plugs to block it out. Also, do not let pets
share your sleeping space since they tend to toss and turn about, which
may disturb you. You do not need to keep your pet out of the room, just
designate a separate sleeping area and put a bed for your pet over there.