Fatigue is the number one health complaint of most people these days.
Long working hours, intense training, wrangling kids and families, and trying to make the most out of life means that our schedules are chockers and we’re overwhelmed with commitments.
For many of us, we’ve completely forgotten what it feels like to wake up fresh and revitalised. Instead, we’re way too familiar with the 3pm slump. We’ve normalised tired.
It’s time to reclaim your energy and your life.
Whilst you may not be able to reduce the number of family commitments you have, there are other simple solutions to turbocharge your energy.
Here are my top 6 tips to reduce your fatigue and boost your immunity, productivity and overall health and happiness.
#1 LEARN TO SLEEP LIKE A PRO
The experts claim that us humans need 7-9 hours of sleep each day. These hours of rest are critical to restore, repair and replenish the body’s systems. Any less and we jeopardise our immune system and can’t function at our peak performance. Don’t buy into the myth that cutting sleep is a secret of high performers; it’s not. EVERYONE performs better with better sleep.
My top 3 tips for better sleep:
- Power down: No gadgets, TV, phones/tablets/laptops the hour before you go to sleep and upon waking. Yep, that includes the cheeky flick through Facebook in bed before you shut the lids. All that electricity literally keeps you wired and alert.
- Set the mood: Before bedtime, lower the lighting in your house, diffuse some essential lavender oil and have a hot bath/shower. These actions send signals to the body that it’s time to start shutting off for the day.
- Avoid caffeine and sugar in the evenings: No surprises here. Caffeine and sugar spike our adrenaline levels and keeps us alert. If you need a hot drink before bed, have a cup of chamomile tea instead.
Bonus tip: Download the Sleep Cycle app on your phone. The app tracks your sleep cycles and wakes you during light sleep. The data also allows you to start joining the dots between your sleep quality and lifestyle choices. I’ve had a few ‘a-ha’ moments myself.
#2. MOVE DAILY AND BUILD MORE MUSCLE
You have to expend energy to make energy. Too many of us spend too much time sitting on our butts each day. We need to find new ways to get moving more regularly. More muscle means more energy-producing mitochondria in our cells – resulting in a higher metabolic rate, which assists with body fat management, as well as better energy.
My top 3 tips to get moving:
- Schedule time in your diary to move your body every day; just like you would a work meeting.
- Find something you love to do. Walk, run, yoga, Pilates, dance, kettlebells, pogo stick-jumping – whatever floats your boat, just make sure you do it every day.
- Incorporate some resistance training and build more lean muscle. This can be as simple as body weight resistance with yoga.
#3. BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
One of the best things I did was visit my GP for a full check-up and blood test and then take myself to a naturopath for a little herbal and vitamin support. The blood test helped me figure out what vitamins and minerals I was depleted/elevated in, what my hormones were up to and what my lymphatic system was doing. I was then able to choose the right supplements and foods to fill the gaps.
My top 3 tips for immune support:
- Figure out what systems your body needs support with and get some professional advice, either a GP, naturopath or health coach.
- Do your research on your supplements and make sure you’re taking a high-quality brand of good reputation.
- Listen to your body. If you feel like you’re coming down with something nasty, nip it in the budd early with some good quality bone broth, green leafy veggies, water and sleep.
#4. JUST EAT REAL FOOD
No surprises here either. Michael Pollen has it right with his three rules “Eat food, not too much and mostly plants”. You don’t have to subscribe to a fad diet, just cut out the preservative crap and eat real food. Your liver will love you for it, as it won’t have to work so hard to break down toxins and problematic substances.
My top three tips to eating real food:
- Visit your local farmers market each weekend and buy fresh.
- Focus on boosting your intake of antioxidants with coloured veggies and fruit.
- Reduce the number of times you eat out a week. Learn to cook a new recipe at home or host a back yard BBQ with your mates and cook fresh.
#5. COOL YOUR JETS AND YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM
We’re often over-scheduling and running around appointment-to-appointment. Whilst I often amaze myself at how much I can get done in a day, it often leaves me stressed, anxious and exhausted. Life’s not fun when you spend the whole weekend in bed recovering from a busy week.
My top three tips for calming the nervous system:
- Meditation and breath work: If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, stressed or anxious, close your eyes and spend 1-minute on your breath. A simple exercise is to inhale for four counts, hold the breath for 8 counts and exhale for 8 counts.
- Schedule in self-care: Just as you would a work meeting. This is especially important for all the parents of bubbas out there. If you’re not looking after yourself, how can you be of best service to others?
- Explore your perception of difficulty and stress: Strip back the to-do list and ask yourself, “Is the sky really going to fall in if I don’t finish the home renovations today?” My guess is no.
Two words; poop more. There is waaaaayyy too much focus on what we put in our mouths and not enough on what goes out. I know it’s not sexy, but everyone does it and it’s just as important. So pay a little attention to your trips to the porcelain and make sure that what goes in also comes out.
My top three tips for happy bowels:
- Drink more water. Hydration helps to flush your system out. If you can drink 8 beers on a Saturday night, you can manage 8 glasses of water each day.
- Start improving the microbiome of your gut with a daily probiotic and probiotic food sources (think natural yoghurt, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut).
- Relax and breathe….see step five.