Indeed. Winter is here. When it's getting quite dark here in Finland, many people feel more tired than before. Who can blame them? The decrease in daylight won't make you feel energetic and it is easier to snuggle into your couch and eat sweets or other food that you crave. This leads to this post: how to get more energy during this "dark" time or other time when you feel under the weather? For me personally, these "dark" seasons have always affected me but when I made some changes in my diet and in my "thoughts", I found out that these changes really made a difference in my life. Suddenly these changes of the seasons hadn't that big of an effect on me. I still felt energetic although November arrived.
So, what did I do?
- My first tip is: exercise! Exercise has always been a part of my life in some forms but this time I made some changes in my exercise routines. I just exercised what I felt like doing: if I felt a bit sluggish but I didn't have any muscle soreness (which would implicate that next exercise should be a bit "lighter" workout) so I did a tough HIIT workout or I went for a good run. On the other hand, if I felt super tired after a stressful day at work, I did some yoga or went for a walk in the forest. Again, listen to what your body needs. This was a game changer for me. I didn't have to force my body to do something it wasn't ready to do.
- If you don't have time to exercise (I honestly don't think that this can be the case. You will always have some time to exercise, even with your kids), but still, stretch or go for a quick break outside. Breathe the fresh air and take a few steps. Instead of drinking another cup of coffee, try this.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. Again my big revelation about how I felt more energetic: I quit drinking coffee. This was huge challenge for me at the time because I just loved a good cup of coffee: I loved the smell, I loved the process of making coffee and I loved how it tasted! But I did it and I don't regret it. This topic deserves its own post so I will get back to you on this matter later...
- Instead of drinking coffee, drink water or go outside for a little walk.
- Watch less TV and read more books. I find that sitting in front of TV makes me feel sluggish and really tired so I try to avoid it during the daytime. However, in the evening I allow myself to sit down and watch something. But before I go to bed, I always read a good book. Reading has giving me more perspective and energy to my days. There's nothing like reading an inspiring book and diving into the world of a good fiction.
- Surround yourself with people who give gives you energy and good vibes. A good laughter with friends can instantly make you feel more energetic.
- Be inspired about life and try to do each day something that you love doing.
- Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. This tip has had the most effect on my life and my sleep has improved tremendously: because I have to wake up earlier, I am more tired in the evening and I fall asleep faster. It is a win win situation. Also, my family is the same: early to bed, early to rise 😃 Having more zs is the best thing you can do for yourself!
- If you feel like you could doze off in the afternoon, try to eat a healthy snack: a fruit platter, smoothie, dates, nuts and seeds, raw chocolate, a cup of green tea etc. Healthy snacks will give you vitamins and energy to continue your day.
- Last but not the least, your diet makes a BIG difference. There's no way to go around it: what you eat and how much you sleep, have the biggest affect on your energy levels. Eat more greens, fruit and vegetable and you will feel the difference. Even just adding home-made juices or healthy smoothies to your diet can give you more energy.
Lots of energy into your days,