Written by Poppy Jaime
The beginning of the year can often feel extra hard because our energy levels are still recovering from the festive period—those post-holiday blues, if you will. With the days being shorter and darker, our body clock is desperate for a few extra hours in bed, and as much as we want to hit the snooze button, work, family and daily life duties call! I encourage all of my clients to honor this time by allowing as much rest and recuperation as possible. But for the moments you need to dig deep, here are 10 simple tips to help you replenish those energy levels and avoid burnout!
Whenever possible, try to soak up at least 30-45 minutes of natural sunlight in the first hour of your day. Fresh air and natural light has been proven to have multiple benefits—including helping you to clock in more restful hours of sleep and get a better night’s slumber—as it kick-starts melatonin production.
This is a funny one as you might wonder why pausing could increase your energy levels? When we practice pausing before we react, we prevent unnecessary energy leaks. Even when you’re tempted to react, like immediately firing off a message to a person who’s annoyed you, just pause. Your energy is more valuable.
This is an obvious tip, but it’s an important one. It might be worth setting a reminder on your cell phone to relax your shoulders, unclench your jaw and breathe into the belly slowly. So often our energy is absorbed by anxiety and stress, and breathing is a remedy for releasing that. Start your morning mindfully with a deep breath, pause for another one in the afternoon and repeat again before bed.
If you follow me on instagram, you know that I LOVE to dance! It’s a really easy, effective way to boost energy and decrease stress levels. I put on my favourite music and just boogie and release for a few minutes. There are loads of health benefits to reap here: it immediately puts a smile on my face, gets my blood pumping and promotes healthy body movement! Our body is the source of all our energy so try to incorporate as many dance breaks as you can!
Did you know, 75% of people are usually dehydrated, which explains why you might be feeling fatigued. How can you remember to drink more water daily? I often carry a big liter water bottle around with me, and I always hydrate before I caffeinate. It’s important not to dive into a big milky latte before a big glass of water, and true, the latte is probably not that healthy (but I’m afraid I’m not giving those up).
We all know that exercise is essential to your health. Still, after a long day, the gym can seem somewhat daunting. Low intensity exercise has been proven to have just as many long term health benefits as high intensity exercise. So if you’re in need of an energy spike but can’t face the treadmill, just get outside for a good ol’ fashioned, endorphins-boosting walk. I do enjoy having a target like 10k steps to hit daily, but there is little evidence to say 10k steps is the exact amount you need. Create a step goal that feels doable for your lifestyle, and hit your favorite neighborhood or park!
I challenge you to go to bed one hour earlier than you usually do. Sleep is the foundation for happiness and health—your energy levels are linked to how many hours of sleep you’re able to archive. Focus on improving your bedtime routine by turning your cell phone off and taking a hot bath or shower before entering a cold bedroom. The temperature drop will send a signal to your mind that it’s bedtime, and it will set you up for a relaxing, replenishing kip!
Connect with friends
At the beginning of the year, there is a tendency to hibernate and not see anyone, but at the end of the day, we are social creatures and need human contact. If you are feeling a bit low, organize a coffee date with a loved one—someone who makes you laugh and with whom you can decompress. After all, laughter is the best medicine and will leave you feeling happier and recharged.
Listen to an uplifting podcast
As the old saying goes, you are the average of the 5 people you spend time with. Who are those people to you? Do they uplift your mental energy? Do they make you feel good? We all have friends who can be slightly exhausting, so distribute your time wisely, perhaps once in a while with one of your favorite podcast hosts. Listen to an episode that will teach you something new, widen your perspective and open you up to new opportunities. I may be biased but my podcast guests have changed my life and vastly increased my own energy levels—all thanks to their wisdom and teachings. So if you’re in need of a podcast companion, search the Not Perfect podcast on any streaming platform.
The last, but perhaps most important… Social media has a nasty way of whisking away our gratitude without us even realizing it. Caught up in this world, we no longer appreciate all the wonderful things that we have; instead, we focus on what other people have, mindlessly scrolling their highlights reel (a real mental energy suck). We all fall into the traps of comparison (unless you are the Dalai Lama), and it can be incredibly draining. So I invite you to grab a piece of paper, start reflecting on all the brilliant things in your life and write a gratitude list every day—as a way to fill up your glass. Research has proven the incredible impacts of this simple practice will not only help you feel happier, but also sleep better and enjoy stronger relationships with your loved ones.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my top 10 energy-boosting tips for 2022! Please let me know how you incorporate them into your own daily routine and how they benefit your overall well-being. You can also find me on instagram at @poppyjamie. Feel free to tune into my podcast for tons more research-backed strategies on happiness, and check out my best-selling book, Happy Not Perfect, for tips on healthy thinking, self-care and rejuvenating habits.