The resilience coach's toolbox part 5

Posted on 28th October 2020

 

Photo by Peter Conlan on Unsplash

4 ways to boost your energy levels and feel more 

resilient

How are your energy levels at the moment? 

Are they stable or do they go up and down like a yo yo?

If it’s the latter, you’re not alone.  Most of us have energy levels that fluctuate, but there are things we can do to maximise them and so boost our resilience.  Here are 4 of them:
 

1.      Nutrition

Good nutrition is essential for us to maintain great energy levels. 


Blood sugar:
 one of the most helpful things that you can do is to stabilise your blood sugar.  To do this, it’s helpful to eat complex carbohydrates, e.g. oats, brown bread and pasta.  Also, eating foods high in protein will give you slower release energy and help you to feel fuller for longer.  This avoids the blood sugar level highs and lows that we get when we eat sugary foods.


Eat regularly
: it helps to eat small meals more regularly and try not to skip breakfast.  This also keeps our blood sugar more stable and keeps our energy levels elevated throughout the day.


Eat a good balanced diet
: to ensure that you have enough vitamins and minerals, some of which are involved with converting food to energy in our bodies.
 

2.      Hydration

Drinking enough water is vital for our physical and mental energy levels.  It’s been shown that dehydration can reduce our muscle performance - in fact every cell of the body needs water to be able to function.


On average, our brains are made of 80% water, which makes them particularly sensitive to a drop in levels of hydration.  This affects many of our cognitive functions, such as reasoning and memory, and causes mental fatigue.

So what's enough water?  The recommendation is for adults to drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.  Some soft drinks also count, but not if they're caffeinated or sugary.
 

3.      Sleep

Good quality sleep is vital for the brain to be able to do its housekeeping tasks of cleaning and filing.  Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but the reality is that many of us frequently don't get enough sleep. 

If you’re struggling with your own sleep, try these tips - they really do work.  If you try all of these and still struggle, please do speak to your GP who can refer you to a sleep clinic.
 

4.      Energy fillers and drains

It can be helpful to think of your energy levels as the level of water in a bucket.  Some things that you do will fill your bucket with water, but others will create holes that all the water to drain out. 


Take some time this week to think about all the things that you do routinely.  As you go, notice whether these things are energy fillers or drains.  Here are some examples from my own list:


Drains
– too many emails, long on-line meetings, cleaning, shopping, worrying, negativity, stress.


Fillers
– walking my dog in the woods or by water, mindfulness meditation, exercise, being with the people I love, listening to music, reading or listening to a good book, playing games, comedy.


What’s the balance between your energy fillers and drains and what is your current energy level like? 


If you have more drains than fillers, what can you change to redress the balance?  For example, you could start a new habit that routinely boosts your energy levels or to say no to something that drains your energy levels?
 

Going forward - review your bucket regularly and make any changes that you need to keep yourself in balance.

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