This past week, I have noticed a return in energy levels. Over the past couple of months, everything has felt that little bit tougher. Whilst I have been able to carry out tasks that I usually do, the effectiveness & quality of them has not been to the standard I expect from myself. I have struggled to show up, I have got ill and generally it took a lot more out of me to try and do anything.
Could I have continued this way? Well yes, but not if I wanted to achieve the various goals I have set out to achieve. With these sorts of energy levels I wouldn’t have got close to achieving them, I may have chipped away but in the grand scheme of things it would have shown as a mere scratch against the surface.
5 Tips to Improve Your Energy Levels
We are all unique, so what works for me may not work for you, however some of the below are fundamental to ensuring you have the energy required. My 5 tips to having more energy and therefore the focus and attention to ensure you can apply yourself accordingly.
Improving your sleep may be an obvious area, but there is no denying the endless benefits that have enough quality sleep provides. I have heard many people say I only need 4 or 5 hours a sleep per night. They say it like they have a badge of honour stitched into the chest area of their shirt.
They may get 4-5 hours sleep, but their performance shows this! I could get by on 5 hours sleep, but I wouldn’t be able to focus and perform to the levels I am capable of. Getting little sleep
isn’t something to be proud of if the outcome of it is that you are not progressing your life forwards. Alternatively, beware of having too much sleep. If you have too much sleep then you will suffer similar consequences to those who have too little sleep. I aim for between 7 – 8.5 hours of sleep per night, less than 7 and I’m tired, more than 8.5 and I’m feeling lethargic.
Sleep is something that slipped for me. I wanted to achieve more tasks in the evening. However this was not sustainable, due to the effect it was having on my performance and quality of tasks. My energy levels would dip throughout the day. I would use coffee to give me a boost, but all that does it provides a high, then a bigger low.
My love for coffee is very high, but using it for energy isn’t a sustainable option. I want to have consistent levels of energy not spikes!
2. Drink Water
I recently did a video on drinking water which you can watch from my facebook page here. How much water should you drink? That will very much depend upon the amount of exercise you are doing and the general lifestyle you are living. Find what works best for you, by trying various levels of water throughout the day. Notice the difference, and remember that the moment you are thirsty, you are already partially dehydrated.
The average person should drink 6-8 8 ounce glasses of water per day. Personally, I have found when I drink 6-8 pints per day is when I am at my peak of mental & physical performance. This equates to 120 ounces of water per day. This is 3 times the recommended amount , but for me it works, which is the most important thing if I want to be at an optimal level.
This sounds pretty obvious, but so many people neglect the amount of exercise that they do. I don’t have a manual job and sit behind a desk for the majority of my day. For me, this makes exercising even more important. If I was not to exercise, of course, physically I would suffer, but mentally I would not have the levels of focus required to do my work.
Some may think that if you wanted lots of energy you should save it by not exercising, however the opposite happens. If I don’t exercise I feel more tired than when I do. The release of endorphins provides a trigger to provide a positive feeling in the body. When we are feeling positive we find all sorts of tasks easier.
If you were to talk about one of your hobbies you would likely talk about it in a positive way due to the benefits it provides you. However if I asked you to talk about it, but slump your shoulders and have negative body language, the hobby may not feel so positive. Therefore, the energy you have towards it will be lower. Feeling positive provides further energy to give you a boost.
Exercise doesn’t just have to be going to the gym, you can do all sorts depending on your current physical capabilities. There really is no excuse not to exercise. Find a way to make it enjoyable to you.
4. Eating Lifestyle
I don’t like the word diet, it sounds restrictive and if we try to restrict ourselves from things, we provide it focus and attention. This makes it more difficult to move away from. I much prefer a healthy lifestyle, so here I shall focus upon the eating part of that lifestyle, which some will call diet.
Having a 1 year old, I had started to choose convenience over quality. It was the first thing I would cut corners on with having a little boy around. I used to measure every gram of food going into my body knowing my exact calories and macronutrient breakdown. It was quite an obsessive type of behaviour. It worked for the goals I had though.
This is something which, again I have improved upon in recent weeks. I measure out some of my meals, but don’t give it too much thought. Why? Because for me, it works and allows me to measure and I can see what effect it has on me overall. If, for example, I am eating too many carbohydrates I start to feel lethargic, especially when couple with not exercising. However I know that I want to achieve a balance so it isn’t critical for me to measure every gram of food at this stage in my life.
My current breakdown is as follows:
- kcal: 1900
- 160g Protein
- 64g Fat
- 171g Carbs
I don’t currently strive to hit this exactly, however it provides me with an approximate target to be mindful of. So if, for example, I were to have 4 medium meals per day I know something that is made up of roughly 475 calories, broken down to 40g(p), 16g(f) & 42g(c) would be ideal. I do this, as this is what has proven to provide me with energy that I require to function well.
Eat smaller meals. Large meals will make you feel tired, all of the food will need to be digested and the blood will flow to your gut to help process this. Also look at foods which are lower in the glycemic index, the sugars here take longer to be absorbed
I am not a big drinker. Do I like a drink? Yes, I enjoy a beverage however it isn’t something that I need in my life. I’m fortunate that I am able to relax & have fun without requiring a drink. During the world cup, and couple of months since I had been drinking more than I had for a few years.
The effect this has had is quite a big impact, but not for the better. It left me with hangovers the next morning, and my other half will be the first to tell you I am the biggest moaning bitch when hungover. I would waste mornings if not days. The following days would leave me with a lot less energy and inconsistent amounts. Most will say they cope fine, again as mentioned in the sleep section this could be true for some but for others it will be a case that they don’t realise the amount of energy they could have if they didn’t drink.
In my case it wasn’t just a drink late in the evenings, but opening one after work. That left with me the feeling of being too relaxed to make progress towards my goals. I will still enjoy a drink but I know what evenings and the amount I can drink to still ensure I can have good energy levels.
These are the 5 areas which have allowed me to boost my energy levels back to a level where I can perform well.
Others areas may include reducing stress. If you have stress your mind will be playing it through all day long, whether that be consciously or unconsciously.
Procrastinating over tasks. Get that shit dealt with!! Afraid to fail? Remember you will only succeed or learn!
Utilising Caffeine poorly. If you are relying on coffee it may assist temporarily but the benefits are only short term, and it won’t be sustainable.
Having too much to do. Being overwhelmed with tasks will defeat you mentally before you begin. Are the tasks essential? Can someone else take them on?
Do you smoke? Smoking has a detrimental effect on your heal and therefore will have an effect on your energy. Smoking can cause insomnia which will reduce your energy levels further.
Finally, negative influences will drain your energy all day, they are like vampires but instead of blood they feed on energy, your energy!
There may be other areas in your life causing lower energy however you will need to take note of the areas which aren’t at levels that you are happy with.
Not sure where to start, or just require a little helping hand? Get in touch to start your journey today!