Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all the time? There could be a reason for this and yes, you can do something about it.
It’s October 10th, World Mental Health Day. There’s a huge stigma around the term Mental Health and yet there shouldn’t be. Mental Health is, in fact, a positive term meaning living life to your full potential and having the capacity to cope with the daily challenges. The fuel for this is energy.
Susan Scott, psychologist, nutritionist, mind & body expert, and best-selling author discusses what it means if you're feeling exhausted all of the time and how you can change it.
Research carried out at youngprofs.net in April 2017 highlighted that 39% of working millennials are struggling to cope, affecting their energy and mental wellbeing. When we looked further into why this is we found that top of the list is unmanageable work demands and pressures. Working life is busy and demanding, making it hard to switch off and recover – we’re stuck in ‘always on’ – always working, always on the phone, always on alert, always thinking, always doing and rarely taking the time to chill, relax and recover, in other words, recharge your batteries.
So, what’s the answer? Well, it’s about making time and putting things in place that balance activity and recovery.
Here are a few tips taken from Susan's new book ‘How to prevent Burnout:’
Top of the list is sleep. Just one night of disturbed sleep can have an impact on your energy levels. It’s the time our minds detox and process our emotions from the day. If you’re struggling to sleep (and this is top of the list of the signs you’re stressed) then you need to put some rituals in place to ease your mind into sleep mode. Switching off digital equipment 90 minutes before bed is a must. The blue light emitted from screens inhibits the release of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Alcohol also disturbs the sleep pattern.
You are what you eat so if your diet is primarily a carbohydrate one – particularly quick release refined carbs, then you’ll be struggling to balance your blood sugar, leaving you wired one minute and crashing into tired the next. Eating good quality protein with every meal is a must. It slows the absorption of carbs into the bloodstream, evening out the glucose you have circling in your blood.
B vitamins are required for the energy production process in our cells and you’ll find them in whole grains, eggs, fish, pulses and green leafy vegetables. Vitamin B12 is especially important. If you’re low on this you will feel genuinely exhausted. B12 is found in meat, oily fish, cheese and eggs so vegans are particularly at risk of deficiency but so is anyone who doesn’t eat enough of these good quality proteins.
Caffeine does not give you energy, it’s what I call an empty calorie as it doesn’t contain any energy-giving nutrients. Caffeine stimulates your brain to release a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine makes you feel motivated and good, but it’s short-lived….and addictive. Caffeine is found in coffee, tea and cola drinks. Limit the amount you drink during the day and avoid it after 6pm to give your liver a chance to clear it from your body before bed. Best of all is to avoid it completely and drink Red Bush Tea which is caffeine free.
It’s a Catch 22. You’re too exhausted to exercise but regular exercise boosts energy as it improves oxygen levels in the brain which improves your capacity to think and function. If this is you, don’t exhaust yourself any further worrying that you don’t have the energy to run a half marathon or go to a kick-boxing class. Start small with a twenty-minute walk or get on a bike and cycle around the local park. Find something that raises your heart rate for a short while and then over a period of time build up the duration and level of exertion.
Living in such a competitive working world means it’s inevitable that you’d set yourself high standards, after all, you want to be the one recognised for promotion. But if these standards are unachievable you’ll end up worrying and anxious, and the exertion of this constant negative, questioning chatter in your head is a sure way to drain your batteries. You need to be realistic. Ask yourself. What do you want in life that’s genuinely achievable? What truly are the acceptable standards of performance? Life isn’t perfect and you can’t expect yourself to be perfect so give yourself permission to make the odd mistake!
Energy is what helps us get more done, more easily and to a better standard. Just a few simple rituals could boost your energy – it’s about being aware of what is limiting you and getting into the habit of doing the things that recharge you.
- Susan Scott
- Publisher: Filament Publishing
Tips from How to Prevent Burnout and reignite your life and career, by best-selling author, Susan Scott.
Order and find out more from www.youngprofs.net or available on Amazon on 17th October 2017
- Susan Scott
- Publisher: Filament Publishing Ltd
Last update on 2017-10-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API