Liggy Webb, a leading authority on resilience and wellbeing, shares her top tips to keep you firing on all cylinders in 2017.
What are your energy levels like? Do you refuse the snooze button on your alarm clock and wake up full of beans with a ready to get up and get going attitude in the morning? Are you able to maintain high levels of energy? Or do you crash in front of the television at the end of the day feeling exhausted?
Typically, everything we do either builds or takes away from our energy reserves. Effective use depends on looking after multiple sources of energy. These include physical, emotional and mental energy.
Learning to relax and let go of worry and stress at the end of the day is key. By keeping a clear conscience so that you can relax in the knowledge that you have stuck to your values and principles is one way of being able to clear your mind of anxiety.
It’s important to be careful about what you feed your mind – negative thinking can be a real drain and we can be our own energy saboteurs.
The real skill in managing your health and daily energy is to work on the more difficult things when you are alert and focused and work on the easier things when you’re feeling lower in energy.
To maximise your energy, you also need breaks. Taking a short mini break every 90 minutes is a good idea. If you are desk-bound get up and have a good stretch!
Learn to switch off so that your mind and body has time to recharge. Some kind of meditative activity would be good, even if it is just going for a walk, having a hot bubble bath or spending more time with loved ones.
The brain, as a goal-seeking mechanism, likes to get going once we are awake so, if we refuse the snooze on our alarm, we will embrace our day already more energised.
Healthy eating with plenty of fruit and vegetables and light on sugars is important, as is making sure you are hydrated by drinking sufficient water.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it sets you up after a good night’s sleep. Eggs or porridge are excellent for sustaining energy levels.
Sugar-rich food will give you a quick energy fix but will leave you feeling even more tired later on. Keeping raw vegetables and fresh fruit as energy boosting snacks is a far better habit to get into.
Exercise is an excellent all round energiser
I saw a strap-line once that said: “Energy – the more you give the more you get” which I think sums up exercise very well! People who exercise regularly are likely to live longer and enjoy a better quality of life.
Regular exercise also improves mental and emotional health. The chemicals and hormones that are released in the brain through exercise can help deal with stress, promote wellbeing and provide us with more sustainable energy.
If you are challenged with depression, research has shown that 30 minutes of exercise a day can be as effective as a mild anti-depressant.
So what are you waiting for? Get up and get going!
Here are a few tips to help you get active:
- Go for a walk each morning and each evening – Even if it’s just for 15 minutes before and after work.
- Take the stairs – Climbing stairs is actually a great workout especially for your legs and bottom.
- Give someone a massage – This is one of the best ways to work with your hands.
- Ride your bike to work – If it’s not too far away this is a great way to get some extra exercise.
- Go swimming – Swimming is just about one of the best ways to exercise and it is a great aerobic workout no matter what your physical shape is.
- Stretch each day – Stretching helps to prevent muscle cramps and alleviates back pain as well as reducing stress.
- Volunteer – Whether it’s distributing food to the needy, helping elderly people, or participating in a fundraiser for a worthy cause in your community.
Remember that you are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself and the more effort you put in the better the rewards.
Liggy Webb is a best-selling author and international consultant specialising in behavioural skills. She works with various organisations including the NHS, United Nations, BBC, Sainsbury’s, Zurich, Ralph Lauren and various universities and councils. Liggy is also the founding director of The Learning Architect, an international consortium of behavioural skills specialists. She is recognised as a thought leader on resilience and is regularly asked to be a keynote speaker across industry sectors. She is currently working on her latest book The Stress Advantage which is due out at the end of the year.