If you’re feeling constantly drained, it might be time to look at why. We track down the things that could be draining your energy without you even knowing it.
It may sound simple but not getting enough H2O is one of the main offenders for draining your energy sources. As the brain is 85 percent water, it needs abundant access to it to perform optimally. Without it, dehydration begins to strip cells of their energy making you feel exhausted and unproductive.
THE FIX: Aim for two to three liters a day
Not enough exercise
Although the sofa may be calling when you’re feeling exhausted, finding the motivation to exercise can, ironically, give you more energy.
THE FIX: A brisk walk, 20 minutes of yoga or a full-blow gym session will energize you both mentally and physically, thanks to those feel-good endorphins which increase energy levels and leave you with that post workout buzz.
THE WRONG FOOD (Too Much Fat)
Ever wonder why you feel lethargic and dazed after indulging in those French fries? Dubbed a “food hangover,” fatty foods are harder to digest making your body pull blood supplies from the extremities to aid digestion which can take between six and eight hours.
THE FIX: Try healthier alternatives to fried food such as baked sweet potato wedges.
Too Much Sugar
That Danish pastry first thing in the morning may seem like a good idea at the time but sugar can leave you needing a crash helmet come 11am. Spikes in blood sugar shut down the chemicals in your brain to keep you alert, leaving you wanting more to keep you going.
THE FIX: opt for a protein-rich breakfast such as eggs on wholegrain toast and some fruit.
Extreme fatigue and weakness are two of the top symptoms of iron deficiency. But you don’t have to dig into a steak to up your intake…
THE FIX: Leafy green vegetables, eggs and tofu are great food sources to banish anemia and improve oxygen delivery to muscles and cells.
It may sound obvious but having a lot on your plate at work can be detrimental to your overall health. Worry and being unable to switch off can lead to poor sleep and a caffeine dependency.
THE FIX: Try to set strict boundaries for a better work-life balance. Remember: we work to live, not live to work.
Lack of sleep
The majority of us could do with a little more. Even if you think you’re getting enough, the chances are, you’re not. We’re talking about sleep, as new studies have revealed that the quality of sleep is just as important as the quantity.
THE FIX: Stick to a schedule, keep a worry notebook or any gadget and pack away that technologies an hour before you hit the hay.
As much as we love our friends and family, who you surround yourself with has a huge impact on your energy levels. A negative attitude can be highly contagious and draining to be around, therefore it’s important to replace negativity with something that makes you happy.
THE FIX: If you’ve arranged to see that friend in the midst of a terrible breakup, make sure you plan a relaxing massage or yoga class afterwards to help you rebalance.
Believe it or not, clutter on your desk or home can act as a physical barrier to a more energetic life. Always having to search for what you need is a big mental drain and can leave you stressed and tired.
THE FIX: As well as having a good sort out, give everything a place. Employ the help of attractive storage boxes to make clutter organized whilst being visually stimulating.
As much as we try to maintain a calm disposition, keeping stress at bay is a tough task to overcome. When we’re stressed the ‘fight or flight’ hormone (cortisol) is released to help us cope but can also lead to adrenal exhaustion and the inability to relax.
THE FIX: Taking 10 deep breaths will keep that hormone in check and allow you to think more clearly.
As much as you try to avoid it, smart phones, tablets, computers and televisions creep into all aspects of our lives, even when we think we’re relaxing. As our brain isn’t designed to be “on” all the time, focusing on screen lights, moving images or social media means we’re mentally wearing ourselves out.
THE FIX: Have a digital detox once a week and make sure all devices are outside the bedroom.