Stress can come in many forms: exams, illness of a loved one, work, even going on holiday can be a stress-producing event! Loss of energy is a common side-effect of stress which compounds the problem even further, making one incapable of accomplishing necessary tasks that could lower your anxiety if you could only get off the couch. Here are some tried and tested tools to manage your energy levels so you can tackle your herculean task and be victorious. Plus they are simple and inexpensive – SCORE!
The lethargy caused by being in a stressful situation exacerbates the problem as one of the best weapons in fighting stress-induced fatigue is physical activity. Even a simple action like taking the dog for a walk can have numerous beneficial effects on the mind and body, leading to improved mental alertness and physical vigour. It can be very hard to get up and go when your get-up-and-go has gone off and left, so maybe make a commitment to a friend to do something active together to help you with motivation and accountability until the surge of feel-good hormones kicks in.
Simple changes in your everyday lifestyle can also aid your vitality. Here are some simple ideas you can put into practice immediately:
- Instead of driving around looking for the nearest parking spot, purposefully park as far away as you can to clock some more steps.
- Adopt a dog that will have to be taken for walks.
- Play with children – they have an excellent ability to get adults moving.
- You know it, just do it: TAKE THE STAIRS!
- Do squats/ push-ups/ dips/ sit-ups/ planking during commercial breaks while watching television.
- Watch less television.
- Experiment until you find an activity you really enjoy: frisbee, cycling, swimming, walking, golf, tennis, dancing, bowling, rollerblading, squash, gardening, canoeing – there is a fit for you out there. It is worth it to find it.
Laughter is Good Medicine
Having a good laugh over something silly can really break the tension and boost your mood, leading to more of a can-do attitude which translates into increased energy. Research has shown that even pretending to laugh has beneficial effects on the body. If this feels too juvenile, read a funny book or, if you must, watch your favourite comedy. But get those teeth waving and stomach muscles contracting to get your mojo back and reap the reward of more liveliness in your day.
Hydrate to Elevate
Dehydration causes your body’s systems to slow down: blood flow is compromised, thus oxygen reaches the brain and limbs at a slower rate and toxins are not secreted rapidly, causing a general feeling of sluggishness. Sipping clean water like Oasis water throughout the day can keep this common cause of lethargy away. Aim for 30ml of water per kilogram of body weight. Thus, an 80kg person should drink 80 x 0.03liters = 2,4 litres per day. When you feel thirsty, you are already partially dehydrated. Be an Oasis water super-sipper and elevate your zest for life.
Avoid Sugar like the Plague
That candy bar is lying to you – It will NOT give you the boost you need. Instead, it will raise your blood sugar way too fast just to send you crashing again. Does that sound a little like your last romantic encounter? Then don’t fall for it again! If you feel peckish when under stress, opt for nuts, biltong, or better yet – crunchy vegetables. The crunch will wake your brain up (this is science by the way) and the added nutrients and fiber will help your body cope with the stress that is causing the fatigue in the first place. If you HAVE to have chocolate – and there are those times- grab some dark chocolate. Not only will it curb your craving but also uplift your mood without sending you crashing to the floor after all the niceties.
These principals will especially aid you in times of stress, but they are important in any stage of life. Add these tools to your toolbox for the next stressful period in your life… In-laws coming over for Christmas anyone?