1. Getting out into natural daylight is helpful to everyone regardless of their personality to help regulate your circadian rhythms, whether you are a lark, a night owl or a tired pigeon. So, get outside for five minutes in the morning.
2. Exercise – this is a topic where I may go against general advice. Many books will tell you that exercise is the best way to naturally boost your energy, however this is very personal and many people, whether they have underlying health conditions or not, suffer with post exertion fatigue and this can be debilitating and exhausting. It sets you on a negative cycle as there feels no way to get out of the cycle of fatigue.
So, although exercise is a great natural energy boost you need to find a form of exercise that suits you. For example: If you are an introvert you may prefer to exercise on your own whereas an extrovert may prefer being in a class. Someone who is more organised may prefer a structured class and someone who is more spontaneous may prefer to do something different and not rigid.
If you get energised by exercise look at your personality preferences to determine which type of exercise you might prefer.
Ask yourself these questions?
· Do I prefer to exercise alone or with others?
· Do I prefer a routine for my exercise or go with the flow?
· Do I need a fixed date in the diary to ensure I go, or would I prefer to make up my mind on the day?
· Do I want my exercise to be quiet or loud?
· Do I want someone making me do the exercise to motivate me, or do I prefer a gentler approach?
This can help you to find the right exercise for you. It’s ok to try something and say, that’s not for me and look at something else.
When you suffer with post exertion fatigue it’s about finding ways to move more rather than exercise, this can include:
· Setting up the movement alarm on your Fitbit to get you to do 250 steps every hour.
· It could be doing chair yoga
· It could be having a five-minute dance in your chair or standing as you make a cup of tea.
· It could be doing one lap around the house, flat, garden.
· It could be drawing a hopscotch in chalk on your pathway to do every time you go along it.
· Make it fun.
3. Daydream – daydreaming is a form of mindfulness or meditation. Daydreaming is shown to help reduce stress and relax the mind. When was the last time you did some daydreaming? We are taught at school and in the workplace that it’s not acceptable, but this is where ideas come from. Set a timer, sit, and focus on a tree or another point in nature and let your mind wander. For some this will be scary, but with practise it can be quite freeing. Any negative thoughts let them go by imagining them on a cloud floating away.
4. Look for magic and wonder – We are surrounded by magic and wonder, and we can lose this as we become adults, thinking this is only for children. Look for three pieces of magic and wonder each day to inspire you (more is fine), be inspired by nature, notice the change in the seasons, look for rainbows, the changing of the colour of the leaves. Notice the shape of clouds, the cycles of the moon, get a star gazing app to identify the stars and planets in the night sky. Go foraging for fairy finds such as conkers, coloured leaves, sea glass, shells, stones, feathers, regain the joy of our childhood. Or look for magic and wonder made by humans, go to an art gallery, or create your own art, count Christmas trees on every walk or drive as the holiday season commences or outside of the Christmas season count red doors, garden gnomes, cute cats, dogs, or cows in fields. Anything that makes you smile.
5. Laugh – watch funny tv shows or get together with someone you know who you can laugh with. Laugh at the antics of a pet or cat videos on the internet. Have an emergency funny movie which you go to when you need an energy boost.
6. Herbal tea – drink a fresh mint tea or use peppermint teabags as a refreshing tonic. Or a slice of lemon and honey in hot water. Another favourite of mine is lemon and ginger tea either using teabags or a slice of ginger & lemon in hot water.
7. Essential oils – put a couple of drops of orange essential oil on a tissue to smell during the day. (Do not apply undiluted oils directly to the skin).
8. Emergency snack – have your favourite emergency snack in your bag, it could be a small tin of almonds, some dried fruit. (Mine is Babybels though they aren’t so good in warm weather, and I have to remember to add them and remove them at the start and end of the day).
9. Breathe Deeply - Practising deep breathing exercises can help oxygenate your body and increase alertness. Try inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling slowly through your mouth.
10. Listen to Upbeat Music - Music can have a powerful effect on your mood and energy levels. Listening to lively, upbeat music can help elevate your energy and motivation.