If you’re starting the new year feeling tired from the stresses of 2020, you’re not alone! But no matter the challenges ahead, a new year is always a good opportunity to reset and review your lifestyle. Make the changes you need to improve your immune system, overall health and energy levels this year – it’s the best gift you can give yourself.
Don’t try to change too much at once – that’s a sure-fire way to become overwhelmed and ditch your best intentions. Instead make simple changes to your daily life and you will begin to look and feel better.
The way you breathe has a huge impact on the way you feel. Stress makes it harder to breathe deeply and fully and contributes to feeling stiff and tense. Breathing affects the way oxygen is dispersed around the body and shallow breathing due to stress can make you feel ill. So, one of the most effective ways to lower stress levels and make you feel more relaxed is to begin focusing on your breathing.
It doesn’t have to be difficult or take up too much time. Downloading a mindful meditation app is a good first step. These talk you through how to stop, slow down and focus on your breathing. Set aside 20 minutes first or last thing to take this time for yourself and you will soon notice the benefits.
If you prefer mixing physical exercise in, then something like yoga or Pilates can positively impact the way you breathe. The most important thing is to find a way to practice that fits into your daily routine.
While most of us try to stick to five portions of fruit and veg today, it’s actually better to aim for around ten. Fruit and veg give you the minerals and vitamins you need for wellbeing and vitality.
Ingesting higher levels of minerals and vitamins supports your immune system, improves your libido and makes you generally more energetic. Switching to a completely plant-based diet is a simple way to automatically increase the amount of fruit and veg you’re eating, but if you can’t face giving up meat and dairy simply add more into every meal.
To cover all bases and ensure you’re getting everything you need, you can add in nutritional supplements to your daily diet. Make sure they’re of the highest quality and check with your doctor if you’re taking prescription medication because there can be some interactions.
Supplements can be particularly useful if you’re trying to build lean muscle or for men to boost testosterone levels. A great example is Centrapeak, which is primarily a testosterone booster and also includes ingredients aimed at improving overall energy and stress levels.
Our bodies are made up of about 65% water, and even being slightly dehydrated can make us feel under the weather. You should aim for approximately 40ml per kg of bodyweight but bear in mind the perfect amount of water varies depending on other factors.
Depending on your diet, frequency of exercise, medications you’re taking and your salt intake, you may find you need more water than others. If you do a lot of exercise you will, of course, need to drink more. The same applies if you’re following a high protein diet too. If you feel sluggish and are not sure why, try increasing your water intake and see if that works for you.
Sleep is often neglected by people attempting to follow a healthy lifestyle, but it’s one of the most important factors that determine how we feel day to day. There is no finite amount of sleep that works for everyone across the board, as people’s needs vary greatly.
Some people feel great on as little as six hours, while others need nine or more. The important thing is to find out what works for you. To ensure your sleep is of the highest quality, take some simple steps as part of your nightly routine. Leave your phone downstairs and remove any electrical goods from your bedroom for a start. You want to stop staring at any kind of screen at least two hours before you want to sleep. Make sure your bedroom is well ventilated, dark and cool. Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evenings and try mindful meditation if you struggle to fall asleep.
So many of us are simply not doing enough exercise. And while it may feel counterintuitive to exercise more when you’re feeling tired, it will boost your energy levels in the longer term. Exercise increases energy production at a cellular level in your body, improves your circulation and positively impacts just about everything from your mental health to how well you sleep.
If you’re planning to get back into exercise after an extended break, remember to start slowly. Consistency is the key to begin with and as you become fitter, you can add in more intensity. But to start with, just ensure you do an hour’s strength training three times a week and at least five days of cardio. This simple mix will quickly increase your fitness levels and your vitality.
Between work and exercise, family and pets, it can feel like there is no time for yourself. It’s important to make time for your favourite ways to relax. Whether it’s yoga or meditation, playing with the kids or walking the dog, reading a book or painting a picture, do it regularly.