How to beat stress and fatigue and boost your energy levels

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Friday, 28 November 2008.
Tagged: alcohol, balanced diet, caffeine, concentration, drinks, energy, health, hydration, nutrients, nutrition, snacks, water, wellness

How to beat stress and fatigue and boost your energy levels

As working women, fatigue, stress and lack of energy face us every day. When you're juggling kids, home and work, the causes are not surprising - long hours, more demands on us as individuals, lack of sleep or broken sleep, no time for ourselves, no time for just "chilling out".

 

Happy and easy ways get that inner and outer balance

A "balanced lifestyle" sounds like an unachievable myth for those impossible super women. But I take it to mean a happy compromise between feeling good about yourself and eating healthy meals (well, most of the time), doing something physical that you enjoy, and finding ways to relax and de-stress.

Watch Catherine talk with Suzi Dafnis from the Australia Businesswomen's Network about maintaining your energy in business and home life.

With_Suzi_Dafnis_ABN_Video

How to restore the balance to your life

As a nutritionist, I know a healthy diet will do wonders for your zest but in talking to busy women, I've also discovered that there are other ways to put the balance back into your life. I like to think of "being in balance" as being made up of two main areas:

1. Inner balance

  • Develop ways to de-stress - deep breathing, yoga, pilates, tai chi, meditation
  • Work-family balance - if you died tomorrow, ask yourself what would be the most important aspect of your life? Most people opt for their family and close relationships.
  • Keep a positive perspective on life - be an optimist rather than a pessimist; don't take yourself too seriously.
  • Go AWOL - escape on a weekend or take a mini-break at the movies.
  • Dream a re-energising visualisation - close your eyes and practice visualising yourself relaxing on a tropical beach or wherever you like to relax and unwind.
  • Laugh hard - a good comedy will improve your well-being; a funny joke will lift your spirits all day.
  • Tea therapy - take five minutes, make yourself a cup of tea, and relax, refresh and revive.
  • Place a few drops of aromatherapy oil such as rosemary, sandalwood or bergamot on a tissue and inhale the fragrance. You'll get an energising boost without any caffeine!

2. Outer balance

  • Exercise - do something you enjoy whether it's a calming swim, dancing to up music, a gentle walk or a strenuous work out.
  • Book a massage or facial - it unknots tight muscles and relieves tension.
  • Take a short stretch break during your day to unwind and help muscles stay soft. Concentrate on shoulders, neck and upper back, where we hold our tension.
  • Water therapy - take a long warm bath with essential oils like lavender or ylang-ylang to relax you and induce sleep.
  • Nutrition - plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, lean meat, nuts, low-fat dairy foods, oils. Cut down on junk food and fast food.
  • Eat regularly - small and often is a good idea if you need to boost your energy.
  • Check your diet for enough antioxidants and vitamins (found in brightly-coloured vegetables and fruits, tea, red wine and dark chocolate)
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of fluid a day. Fluid includes not just water, but also herbal teas, clear soup, juices and low-fat milk.
  • Analyse your diet for the two main energy-releasing nutrients namely B vitamins and iron, a mineral known to cause tiredness when in short supply.
  • Get off the diet roller coaster and stop counting fat, counting carbohydrates or buying diet foods. Chronic dieting saps your energy. Rather focus on eating for health
  • Sip alcohol in moderation - a glass or two helps protect against heart disease but too much can disturb your sleep, deplete B vitamins, kill off brain cells and leave you feeling like death the morning after.