How to recharge and feel energized
Have you been feeling tired lately? Regular and predictable time off to rest and recharge is essential for sustainable peak performance. By introducing the following small changes to your lifestyle, you can maximise your energy to achieve the greatest output, so you can do less and achieve more.
Sleep your way to success
According to the NHS, most adults need between six and nine hours of sleep every night. Here's why. Research has shown that getting a sufficient amount of shut-eye is associated with higher intelligence, better mental health and improved physical performance.
That could be because lack of sleep affects the pre-frontal cortex part of the brain that is needed for quality thinking. Sleep is also a vital ingredient in helping your body recover from exercise. In short, get enough sleep and your body will reap the benefits.
One way to help your body unwind at night is to ditch devices in the bedroom as the backlit screens emit a light that stimulates our brains and inhibits melatonin production, which affects sleep.
If you just can't bring yourself to give up your device come bedtime, change the settings to reduce the backlight or have at least an hour of screen-free time before sleep.
Exercise equals energise
When you're looking to re-energise, nothing beats exercise. It doesn't matter if it's at the gym or a walk around the block, just five minutes of exercise can help lift your mood, reduce stress and increase your pain threshold. Plus, when you exercise with others the hormone oxytocin helps you recognise social cues, respond empathetically to others and feel connected to those around you.
Rest reboots performance
Although it's important to stay active, it's equally as important to take a step back in your fitness regime to avoid overtraining. Rest days are a critical part of achieving maximum performance. That's why professional athletes pay close attention to every aspect of their downtime as they know what they do away from their sport can make or break their performance. Allocate some days to exercise, but also allow time for your body to recover.
Ditch your devices
Did you know that every time you get distracted from a task by your phone it takes on average 25 minutes to refocus? One study by London University even found that multiple device switching, such as watching TV whilst on a laptop, can reduce IQ.
Your phone could also damage your relationships as research suggests even the visible presence of a mobile can negatively impact the quality of face-to-face communication, closeness and trust.
We know ditching your device altogether is a big ask, so here are some easier changes you can make to help you spend less time glued to your screen:
- Change your phone's settings so you're not constantly bombarded with text and email pings.
- Set designated times of the day to check your emails - add a note to your email signature so others are aware.
- Make meal-times screen-free. Not looking at screens helps us enjoy the sight smell and taste of our food and means we are more likely to chat and connect around the dinner table.
- Consider a digital detox one day a week - or making your bedroom a tech-free zone
Top four tips for allowing time for yourself
- Taking time out to do something you love refreshes the body and soul. Studies show that employees who take regular breaks approximately every hour often rank in the top 10% for productivity.
- Listening to music is a great way of sneaking time for yourself into a busy schedule as it's been shown to activate your body's reward centres and positively affect your emotions.
- The key is to think small, not big. Focus on the small changes you can make to your everyday routine to introduce short periods of quality me-time.
- Schedule your short moments of me-time into your diary. It will make you less likely to miss them and allow you to reflect on what you've done and the positive effect it had on you.
After more Pure Wellbeing tips for a healthier you? Check out the rest of our Wellbeing blogs to find sustainable ways you can improve your physical and mental wellbeing with simple measures.
Working in partnership with Dr. Sarah Hattam MB ChB, MRCGP, DF SRH and Concilio Health.