When out with my 3 year old son on one of our many adventures people will often stop and comment. ‘Oh I bet he will sleep well tonight’, or ‘Oh good wear him out so you can get a full night sleep.’ I do wonder sometimes. Do they have children or have they just completely forgotten. It is simply incredible the amount of energy children have. I mean this kid can run. He is like a mini Forest Gump. I have run a few marathons, at a reasonable pace and then there comes my 3 year old and I actually have to try to keep up. I can still beat him in a long distance sprint, for now.
With a To Do list that is never ending, one must be seriously fit, and with boundless energy to survive the pace of life. Let’s face it, you tick one off, and you might just have a second for a pat on the back and then 3 more tasks appear…as if by magic.
Tip #1 Sleep, oh you glorious thing
I can say this after having 3 kids. Lack of sleep and disruptive sleep is an obvious one. If you have young ones, unfortunately we just have to ‘embrace’ this short period of parenting. Dig DEEP for gratitude at midnight, 2, 4, and 6 am, these are precious bonding times with your babies. Ok I know it hurts. Also remember EVERYTHING is temporary, take some time out, heck don’t even make a list, take naps. This is one of those times when napping during the day as an adult is quite acceptable.
For the rest of you try to make your sleep times more routine. Bed at 10pm, up at 5am, bed at 2am up at 8am, bed at midnight up at 6am, it’s just too confusing. Your body likes to know what is going on. Your circadian clock works much better with routine. How much sleep do YOU need to wake up feeling amazing? It is most likely between 6.5 and 8 hours. Your sleep cycles are approximately 75-90 minutes each, cycling through phases of REM and non-REM sleep, plus all the stages in between. Each phase correlates with regeneration or detoxification of cells and organs throughout your body.
Tip #2 Eat clean foods and liquids
Now before you start hating me and stop reading. I did not say ONLY. Of course we are allowed treats. Food and Drink are to be enjoyed… in moderation. Moderation, being the key word. We play the 5:2 game with our children. 5 days clean food, 2 days not so clean. Every Friday the children get to choose a sugary treat, then I ‘chill out’ Mum style. Even Mum gets a Friday treat. One of Jo’s famous Chocolate Brownies from the village shop. I eat it guilt free and I rarely share a morsel. If your life is anything like ours, it is chaos – might smudge it a little and pretend it is organised chaos.
Now this busy family needs to be fed. I am not a culinary chef. Don’t let time be an excuse to eat rubbish. We very often have a ‘snacky tea’ we call it. Lots of fruit and veggie sticks, hummus is a staple in our house, power packed with protein, mixed nuts (not if you have allergies) smoothies packed with all sorts of hidden gems (spinach, avocados, bee pollen, chia seeds, heaps of coconut oil) salads are quick and easy. And if you do manage to cook, oh glorious left overs, what a time saver. The cleaner you eat the less work your body has to repair and detoxify. ENERGY in your pocket.
Sugar is one way to really deplete your energy. Blood sugar levels sky rocket, insulin, (a hormone that controls blood sugar) is released, and blood sugar levels go down, along with your energy levels. Think here of what you are drinking, for many this is where they are consuming the bulk of their sugar. Sugar in tea, coffee, artificial sweeteners as well. They may be calorie free but wow can they shock that pancreas to secrete insulin. So this will cover all Sugar Free drinks. I know it does sound healthier, don’t be fooled. Ever bought a bottle of plain water with Sugar Free on it? Of course not that would be silly.
So soft drinks, fruit juices… let’s discuss. Store bought fruit juice has been pasteurised otherwise it would last maybe 30 minutes before turning brown. Raw juice turns brown ie oxidises very quickly. Store bought juice is pasteurised or heat treated to a high temperature so all the goodness is… well, its gone. Goodbye vitamin C, unless it has been fortified with synthetic vitamins. The soluble fibre has also been removed which is what curbs the sugar rush from real raw fruit. So, maybe safe the fruit juices for the weekend as a ‘treat’, it has equal the amount of sugar.
Tip #3 Drink copious amounts of water
Your body is ….% water. Without water to flush out our system we would harbour all sorts of rubbish. Toxins from metabolism, detoxification, and exercise need to leave our system to allow for clean and optimal function. I am sure you would agree the less toxic we are the more energy we would expect? Of course.
I often add a large wedge of fresh lemon or a splash of unpasteurised Apple Cider Vinegar. This helps digestion and aids in keeping the body alkaline (opposite of acidic)
Tip #4 Don’t sweat the small stuff
Don’t sweat the small stuff… like the book by Richard Carlson teaches, stress releases cortisol. A hormone released from the adrenal glands, which sit on top of our kidneys. Constantly knocking on the adrenal gland’s doors (there are 2) over time will cause them to fatigue and may lead to ‘burn out’ .
Remember it is more about how we perceive the stressor, rather than the stressor itself… if you have got into a habit of worrying and stressing over the ‘small stuff’ it will take some sheer determination to control your reaction. Ask yourself, what is the absolute worst thing that could happen. Usually it isn’t so bad.
Tip #5 Move more
NOT for weight loss. For energy. Think of your spine like a windmill. If the sails don’t move, there isn’t any energy generated. Your spine is similar. When we stretch, bend twist, exercise we are stimulating the nerves exiting the 24 vertebrae in the spine. Movement of the spine and limbs supercharges the brain. It’s like plugging your phone in.
If you have a desk job, find ways of getting incidental exercise or exercise by accident. Park further away, walk or bike to work, get one of those cool Brompton’s and do ½ ½, get out for lunch, yes even if it rains we aren’t made of sugar. Do some HIIT daily. High Intensity Interval Training is, in my opinion, the best invention since gluten free bread… that is a joke! 15-20 minutes of this done correctly with supercharge your brain and you will be rearing to go.
Tip #6 This is my favourite one
One of my favourites and believe me you feel like a real Bad Ass when you have gone through with this one. A FREEZING cold shower blast for minimum 30 seconds. To do this I recommend counting down 5,4,3,2,1 (then turn the tap all the way to blue). Don’t think about what is about to happen, just focus on the numbers so you cannot talk yourself out of it. This is a tip from Life Coach, Mel Robbins. It is the most invigorating way to start your day. It has the most impact on the days you REALLY don’t want to stand under freezing cold water. Start counting down anyway 5,4,3,2,1 and you are energized like you have never felt energised before… and you are Bad Ass!