Life Hack #1: Five easy and unusual ways to boost energy in winter
As the mercury drops and the days get shorter, we find ourselves trapped indoors. This can lead to us feeling demotivated, tired and sapped of energy. It becomes harder not to hit the snooze button and by afternoon many of us are already dreaming of bed.
Vitamin D keeps your immune system humming and helps to regulate insulin levels. It boosts energy and promotes a good mood. The sun is the best source of Vitamin D. When our skin is exposed to sunlight it makes vitamin D from cholesterol in the skin cells.
A New Zealand study shows that to maintain healthy vitamin D levels we need 5 minutes of sun exposure on our skin in mid-Summer and up to 48 minutes in Winter. So unless you’re keen on a mid-Winter sunbathe you’re going to have to resort to some kinder methods of boosting Vitamin D and energy.
We know we should exercise regularly, eat healthily and avoid too many stimulants like caffeine, but in our busy lives what are some easy wins to boost our energy and zest for life?
Below are five of the more unusual (and easy!) tips to get you back in action mode.
1. Let the light shine in
Our sleep and waking cycles can easily become disrupted as the days get shorter. Due to the lack of natural sunlight our brains start producing more melatonin, a hormone that makes us sleepy.
To combat this, fling open the curtains or lift the blinds in your home or office to let in as much daylight as possible. Walk to the sandwich shop at lunchtime or just take a jaunt around the block.
2. Be like the Three Kings and get into some frankincense
Got a spare minute? Inhale the rich scent of frankincense essential oil. Canadian scientists say the unique compounds in frankincense oil (boswellic acids) trigger the focus centre of the brain and give an instant boost to alertness.
3. See red
Get bold and go red. A study conducted by the University of Rochester showed that people who wore a bold red colour had 31% more energy. The bright colour stimulates the area of the brain that reverses tiredness and encourages alertness. Even surrounding yourself by red items (think pen, flowers, art, etc) can help.
4. Fond memories
Gazing at family photos or images of good times can provide an instant perk. Researchers at Stanford University found that positive images bring on a release of a revitalising brain chemical that perks you up in just 60 seconds!
5. Pump the passive playlist
One of the number one depleters of energy is the stress hormone cortisol. In our hectic lives this culprit is rife. Get your anxiety and stress in line by making a relaxing playlist to play at work, at home or in the car.
A study by the University of Pennsylvania found that calming music reduces stress just as effectively as anit-anxiety medications.
To get you started on your playlist, here is a super-relaxing tune, ‘Weightless’ by Marconi Union.
UK neuroscientists conducted a study of the most relaxing songs of all time. Listening to ‘Weightless’ resulted in a staggering 65% reduction in participants’ overall anxiety!
So, don’t go to work on Monday more tired than you felt on Friday. Implement some of these life hacks to stimulate energy and positive mood.
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