Renewing Your Energy for the New Year

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By Jenny Gallagher

Do you feel tired or frustrated after the holidays?  Do you feel like you have too much going on in your life and are unable to feel a sense of accomplishment?  If so then you have probably depleted your energy stores and you could benefit by refueling.  Good health is essential for living a productive, full and happy live.  When you feel good, everything seems easier and your likelihood of success in what matters most to you will increase.  Here are some tips on how you can renew your energy for the New Year.

  • Nutrition.  Athletes understand the value of eating nutritious foods.  When you fuel your body correctly, you get peak performance in all that you do.  This does not mean you need to deprive yourself of foods you love.  Life is meant to be enjoyed.  Can you create a belief that feeling your best and having great energy will create joy and opportunities?  If so, then it will become easier for you to make smart choices.

Our society in general has become confused and unclear on how to eat well.  There are so many “diets” and therefore so many contradictions.  Here are some ideas.

    • Eat plenty of whole grains, lean proteins, good fats, fruits and vegetables.  If you do you will notice an improvement in your energy level. If you are looking for energy then eat to nourish the body.
    • Have your biggest meal mid day.  This is when your digestion is the strongest and therefore your body will absorb the nutrients from the food more effectively.   Plus this is when you need food.  Think of it as throwing some logs on a fire.  Why would you do that in the evening before you go to sleep?
    • Have a light supper or at the very least go easy on late night snacking.  If you don’t make your body work at digesting food while you are sleeping then it can work on what it is supposed to which is restoration.  Resting all systems while you sleep is an important ingredient to feeling energized during the day.
    • Think about why you eat.  Are you satisfying another need like boredom or stress relief?  If so then you are probably running to “comfort” foods, or refined carbohydrates.  If you want better energy think of a way to satisfy the need and achieve your goal of increasing your energy.  Maybe a 10 minute walk is a better idea.
    • Reduce intake of stimulants like sugars and caffeine.  It can take a few days to a week to detoxify the body from these substances but after that you will be amazed how good you feel.  Your energy levels will stabilize and you won’t be constantly thinking about the next fix.
    • Don’t label foods as “good” or “bad”.  While it is not good to have a diet filled with refined carbohydrates, sugars and caffeine there can be those special treats that bring you great satisfaction.  If so then don’t deprive yourself.  If you enjoy apple pie then sit and enjoy every bite (maybe have it at mid-day vs. at night).  If you do indulge promise yourself that you will not feel bad or guilty afterwards.  If so then why bother?  Instead feel fortunate that you had the opportunity to enjoy something special.  Eat it.  Love it.  Then forget about food and get on with your life.
    • Mindful eating is a great way to enjoy foods.  If you have the TV on, or are sitting at the computer, or are involved in unpleasant mealtime conversation then you will miss out on the satisfaction of your meal.  Digesting food properly takes energy so don’t try to digest unpleasant information at the same time.  Focus on your meal.
    • Eat only foods that taste good to you.  Most of us know broccoli is good for us.  But if you hate broccoli your digestive enzymes won’t activate as well, and therefore you will get less nutritional value from the broccoli.  Find healthy foods you enjoy.
  • Exercise the body and the mind. Stress can make you tired, bored and maybe even depressed.  So get moving!  Physical movement releases hormones that will make you feel better.  Mental movement requires learning new things or participating in activities that keep you focused like puzzles or yoga.  Not only will it keep your mind alert but learning new things makes you more interesting.
  • Relax.  Our society is filled with people pushing through their day; mainly because great value is placed on “having a full life”.  While this can lead you to great successes, it can also leave you to feeling depleted.  That’s why relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation are so popular.   How you relax is up to you but pick something that lets you completely unwind.
  • Self Care.  Do you believe it is selfish to take care of yourself or that you simply don’t have time?  Self care allows you to be more selfless because when you feel good you can take care of your responsibilities and others more effectively.  So go for a massage, facial, bike ride, or take a vacation!
  • Find support.  It’s much easier to start a new behavior when you are doing it with others.  Maybe you can start a new trend at work by bringing a healthy lunch or taking your friends with you for a walk.  Or work with a life coach.  This can give you a unique opportunity to express yourself in a way that will lead to positive changes.  And what could be more energizing than positive change?

Jenny Gallagher is a life, business and wellness coach,  yoga instructor and author of Four Steps to a Better Life and Yen Path: Taking Steps Towards What You Want in Life.  She has made it her mission to help people live the best life possible.  Jenny works with people privately over the phone so location is never a problem.  For more information and to purchase a copy of Jenny’s books go to http://www.gallaghersolutions.com/ or email Jenny at solutions@jennygallagher.com.    


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