#lifelesson101-Quick ways to boost your energy throughout the day

Some weeks fly by. Some weeks go so slowly you feel as though you are dragging your feet through a quagmire of treacle.  You know the feeling. For me, this has been a treacle week. It’s now early on Friday morning, I can hardly keep my eyes open and even though I have cut my days to do list down to the bare minimum I have no idea how I will make it through.

It’s at times like this it is tempting to reach for the coffee and the energy drinks to get you through. But as we all know the short fix boost has consequences. Caffeine and energy boosters give you an energy spike that ends in an almighty crash.  Bad for your body and your mind. Added to which will leave you feeling rubbish over the weekend and ruining your much-needed downtime.

So what do you do when after a long week you can almost see the Friday 5 o’clock finish line and you just need to boost your energy to get you through this one last day without messing yourself up?  Well, the great news is there are lots of small quick ways to boost your energy. Most of them are free. All of them are healthy. And best of easy to do.

If you need to find some extra energy from nowhere to get you through to the weekend try some of my favorite hacks to give yourself the boost you need!

Minimise you task load

When you are low on energy time management becomes even more important. Minimise your workload for the day and just deal with the priorities. I know it would be great to leave work with everything done. However, if you are trying to do it all on a tank that is running on fumes nothing you do will be done well. You may even find you have to redo the work again at a later period. A few tasks done well is better than lots of things done badly.

Boost your focus

The brain fog after a treacle week means it can be seriously challenging to concentrate for longer periods of time. In this state you need to give your brain all the help, it can get to focus. If I have to write a report or an article I put on an hours concentration music. If I am in a meeting I will doodle, or get up. Another great hack is to lower the temperature in the room you are in.

Use your acupoints

In the middle of your hands and feet are acupoints you can activate natural energy from. Try one of these and feel your brain awaken.

Sit down in a position as if there is a string atop your head pulling upward. Then use your thumb to gently rub the bottom (center) of each foot.  Make sure you do both feet. A couple of minutes each side really helps wake up the brain.

Put your right thumb into the center of your left palm (it is in the right place if your thumb is aligned between your ring and little fingers). BRing your left thumb and your left ring finger to touch. Apply a little pressure on your right thumb and just hold it for a few moments.

Watch this video to see how it’s done https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhGNFLfmCKw

 

Stimulate the brain

I have been using this trick for years. (Although honestly, I don’t exactly remember the science behind it.) Put your hands together in a prayer position and rub your hands up and down quickly until you can feel a warmth between your two hands. If you want you can raise your arms up and down as you do this. If memory serves correctly this is supposed to stimulate both sides of the brain by stimulating nerves. I find even 30 seconds of this gives my brain a boost.

Get outside

If your brain fog is becoming overwhelming change your location and ideally get outside for some breaths of fresh air. Take a walk on your lunch break, have a five-minute break outside the warehouse and take deep breaths. If you can’t get outside then open a window and stick your head out for a few moments. Deep breathes of non stale indoor air revitalizes the body quickly.

Cold water

A great trick I use often in the summer but also when I need to wake up is to run the cold water tap over my wrists. It lowers the body temperature and stimulates the brain to wake up at the same time.

Eat energy boosting food

Some foods are great to give a quick energy boost. Try and steer clear of the sugary foods and instead give yourself a healthy fruit sugar boost with an orange. Personally, I find my body responds best to bananas. And nothing works better as an energy booster than a ginger shot. Fruit is great when you have low energy as often your appetite is not very large. Fill up on fruit and avoid the heavy foods which your body has to work hard to break down.

Gift yourself some dopamine

Dopamine, body’s natural happy hormone, is one of the best energy boosters. Laughing and movement create dopamine. Pop on some funny videos on youtube and get giggling. The best way, of course, is exercise. However, if you don’t have time for a work out then put on some happy music and have a quick singalong. Or simply take five minutes to do some yoga stretching. There are some great videos out there with yoga poses for work.

Give yourself something to look forward to

When you have gone through a treacle week, having something to look forward to makes it all seem worthwhile. Plan a little treat and make sure you get it. Receiving your reward will also give you a little dopamine boost a great way to go home after a tough week.

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These are just a few hacks I use to boost my energy and I find they all work for me. Of course, these are all quick fix methods. Nothing is going to make you feel better and recharged again than a good sleep and a relaxing weekend. If you rely purely on these methods you will eventually burn out. So use these techniques when you really need them. And as soon as you can possibly do it give yourself a longer period to get revitalized and recharged again.

Have a great weekend <3

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#Lifelessons101- Slow down and be more productive this winter (3 min read)

Over the years I have had many different ways of managing my time ranging from the doing stuff every minute of every day and burning out, to getting to here, where I am now with a life structured around when I need to take breaks. I feel pretty balanced in my planning and I get stuff done, which I love. However in the last few weeks some well meaning people have been telling me to slow down some more. This has provoked a strong reaction in me one I didn’t really expect.

At first I went into the but I have been seriously focusing on taking breaks RECOGNISE MY EFFORTS mode. Then swiftly followed by the OF COURSE I AM NOT DOING TOO MUCH and the THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO HOW WILL I DO IT mode. However when I took a step back I realised if this has been said to me by more than 2 people then the universe was trying to communicate with me and I needed to listen. However as any self employed person knows it’s seriously challenging to wind down when there is a lot that you want to get done. So how can you slow down and at the same time be more productive?

Be organic and frugal with your time. No seriously, it’s true. In order to slow down and be effective we have to pay more attention to our bodies and our circumstances and make choices based upon those. In the last week I have been re thinking how to be productive but easier on myself and now here is my guide to help you take more care of you whilst getting stuff done during the hibernation period of the year.

Accept and surrender

First things first you have to accept that your mind, body and soul can’t do everything right now (I know, I hate this part too however it is seriously necessary.) Remember it’s not just you. Winter is a time for slowing down be you a plant or a human. This is hibernation time. One of the reasons I believe we get more stressed in the winter is that we are fighting the natural order of things and instead of slowing down we try to overcompensate and do too much. Nature doesn’t work like that and neither do we, that is the path to burn out. So accept it’s ok to slow down and surrender to this natural rhythm.

Pay attention to your body

Your body always has feedback for you we just have to listen. For a week or two observe your sleep patterns, your energy shifts, when you are focused, when your concentration is wobbling. Now look at the data you have observed and use this in your planning. If you are foggy headed every day between 9am and – 10am this not the time to be writing project proposals or having seriously important meetings. Simultaneously you might find out that on thursdays you are simply exhausted so going on a date that night is not the greatest idea. Plan your working day around your “golden hours” (your most effective time of day), and your need to wind down time. Especially make sure you give yourself breaks or easy days after you have had a social event. Winter makes being social more straining and trying to pack in a lot will end up draining you.

Say no more often

In the winter you don’t want to take on more than you can chew. People always seem to see the yuletide holidays as a down time yet when you think about it with all the prep, all the people, the shopping, the parties it’s not only santas busiest time of the year it’s also ours. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas the world is getting caught up in that rush. So think carefully about the work you take on. Say no more often than you do in the spring. A great trick is actually to ask yourself “why am I saying yes to this ?” It could simply be you are doing out of habit. Be careful with you “yeses”. It is a way of being more realistic with your time and energy.

Choose your tasks wisely and do them one at a time.

Multi tasking is out in the winter. Our brains are colder and therefore slower. If you are going to be productive you have to choose your tasks with care, prioritise and do them one at time.
I know multitasking is supposed to super effective however in the winter it often ends in two jobs getting done badly and a brain too busy to focus on one thing.

Disconnect

The world is hibernating, our bodies and minds need to hibernate too. Disconnecting from constant bombardment of social media gives us time to go internally and reboot. Try a week where you stay offline (phone, laptop and computer) for 30 mins each day and see how much better you feel.

Watch your sleep and your sun intake

Get sleep and sun. Both give us energy. Keeping your sleep habits in check during the winter is really important for our bodies. If you aren’t getting a full night’s sleep then look at your sleep habits and if you need to cat nap during the day. Equally getting our hit of vitamin d helps all of us feel happier. If you can’t get out in the sun then find a sun lamp or a local sauna that has this function. (And who is going to say no to a sauna in the middle of winter).When we are happy and rested we can be our most productive.

Relish your down time

Down time is precious, even more so in the darker half of the year. Make it special, Light those candles, treat yourself to that facepack or a cuddle on the sofa. Right now I have just given myself one of my favourite luxuries, a choco chai latte, (I even made Mr T one) and life feels so much cosier already!

Plan and implement a slow build up to Christmas that is non stressful

Last year I wrote my guide to planning a non stressful Christmas and in fact this system is so effective I am using it every month now. I won’t explain it here however if you want to not experience yuletide burn out and collapse during your holidays then read my article December without stress
Be kind to yourself

In winter you need to more lenient with yourself than at every other time of the year. So you still have to do list items not done at the end of the week. Sod it. Don’t focus on that focus on all the things you did and plan to get those tasks out of the week next week. And then allow yourself to have a break. Another great way to be kind to yourself is to ask for help. Winter is traditionally a time of community. Why? Well my theory is that we needed to band together to survive the winter, that need is still within us today. Two hands are definitely more powerful than one. So if you are getting overwhelmed reach out for help.

Create rhythm in your week

Create a rhythm to you week in terms of repeating tasks at the same time. Shopping, washing, answering emails or recycling, whatever are your repeating tasks each week create a structure (based on your energy cycle) where you do these things at the same time every week. By doing this and creating a habit of say doing the washing on a friday morning you will eventually use less energy as you do these tasks on auto pilot saving your energy for other things.

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Slowing down does not have to mean you are less effective, it means making smart choices that are right for you. It is something no-one can really tell you how to do because when we take notice we all know our own bodily, career and life needs. Even if you adopt one of these habits you will find that you give yourself a gift of a little more energy this winter and after all we all love presents, right ?

Have a cosy weekend <3

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How to relax when the pressure is on! 5 easy ways to relax in only 15 minutes (2 minute read)

So here we are at the start of June. I don’t know about you, but I often find that this month is one of the busiest and most tiring of the year. If you are at school then exams are looming, at work there are deadlines to be finished before the holidays. Everywhere people are rushing about like worker ants determined to have everything place before that precious resting time of the year the glorious holidays. In a way this hive of activity is completely natural as in the wheel of the year we are coming closer and closer to the height of the summer, the summer solstice. However if we don’t want to crash and burn when it comes to our holidays we need to make sure we remember to take breaks and relax. After all life is all about enjoying the journey and what better time to enjoy it than when the sun is shining!

So for those of you, who like me are feeling a little overwhelmed with all of this activity here are my tips for helping you to make time, infact only 15 minutes a day to relax and recharge during the pre summer rush!

Spend your time wisely

As Tony Schwartz, the founder and CEO of the Energy Company says “Paradoxically, the best way to get more done may be to spend more time doing less.”  Just as I recommended at Yule planning the month or time up until the holidays is the best way to get what you need to do done without burning yourself out. For ideas look at the Yule planning guide. Try and see if you can set a block of time aside to do something rather than doing five minutes here and there. Having the time to immerse yourself in a task will get it done quicker. 15 minutes of planing for the month is gonna save you a lot of time and stress during the month.

Plan breaks

In your monthly planning plan your break times first. There is only one you and you need to take care of you, otherwise you ain’t gonna be going anywhere or doing anything. Remember the art of not doing anything promotes prosperity. Take a break. Give yourself 15 minutes every day just to unwind and recharge and you will soon notice the difference.

Re charge on sleep

The pace of life we set for ourselves today is unsustainable. When I first moved to Scandinavia I was surprised the the concept of the afternoon nap is socially acceptable for all ages of adults, as well as children. To me it was a waste of time. Yet I have discovered the power of forty winks in the middle of the day is actually one of the best lifestyle treatments you can give yourself (with the added bonus of being free!)  Arianna Huffington  co-founder and editor of the Huffington Post says “Sleep makes us more productive, creative, less stressed and much healthier and happier,”  and she, as “sleep evangelist” ,believes this so wholeheartedly that she provides places for her employees to power nap at work and other companies are following her lead. Book yourself a power nap everyday. Even as a busy Mum it’s possible just get the whole family involved and introduce power napping to the daily routine.

Get outside

Nature is one of the best possible re energisers. It’s official. Rochester university has done extensive research to find out that “Nature is fuel for the soul, “.Nature energises us, making us more resilient even to illnesses.Research showed that 90% of the participants felt more energised after 15 mins in nature. So instead of reaching for another coffee go to the park on your lunch break or take the kids for a walk after school.

Have time in the sun

Right now the sun is shining and this does wonders for us. Humans and the sun have a relationship that is similar to a solar panel. The sun’s rays actually helps lower blood pressure and increases oxygen content in our blood. The increase in our vitamin D actually strengthens our brain’s cognitive functions and helps the part of our brain which stores our memories! And of course on sunny days our brains make more serotonin which makes us feel happy. So while we have the sun around us get outside and recharge (although do remember to use sun block etc). 15 sunny minutes can make a huge difference during a busy day.

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Use your 15 minutes wisely. If you can’t do any of the above one of the simplest ways to relax is to have 15 minutes on no connection. No phones, computer no nothing with anyone else, just you. Make a commitment to making relaxing important this month and give yourself the gift of 15 minutes every day. It doesn’t have to cost anything however you will gain the boost you need to get you to the summer holidays without wearing yourself down.

On that note it’s power nap time – Have a relaxing and productive week !

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#lifelessons101 – Why people are draining you and how to stop it happening (3 min read)

 

It’s friday night, there is glorious sunshine out of my window, the wind is blowing and the garden is calling yet tonight I am simply too shattered to go out and play. I am tired. Not just physically but mentally. I am people tired.

As a life coach, and also in my private life, I work with people everyday and I love that. I love helping and giving help to self help, I love to help people grow and I love learning from the people I help and getting the opportunity to grow myself.  However sometimes I get exhausted by it. Sometimes I just get tired of people and I also get people tired. I know those sound similar they are not, bear with me I will explain. Getting tired of people is where you simply get fed of human interaction games until it exhausts. Getting people tired is where you feel drained by other people through helping too much.

The challenge is that getting tired of people and people tired is not something we usually talk about it polite society. Certainly not in inclusive Scandinavia where doing everything together is the way life is. YET we all have times where we feel like this. AND the teaching of being tired of people or of being people tired is actually a really important message for us if we choose to listen instead of being into the drama that people are just blooming annoying /stupid/insert adjective of choice, and why won’t they sort blah blah out, and why do they leave it to you and blah, blah, blah.

We just need to look for the teachings. And when you do you will find that the teachings of being tired of people and people tired are different ,yet also both have an initial underlying message. The underlying message is simple. It is that something is not right for you in the relationships you have and the interactions you having with other people. Both of these feelings are your spirits way of say “HELLO. Something ain’t in balance. Take notice!”

And the way to take notice (or the what to do about it) is defined by the individual teachings of being tired of people and people tired. I have noticed a few and these are below with a few suggestions for healing solutions. Maybe you have noticed other teachings if you have please share them in the comments below then we can all support each others learning journey.

Being tired of people:

Everyone you met is annoying and usually in the same way. I have found this can mean two thingsTEACHING: You are surrounding yourself with the wrong type of people. Your body, well more accurately your soul, is crying out to say I need to grow in a different way, these people don’t support that growth, find me people that support the growth I need.

HEALING SOLUTION: Soul search, identify what you need and call in the right people. You don’t need to cut other people off, just set the intention the the right people will turn up and distance yourself discreetly from the people that are reflecting attitudes or growth that you don’t need. If you can figure out what exactly it is that is bugging you about the people in your life it will give you a pretty clear idea of the change and growth you need .

TEACHING: The people in our lives mirror us. Which means the people bugging you are reflecting something about you, a habit that you have that you dislike and need to face in order to feel complete.

HEALING SOLUTION: Find out what it is and work with it. You can if you want to get to know the person that is bugging you, this does often give you deeper understanding of why they are the way they are and why you are the way you are. If you really dare (and I do know this is tough I have dared and also chosen not to) tell them you that they are bugging you because of X, Y and Z and that you realise this is something about your personality you dislike and that you wish to work with and begin a healing dialogue with them.

Being people tired.

People tired can be defined as never having time for yourself and yet help everyone else. I do this ALOT.

TEACHING: You are giving more than you can give you need to save energy for you and your life too.

HEALING SOLUTION:  Check in with yourself and set boundaries. Count to ten before saying yes or offering help make sure you have the resources for everything you need to do before trying to fix someone else’s life. After all if you are broken it won’t help them will it. If you feel bad you can always suggest a solution that doesn’t involve you and you find that you have helped.

TEACHING: You are putting off dealing with something in your own life by fixing someone else. after we all know how easy it is to fix everyone else’s lives rather than our own.

HEALING SOLUTION: Stop. Check in with you. What is it you have been putting off by helping everyone else? Do it. Eat that frog (not a real one, a metaphorical one …honestly! She says shaking her head.) Do thing thing you don’t want to do for you and once it is over you will feel better, Than you can help all and sundry,

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The moral of this tale is if you are feeling people tired or tired of people check in with you. In whatever extreme emotion situation you find yourself in life there will always always be a teaching you just need to look for it. And if you check in with you and fix your stuff you will be in a much better place to serve and enjoy the wonderful people in your life.

Have a restful and happy weekend <3

 

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#Lifelessons101 – Tired? 7 steps to creating new energy for you (2 min read)

I am exhausted.  Not in the I am a bit sleepy sense, but in the if I close my eyes I am going to fall asleep on the train and up in Timbuktu. (Well not there ,it’s not in Denmark. Probably I’ll end up in Middelfart – yes this is a real place.) And it’s been this way all week.

Here now the clocks have changed, the first snow and frosts have come . The world around me is beginning its winter hibernation. Except, of course, the humans. Our lifestyles don’t allow for hibernation. Even when we crave it, it’s not part of our make up or in many cases our culture. Yet traditionally in the wheel of the year, this is the time for slowing down in our lives. A time to recuperate and re energise for the coming work in spring. That’s all very well, I hear you say, but I have deadlines, Christmas shopping and a hundred and one things I need to do. And all those things seem harder in the winter. Well my friends that is because you are fighting your natural needs.

Is there a way we can harmonise with our natural needs, recuperate and raise our energy and achieve everything we want to and need to do?

The great answer is yes we can! With a little effort and surrender to your body, you can create this possibility for yourself in 7 simple steps.

Accept and Surrender

Today we fight the winter energy. Which actually drains rather than energising us. If you want to balance recuperation with effective functionality then you need to first accept that your energy levels are low. This week my own to do list has been stripped down to a minimum. It has helped me so much. I have less I need to achieve leaving more time to re- energise. So cut out what is not immediately necessary and surrender to your bodies needs. Remind yourself it’s sometimes the wisest thing to do is to take the easy option. Don’t make a four course dinner when you can hardly lift your arms, have a night off and reheat a leftover or order in. It’s ok to not be perfect and do everything all the time.

Assess your energy levels

Get to know the ebb and flow of your personal energy. I don’t always have a lot of energy mid morning. Mr T usually has no energy around dinner time. nowing the curves in your energy pattern helps you plan your day to your personal rhythm. It’s just so much easier to flow with a natural rhythm rather than against it.

Stimulants

When energy is low then it seems so appealing to reach for the espresso or an energy drink. But these fake boosts of energy last only for a short while and come with a draining comedown experience. So before you reach for the coffee filter, ask yourself if this is really what your body needs. (That said dark chocolate does give an energy boost so sometimes something unhealthy in moderation helps too).

Water, sun and fresh air – Healthy Stimulants

Instead of the bad and often expensive simulants, healthy stimulants  are available to the overly tired person. With the bonus of usually being free.  Drink water and rehydrate yourself as often as possible. Eat healthy. The body needs fuel, good food to kick start it again. Get out in the sun and fresh air. If you don’t want to walk, take a blanket outside and lie in the sun for 10 mins. If winter weather is also getting you down I can recommend taking vitamin D (although please take the advice of a professional health practitioner.) Gentle exercise (or high energy exercise if you prefer it) produces dopamine into the body increasing the body’s capacity to function and your happiness levels. One of my favourite things to do is go for a swim and a sauna. A little exercise and a little pamper goes a long way.

Call in and give support

As I lay with my head on the breakfast table the wonderful Mr T asked me what help do you need? He had energy, I didn’t. That evening he was exhausted and asked me to sort out dinner. A fantastic energy exchange and took the pressure off both of us to individually do everything.  It’s okay to ask for help. Humans were not designed to do everything alone. Try it it works well. Life so much easier when we help each other.

Be cosy

You’re tired. That’s ok. So be cosy with yourself. Wear clothes that make you feel warm and cosy. Light the candles when the kids have gone to bed and snuggle up with a duvet on the sofa. Make time for being cosy. In Denmark we have a word for it hygge. Make hygge time for you and energise yourself.

Sleep

Having a good sleep cycle is the best thing in the world. But the secret is not about the amount of hours you sleep, it’s about the quality of sleep you have. Glen Rhodes has written a fantastic article about healthy sleep cycles and recommends you plan your sleeping cycles around 90 minutes. So for example sleeping from 22:00 – 6:30 gives you 6x 90 minute cycles. To understand more of this theory have a look at Glen Rhodes article http://www.glenrhodes.com/132/ .

And there are also Catnaps (now rebranded as the powernap). Many countries culturally include catnaps into the day. And why not? A short quality sleep gives you renewed energy during the day. If you can’t sleep during the day (I struggle myself) then take the catnap time to lie down and do nothing.

So if like me you are tired and exhausted right now, take time out to find a way you can re-energize during the coming week. A body that never gets a chance to rest makes you unproductive and unhappy. If you want an happy energised life then in today’s society you have to create that for yourself. So follow the 7 steps and re energise your life.

Have a wonderfully, cosy and relaxing weekend and coming week. Now it’s time for me to have a cat nap…….zzzzzzzzzzzz

 

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