10 ways to recharge

10 WAYS TO RECHARGE

REHYDRATE

It may surprise you to hear this, but coffee and alcohol are not water. Still, a lot of us consume them to hydrate ourselves instead of drinking the suggested 64 oz. of water a day. Without enough water, the body struggles to eliminate waste products and carry nutrients to cells, which can leave even the skin looking tired. Instead of drinking water only when you feel thirsty (which is the body’s way of telling you it’s already dehydrated), fill a large bottle of water first thing in the morning and place it on your desk. This constant visual reminder will make you drink more throughout the day.

SLEEP DEEPER

Improving the quality of your sleep doesn’t necessarily mean sleeping for longer. In fact, sleeping in on the weekends will throw your natural rhythm out of sync, making it harder for you to revert to a normal pattern during the week. Six hours of shut-eye is generally considered the minimum you need to function normally in the day – but only if they’re six truly restorative hours.

Avoid snacking before bed. Raising your blood sugar level before sleeping will have a negative effect on the quality of your sleep. Skip the nightcap too, because while alcohol may help you nod off, it may prevent you from going into a deep sleep. And without REM sleep – the truly restorative kind – you’ll look and feel less refreshed in the morning.

DEVELOP A BEDTIME ROUTINE

Establishing a consistent routine before bedtime will help prepare your body for a good night of restorative sleep. After a week or two, the body will automatically go into shut-down mode when it realizes that your evening bath, yoga session or chapter from your favourite book is a pre-bedtime activity.

BREAKFAST LIKE A KING

Juggling a family and a job often means breakfast is the first meal to go. And yet it’s the most important meal of the day – just like your mom said. Skipping your eggs and bacon will lower your metabolism, making it more difficult for your body to burn sugar and provide you with adequate energy throughout the day.

SOAK UP THE SUN

In spite of all the (legitimate) warnings about UV exposure, it’s still important to get at least 10 minutes of sunshine a day. The body needs vitamin D to survive, and the best way to get it is by going outdoors where natural light will boost your mood and energy levels. Leave your desk at lunchtime, and remember to wear a good sunscreen!

WORK UP A SWEAT

Exercise doesn’t just make you look good. Regular workouts, or even just a brisk 20-minute walk every day, can have a remarkable impact on your mood, immune system and general well-being. And contrary to popular belief, exercise will give you more energy rather than wear you out. Physical activity supplies oxygen to every cell in your body, increasing energy levels and leaving you feeling (and looking!) completely revitalized.

FUEL CORRECTLY

You wouldn’t put vegetable oil in your gas tank, so don’t feed your body incorrectly either. In order to avoid that mid-afternoon energy slump, look closely at your diet and, more specifically, the kinds of carbohydrates you consume throughout the day. Chances are, it’s all those empty carbs that are taking a bite out of your energy. Cut out simple carbohydrates like white bread, sodas and baked goods and replace them with complex carbs and whole grains like brown rice, rye and quinoa for a more steady energy supply.

CATCH YOUR BREATH

This may sound stupid, but remember to breathe. Properly. Most of us spend our time taking short, shallow breaths, which make it harder for oxygen to transport itself around the body. In order to stay alert and calm, remember to breathe down into your abdomen and exhale completely, pushing your belly button back into your spine.

TECHNOLOGY TIME OUT

If you’re reading this late at night, then it’s time to look at the impact of blue light on your energy levels. Like caffeine, blue light is a stimulant that will keep you awake and spoil a good night’s restorative sleep. Cut back on your tech addictions when you get home in the evening.  Switching off the TV, cell and laptop after a certain hour will have a remarkable effect on your stress levels, allowing you to relax and recuperate.

UNCLUTTER YOUR LIFE

The more organized your work and living spaces are, the less stressed – and therefore, tired – you’ll feel. Cluttered environments are usually indicative of a “plate-spinning” type work habits, an approach which is not always productive or time-efficient. Clean up your space and prioritize your workloads instead of burning yourself out while trying to juggle a million things at once.