Updated: Aug 26
Lockdown is simultaneously making it harder and easier to create new routines.
We've all been given the gift of time without a commute, but we're also limited in our daily activities so likely seeking reward or excitement via treats or extra time on the couch.
If you're like some of my patients, this is now starting to catch up with you, with focus waning and energy levels are up and down like a rollercoaster.
Here are some easy tips to help regulate your energy levels and improve your focus.
Eat regular meals - breakfast, lunch and dinner. Skipping meals will cause blood sugar to drop which will make you feel tired and impact the brain's ability to function properly
Healthy snacks - if you do need a snack, try to make it a healthy one, either mid morning or mid afternoon. My favourite are apple and natural nut butter, carrot sticks and hummus, a boiled egg, handful of unsalted nuts and seeds, homemade protein balls or flapjacks or a smoothie.
Try to get regular exercise each day - this may seem counterintuitive, but the more exercise you do the more energy you will have. It will make you sleep better, so feel rested each day. I suggest getting a mix of cardio, strength and relaxing exercise like walking, yoga or jogging.
Speaking of sleep, create a bedtime routine - just like you would with a baby. The body then knows its time to sleep, and goes through the biological steps it needs. If you inhibit this process you will make falling asleep tougher and increase the likelihood of a disturbed sleep.
Avoid too much caffeine - this will impact blood sugar levels but can also negatively affect people who suffer with anxiety or migraines. Caffeine is neuroexcitatory which means it stimulates the brain and is not something people who experience overstimulation of thoughts will want to be exacerbating.
Nap, not another coffee - if you are really tired and have the option then why not try a 20 minute power nap rather than a coffee so that you can feel energised and refreshed. There are studies to show that a power nap really can improve cognitive function so why not give it a go whilst you have a bed in the next room!
Breathing/meditation/mindfulness are so important to help improve mental health. They activate the parasympathetic nervous system which will reduce cortisol (our stress hormone), boost our mood and calm us down both physically and mentally. Try breathing in for 4, holding for 4 and exhaling for 4 (repeat 10x) before or after a busy (zoom) meeting. Notice how your muscles relax and thoughts slow down. Perfect to also help unwind before bed.
If you want to receive some more support, or discuss any other symptoms such as healthy lifestyle tips or suffer from digestive issues or hormonal imbalance, I'm offering free 20 minute consultations.