When autumn turns from a sunny carnival of gold to a dark and copper festival of rain, when evenings come to tap at our windows sooner, and the promise of winter starts flapping our scarves in the wind, there is a shift of energy. We tend to slow down, give in to the warm embrace of a blanket, and indulge in a sip or two of good mulled wine.
It’s important to remember that with the change of seasons outside our window come all sorts of inner adjustments parallel to meteorological swings. Hence, it’s only natural if you feel less upbeat and unmotivated later in the year. Listen to your body’s ancient wisdom, maybe it’s time to settle for slower motion for a while?
Nonetheless, if you feel like your low energy levels interfere with your work, relationships, or mood, we might know a few tricks that should boost your vitality in no time.
Uncover the Root Cause
Self-awareness is always the first step to improving any situation. You need to determine if your case of the winter blues is a standard reaction to harsher weather or if it’s something more evolved. Mood tracking may help you here. Monitor your happiness levels in your Five Minute Journal app or in any kind of physical notebook, for example, by drawing a smiley face somewhere on a page.
Feelings of sadness or apathy are no joke and we need to understand where they’re coming from. Prolonged low mental states may lead to languishing, anxiety, or the Seasonal Affective Disorder (a type of depression tied to changes of seasons) in the colder and darker months. Reclaim your joy by keeping strict watch over potential shifts in your mood and then act in favor of stabilizing your happiness. Like so:
Begin the Day with Light
You know what’s great about nature? It provides everything that we need to flourish for free. And when it comes to organic remedies, it has no equal. Even though our lack of energy may be directly related to certain weather conditions, Mother Nature never leaves us without help.
In addition to multiple benefits such as lowering blood pressure, healing skin conditions, or building strong bones, exposure to sunlight increases our levels of serotonin, a natural mood booster that helps us stay focused. First thing in the morning let in as much daylight into your bedroom as possible and soak it in. It will wake you up in no time.
Let’s Get Physical
Of course, the most efficient way to absorb natural sunshine is to go outside and place yourself directly in its path. Which also means you need to move your body in order to do so and that’s another energy booster idea from us to you. Whether we like it or not, our physical health relies heavily on the level of our physical activity. Sedentary lifestyle is the enemy of high energy and there’s no way around it. We feel you – when you’re tired and deflated, forcing movement on your limbs is the last thing you want to do.
However, the good news is, there’s no need for you to sweat in the gym for two hours a day (although that would most certainly raise your energy levels, too). Your body will feel a significant difference even after a short walk around the house. Stretch, get some fresh air, and pump some blood up to your brain so it can do all its jobs properly.
Feed Your Appetite
Our bodies and minds need proper fuel to function at their best and it’s no surprise to anyone that a healthy diet may be transformative in its power to improve our wellbeing. And, you guessed it, food can successfully boost your mood as well (greetings from Mother Nature again). With proper nutrition you can control your alertness throughout the day and beyond (hence, it’s wise to start with a nourishing breakfast).
Leafy green vegetables, different kinds of nuts, avocados, oranges, bananas, brown rice, or dark chocolate are only a handful of examples to place on your plate in order to fix your fatigue. Culinary variety will provide you with maximum effectiveness (and tons of added health benefits) as all those super foods have the power to single handedly disintegrate the layers of your lethargy one by one.
Scan Your Surroundings for Energy Stealers
Humans have to stick together to survive, this much has been true since the dawn of time. We also need family and friends to feel loved and enjoy life more. However, sometimes our space gets crowded with individuals who have less than honorable intentions towards us. They might use up our energy as if it was their own without us even realizing.
We are the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with. Hence, we need to keep analyzing our closest circles in order to select those relationships that add the most value to our existence. Ward off any traces of toxicity, negativity, and spite, and you will feel reborn.
Embrace Intentional Solitude with Feeling
Those of us sometimes referred to as introverts recharge their batteries in blissful and uninterrupted solitude, and consider such conditions the perfect circumstances for rest. However, whether aloneness is your jam or something you grapple with, colder days tend to invite more reflection into our days anyway.
Use this time to (re)discover yourself and regulate your emotional wellbeing. There are feelings on our inbuilt spectrum that like to get out of hand. Anger, sadness, or fear all have the potential to drain the life out of us. Dive deeper into what you feel to understand what your heart and mind wrestle with. Only then will you be able to regain energy otherwise spent on emotional struggles.
This after-summer phase is the perfect opportunity to slow down enough to take some time off (especially with Christmas just around the corner). No, it’s not laziness, your hard work has earned you the right to put your feet up and relax. We know, it might be difficult to take a break when you’re on a roll, but to avoid burn-out and experience the fullness of life you just need to stop for a while.
There is more than one way to rest. Yet, we say: start simple. Did you know that a good night’s sleep actually starts in the afternoon? Your cup of coffee might argue that it’s even earlier than that (studies show that if you consume it 6 hours before bed it may still disrupt your sleep). Substitute afternoon coffee with energy-boosting green tea that contains considerably less caffeine. Then, close your laptop for the day, no hesitation. Nothing recharges your batteries better than rest.
If you feel like you tire too easily, it might be a good idea to see a doctor, do a blood test, check your thyroid, and rule out any potential medical reasons for your lack of energy. Yet, keep in mind that the autumn/winter period is a nudge from Mother Nature to consider shifting from work-life to life-work balance. Unplug the machine, drink plenty of water, take care of your emotions, and go for a walk. Sometimes simple solutions are the best solutions.