A sense of well-being is something everyone deserves to enjoy in life. Unfortunately, far too many of us fail to make doing things to make ourselves feel good a priority. When you don't take time for self-care, it quickly takes a toll on your physical and mental energy levels. Feeling excessively tired, run down or fed-up are all signs from your body that it is in need of some love and attention.
The good news is that you don't have to invest hours of your precious time in self-care to experience a big difference in your energy levels. To prove it, we've found 8 powerful—and quick—ways to supercharge your vitality. By including just a few of these tips in your routine, you are taking small, yet significant steps towards building a healthier and happier you.
Practice a Vinyasa Yoga Flow
Vinyasa, also known as yang-style yoga, is perfect to help wake you up in the morning, or as a boost whenever you hit a slump during the day. The word Vinyasa means movement linked with breath, and your focus for this type of yoga class will be on synchronizing your inhalations and exhalations, as you flow from one asana (pose) to the next. The dynamic nature of Vinyasa stimulates your respiratory and circulatory systems, and will give you an instant shot of natural energy while creating a deep sense of balance and inner calm. Sign up for a class in your area, or look online for guided sessions that you can do at home.
Spend Time Outdoors
Modern lifestyles mean that most of us are at a desk or in front of a screen much more than is good for us. An easy way to counteract sedentary living, and enjoy a whole host health benefits, is to get outdoors whenever you can. Exposure to sunlight helps our bodies to produce Vitamin D used by the body to aid calcium absorption and for a healthy immune system. Getting outside into nature is also helpful in balancing your mood. One study found that spending time outdoors reduced participants' self-reported stress levels and their corresponding cortisol levels. We suggest taking a walk in the park during your lunch-break or planning an outdoor meet-up with friends for this weekend.
Have a Laugh
The old saying “laughter is the best medicine” isn't just a cliché. Researchers have found that a hearty chuckle really can have a positive impact on your mood, and even make you feel more able to take on challenging tasks. As an added bonus, a genuine belly laugh also stimulates your blood circulation to give you a healthy glow, and repeated often, can help to tone up your abs. Do whatever it takes to tickle your funny bone—whether its watching a Youtube video or calling that friend who always makes you giggle—and feel the difference!
Hydrate Your Body
You've probably heard it a million times, but it's so important that we think it is worth saying again. Hydration is key for a healthy, happy body that functions at its best. Water is essential in cellular activities, and it helps to flush out toxins. Even mild dehydration can cause lethargy, as well as changes in your mood, so you definitely won't be feeling tip-top if you aren't drinking enough. Most people need to drink at least 8 glasses (2 liters) of water each day. Sipping on water little and often is the best way to maintain your fluid levels, so keep a bottle handy and go for it! If you find it hard to remember to drink water regularly, try setting up a reminder alarm on your phone to help you get into the habit.
Find Peace in Meditation
A growing body of scientific research has proved that meditation is one of the best things you can do to build mental resilience, physical well-being and happiness. Not only does engaging in meditation help to reduce the effects of stress on the body, but it can also enhance your creativity and problem-solving skills. The simplest way to think of meditation is taking time to be still and quiet, switching off from the distractions of everyday life. For beginners, guided meditation practices offer a good starting point. Following a guided session will give you the cues needed to help you keep your focus, while letting go of tension. As you become more familiar with the basic breathing and relaxation techniques, you might want to explore other options. Remember, not every type of meditation will suit everyone, so it might take some experimentation to find the right kind of practice for you.
Sneak in a Cat Nap
People living in Mediterranean countries have long known a secret that the rest of us are only just catching on to—a siesta, or afternoon nap, is an amazing way to recharge your energy. A 1995 study from NASA found that a participants taking a strategic 26-minute nap experienced improved levels of alertness, performance and productivity. This isn't an excuse to sleep your day away, though, as drifting off for too long can make you feel woozy or more tired. The takeaway? Indulge yourself with a short rest, but set an alarm!
Do the Things You Love
Engaging in a hobby that you are passionate about can help you to develop a positive outlook on life. This is all about doing what you like to do most of all; it might be rock-climbing or belly-dancing, or maybe it is scrap-booking or writing poetry. Whatever makes your heart sing, brings you deep satisfaction and feels pleasurable to you, make sure that your schedule allows time for that activity.
Let Supplements Support You
In an ideal world, we'd all follow nutritionally balanced diets that gave us the exactly the right amount of energy. In reality, though, its not easy to eat right 100% of the time, so using supplements is a convenient way to boost your general well-being and vitality. Depending on your personal health goals, you might like to try anti-oxidant, brain function stimulating Ginko Biloba, or perhaps Green Coffee Bean Extract, which helps to increase energy at the same time as aiding weight-management.
Laughter Study : http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1110&context=psychfacpub
Greenspace Study: http://www.hutton.ac.uk/sites/default/files/files/projects/GreenHealth-InformationNote3-Urban-green-space-and-stress.pdf
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