January 22, 2018

How To Gain More Energy During The Winter


how to gain more energy during the winter

Are you looking to gain more energy to
get you through winter?


Winter… it’s such a love/hate season isn’t it?

When it first appears, I welcome it with open, cashmere clad arms as it brings the Holidays and cosy Hygge opportunities aplenty. But sure enough, as the season progresses beyond Christmas, my energy seems to fade away as quickly as those precious daylight hours.

There are days when not even that third morning cup of coffee can make the slightest difference and by the time my old friend, The 2:30pm Slump rolls around, the only thing that will get me through is a twenty minute power nap.

N O  M O R E  F A L L I N G  P R E Y
T O  ” T H E  S L U M P ”  . . .

Call it age, necessity or a luxurious indulgence, I’ll happily point out that I see nothing wrong with a quick nap. However, for the rest of this winter, I’m setting myself a mission to try and get through the day without falling prey to The Slump every single time.

And I’m thinking, undertaking a mission to gain more energy should in turn help me follow through with that bigger intention of having a ‘me year.’  

It feels incredibly refreshing to finally allow for some focus on things like energy and wellbeing instead of pushing on through endless To Do lists without any respite.


coffee croissant and cereal mag in bed


With more than our fair share of shorter, colder days still to come, I’m planning on trying these tips to help raise my energy levels…


Rest

This one? I’m making it a priority which is why it’s right at the top of the list.

At the end of last year I shared how I’m working to improve on my sleep habits and I’m here to push that notion again. Getting enough sleep is right at the forefront of having more energy, so a healthy sleep system should always be prioritised.

We all deserve more sleep so please make it your priority too.

Furthermore, taking breaks from technology and freeing my mind from constant stimulation is second only (and intrinsically linked) to the sleep issue. This one is still a work in progress but I’ve started with something small.


Laurel Heath pyjamas in Turtle Dove

Side Note On These PJs:   This gorgeously minimal and super soft pair are by my talented friend Claire of Laurel Heath. They (and the rest of the range) are sublime – go check them out!


If I’m not going anywhere first thing on a weekend morning, I’ve purposefully developed a new habit of leaving my phone in the dressing room and I’ll sit with a book or magazine in my PJs. First comes a cup of tea and then a cup of coffee… and maybe a pastry!

If Mr OS is up and about I can laze in bed but if the rest of the house is still asleep, it feels great to sneak down to the dog for a cuddle on the sofa. And sometimes I’ll stay there, PJ clad until gone 10:00am.

It’s not lazy or indulgent – it’s called rest. This year I’m kicking the word “lazy” out of my own personal dictionary and replacing it with “recharge” instead.


Prada Marfa print hanging in bedroom


Single tasking

I’m pretty sure that part of the reason I felt so sluggish as 2017 drew to a close was because my mind was constantly exhausted. It was filled to the brim with work, domestic chores, daily niggles and all those deeper “life” thoughts that seem to creep in more frequently as the years fly by.

When you look back and think about what the mind has to process on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that it gets so little time to rest. And we all know that a tired mind can be as crippling as a tired body.

If your mind is feeling burnt out, do yourself a huge favour and try single tasking instead.

Instead of existing in the “manic multi-tasking” zone where I’m helping with homework whilst cooking dinner, feeding the dog, “just answering that one more email” and attempting to post an Instagram, I’m going to try and take one task at a time more often.

W H E N  Y O U  A L L O W  Y O U R  M I N D  T O  F O C U S
T H E  R E S U L T S  A R E  S U R P R I S I N G . . .

I started off last year by re-focusing on tackling tasks one at a time in my work day and it really does help with concentration. I now keep my email closed when working on a project or a blog post and I don’t start a new task until the current one is complete.

When you allow your mind to focus fully on something before shoving another request at it, the results can be surprisingly good.

Now I just need to bring that mindset over into the territory where the line blurs between work and home.


online stylist relaxing in laurel heath pyjamas


More of the right foods

If there’s one thing I notice that always sucks away my energy, it’s poor eating habits. Not only do I usually “crash” after certain foods that same day, but I’m definitely noticing more of that next day haze the morning after any indulgences.

Last week and for most of this one too, our food options are somewhat limited as the kitchen refurb progresses on. But if nothing else, it’s certainly served to bring home the nutritional value of some foods… and the distinct lack of it in others!

If you’re looking to gain more energy, consider incorporating intentional foods that are known to promote and boost energy levels over a longer period.

A N Y T H I N G  H I G H  I N  I R O N  I S
G O O D  A T  T H I S  T I M E  O F  Y E A R . .

Instead of reaching for quick fix chocolate or biscuits (or chocolate biscuits), try a handful of almonds and dried fruit. Before the Nutribullet was packed away in the Big Kitchen Emptying Project, we were making a green breakfast smoothie that contained avocado and spinach and it was delicious. Anything high in iron is really good at this time of year.

I can’t wait to move back into the kitchen and be able to make some more goodness packed breakfast smoothies soon… but that won’t come at the expense of a weekend croissant indulgence either!


Time outside

Some days the winter weather makes this one impossibly tricky, but exposure to Vitamin D and a little fresh air can serve as a major energy source. Let alone act as a total mood-lifter.

Even if you can’t bare to go outdoors, try moving towards a window for 10 minutes. Just stand, focus on some deep breaths and simply let your body soak up those natural vitamins.

Since sliding (oh so slowly some days), back into work mode, I’ve been making much more of an effort to get to the beach for our dog walks. I would previously think of this as intrusion on the time I could be working.

Now I think of it as an investment in the longer term, more productive and energised me.


restful weekend in bed with coffee


Movement

As I try my best to prioritise more exercise and movement this year, one thing I’ve found that helps is to look for motivation in benefits related to something other than a dress size.

Exercise not only helps to produce endorphins (which lowers your stress levels – Amen!), but of course it also increases energy and brings with it a feeling of positivity.

This only comes when I do the “right” workout. For me it’s thats a pretty intense weekly Pilates class, a 20 minute yoga or stretching session (I’ve just signed up to Yoga With Adrienne) and walking. Preferably at the beach and accompanied by music on my headphones.

I view a positive mind and more energy as way more motivational than a number on a scale although I’ll happily embrace that side effect too!

The point is just to increase movement in your daily life – anything that leaves you feeling less sluggish is always a good thing.


And that’s about the long and the short of it. Not rocket science but five simple things that I’m pretty sure will show good results. If you’re up for trying them, I hope they’ll do the same for you too!

Over to you!

Which areas of wellbeing are you hoping to give more focus to this year? And have you found anything that helps with your own energy levels in the winter months?


STYLE CREDITS:   PJs – Laurel Heath c/o | Chunky Knit Blanket – Lauren Aston | Tray – From a set of three at The White Company | Napkins – The White Company | Cup & Saucer – Habitat | Cushions – Next | Bed linen – Elizabeth Scarlett c/o | Prada Marfa Print – Etsy


Photography: Patrick Start

13 comments on “How To Gain More Energy During The Winter”

  1. Totally agree about getting out into the light (notice how much better we feel when the snow reflects the light), and exercise induced endorphins. While a hunker down under the duvet, with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and tv remote in our hands may seem like a good idea, its good to remember the old adage: “everything in moderation”. I suspect that it’s partly psychological as well, by now we are one month past the shortest day, and the days are getting slowly longer, we are also more than half way through winter, so spring is less than six weeks away!
    As for the cashmere, I have a couple of sweaters that are more spring like in colour, keeps me warm and toasty, but I feel like we’re moving closer to spring.

    1. Urgh I’m so with you on the light thing! Its currently rainy and grey today and instantly, my mood levels drop!
      But I’m focusing on your timeline and countdown to spring… and will carry on wearing cashmere a bit longer. Hey… who am I kidding… probably all year!
      Amanda xx

  2. Hi Amanda, found myself nodding along with all of this!! Like you the energy of a new year quickly dissipated and I have been really struggling this January – more than normal it feels! And like you I have been looking at simple ways to help boost my energy levels. Sleep is just No 1 and I’ll happily nap in the day if need be. To keep energy levels going in the afternoon then I think it’s always good to have a high protein lunch, something I find a lot easier in summer when it’s easy to have a tuna salad or something, but something like scrambled eggs & smoked salmon for a quick lunch satisfies both my need for something comforting and healthy! I’m afraid to say that I’m coming round more to the opinion that alcohol is a complete energy sapper, I’m definitely more sprightly when I haven’t had anything to drink. I’m currently reading Clare Pooley’s book “The Sober Diaries” it’s very inspiring and Clare’s clearly done her research on the impact of alcohol in our bodies! Sounds like you’re managing to do all the right things despite the chaos of your kitchen refurb & you will feel the rewards. Take care, Jo xxx

    1. Hey Jo!
      So glad to hear we’re in the same nap camp! Its amazing the difference a quick closing of your eyes for even 15 minutes can make isn’t it? The high protein lunch is a good idea – something I need to work on I think. Summer always seems easier for eating healthier doesn’t it?
      This book sounds really good and it might be another one I have to add to my list (this list is getting longer by the minute!). It definitely effects your ability to get a good nights sleep – the difference when there is no wine is apparent!
      Speak soon Lovely!
      Amanda xx

  3. Hi Amanda, I loved this post. I also had a very stressful back end to last year, due to increased work commitments, and I spent a lot if time over Christmas thinking about how to do things differently in the new year. One of the things I picked up on (although I hadn’t expressed it as eloquently as you) is single tasking. It makes so much difference to how I feel! Now if Harriet needs homework help I try to give her my full attention and leave whatever else I’m doing, I’ve switched off notifications on my work email so I choose when to look at it. I do feel calmer, and everything still gets done!
    Also I agree wholeheartedly about the outdoors. I currently have a 2k walk to school and back each morning, which I am really going to miss come Sept and senior school, as it sets me up for the day. I also try to get to the beach 2 or 3 times a week (no dog though).
    Well done for looking after you – one last thing, a good vitamin D supplement can make all the difference in winter xxx

    1. Hi Sharon,
      I’m so glad you loved the post – I think we all need some sort of reset button at this point in winter don’t we?
      And I’m pleased to hear you’ve found the single tasking thing to be useful – I think it helps in so many areas of life – especially email. Its my worst distraction I think – that and Instagram!
      I missed our morning walks to school a lot in the beginning but just getting out at some point in the day really helps… and the beach is always a winner with me too!
      Have a lovely week Sharon!
      Amanda xx

  4. Hi Amanda
    Great blog and timely! Had the flu bug and now it’s left me without energy after five weeks! Rest for you is a must! This virus is awful. Saw a Nutritionist last week and was tested for intolerances etc. I need to cut diary out of my diet (alcohol too but forget that!). Loving the kitchen updates! Take care and listen to your body x

    1. Hi Lynne,
      So sorry to hear you went down with that awful flu bug and hope you’re feeling back to normal energy levels now.
      Cutting dairy is a big ask isn’t it? I hope you’re getting on okay with it.
      So glad you’re liking the kitchen updates – I’m excited to get it all on the blog soon!
      Take care, Amanda xx

  5. Hi Amanda – your post has resonated with me especially with single focus, rest and recharge! When my mind is too busy and I’m at home faced with challenges I just put the oven timer on for 30 mins and in that time Focus on one household challenge (could be putting all freshly ironed and folded bed linen away and tidying linen cupboard !) and in that time I am mindful and just focus on that! I find amazingly after 30 mins I feel recharged and calmer and with a sense of achievement. when The timer goes off (!) I feel less panicky and my inner self congratulates me!!!!! I used to do 15 mins on the timer but it wasn’t long enough…….

    1. Hey Ann,
      I love this idea of single focus as it really does help you to stay in the moment and not let your mind wander off to the next thing that needs doing.
      The timer idea is a good plan as you then feel more solid about staying on track with what you’re doing – I might give it a go with the ironing. If I could make
      that a mindful task then this is genius!
      Amanda xx

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