If the last 16months have left you feeling low in mood and energy don’t worry you’re not alone. The global pandemic triggered a stress response where we collectively went into fight-or-flight mode; to deal with the immediacy of the crisis. Now over a year on, this pro-longed period of elevated stress has caused a pandemic fatigue.
So how do we get our mojo back?
The most important first step is to be ready and enthusiastic enough to want it back. Self-care is something that we’re notoriously poor at in the UK. We commonly put up and soldier on because when we are tired and feeling low finding the motivation can be challenging. But this can be more damaging in the long run.
To find your mojo we must be ready to make a few changes, but the key is to make them small and achievable. Don’t say ‘I know I need to eat better.’ It will never happen. Make a small change, replace one sugary snack with a healthy alternative. For example, you could swap sugar on your cereal for fruit, or you could reduce the quantity of sugar in your tea or coffee, a few grains at a time!
Enjoy small wins, over time they will add up and you’ll be surprised and what you can achieve. This is our first tip.
Tip One: Self-care starts with you!
Without water we cannot live…but we can survive on very little and many of us do. However, by increasing our water (or non-alcoholic fluid intake) we can increase our energy levels, reduce aches and pains, and promote general good health.
Did you know that water helps to hydrate Fascia, which is the connective tissue that wraps around our muscle fibres, organs and covers our whole body? When we drink more water, it improves the function of the connective tissue and helps to keep our muscles and tissues more supple and prevents them from fatiguing as quickly.
Our bodies lose a lot of fluid when we sleep so top up on water in the morning.
Tip Two – drink a large glass of water in the morning. If you are not keen on neat water add a little cordial or a slice of lemon and ginger to spice it up.
If you don’t already drink water regularly, achieving tip two might sound like a chore which brings us nicely to…
Tip Three – adopt a morning routine, it can set you up for the day and help you embed healthy actions.
The morning routine has been one of my personal triumphs in managing my health and wellbeing in lock down. I have gone from tiptoeing downstairs at 6.30am, switching on the laptop with the kettle and starting work in my pyjamas, to creating a routine that gives me energy and helps me be more productive through the day.
My morning routine now includes: no social media or news, breakfast with fruit, vitamin supplements and a large glass of water. The fact that I try and stick to the same routine each day helps to embed good habits and makes it easier to stick to. It is also quick, which makes it easier to implement.
Introducing a morning routine will also give you a sense of achievement at the start of each day, which is great motivator.
The trick is to find a routine that works for you so it will be easier to stick to.
Tip Four – Move more
Exercise is a great way to boost your energy levels and improve your mood, but if exercise sounds like a dirty word how can you incorporate more movement into your life without it feeling like a chore?
We have found from research, and personal enjoyment, that if you are generally averse to hi-energy exercises that leave you sweaty and out of breath, you need to find a way to move more that doesn’t feel like exercise.
Our new YOLO Classes offer a gentler approach to exercise. Developed for people of all abilities, you don’t even need any fancy equipment or clothing to take part! Each thirty-minute class incorporates a variety of gentle stretch and mobilisation exercises from across a range of disciplines, integrated with breathing techniques used to intensify the release of tension.
Some of our tips might not be for you, which brings us to our last tip.
Tip Five – Do what works for you and makes you happy.
Doing things we enjoy naturally lifts our mood and impacts our energy levels, we become more motivated and engage more, which helps us to deal with more challenging days.