Energy-boosting hacks to help fight winter fatigue
It’s normal to feel a little under the proverbial weather when it’s cold, bleak and dark outside. When winter hits, it’s natural to want to hibernate as the days grow shorter and temperatures plummet. If you’re feeling the effects of winter fatigue (sluggish, depleted and repeatedly hitting snooze on your morning alarm) know that you’re not alone, and better yet – that there’s a number of ways to manage your energy levels without needing to reach for another cup of coffee.
Shorter days as a consequence of reduced sunlight can dramatically affect our circadian rhythm, (the internal body clock that provides signals for our bodies to generate the hormones that tell us when to wake, sleep, eat and be active). During the darker, winter months, our bodies produce more melatonin, which is a hormone responsible for sleep and patterns in our mood. The absence of exposure to sunlight early in the day disrupts our melatonin production and means that, in a cruel twist, we’re likely to feel both groggy throughout the day and restless at night. The end result being: we’re tired all the time.
To work with your circadian rhythm, synchronise light exposure with the movement of the sun. Start by waking with the sun and aim to get as much natural light as possible throughout the day, such as by taking a brisk morning walk outside. As the sun sets, avoid sources of bright light in the evening by using dim lamps or the gentle, dappled light of our Essential Oil Diffuser to illuminate your home – and notice the array of calming benefits that aromatherapy evokes.
It’s reasonable to expect that exercise would exacerbate fatigue, but when it comes to combating seasonal sluggishness, staying active helps boost energy levels – which is why we tend to feel more sluggish when we don’t exercise. This is because working out helps improve your body’s ability to circulate oxygen, allowing you to use energy more efficiently afterwards. Plus, there’s no denying that the post-work out endorphin rush leaves you feeling invigorated.
We’re certainly not expecting you to go for long distance runs in arctic temperatures. In fact, studies have shown* that light but frequent exercise could be the key to promoting better brain and mental health. For a range of gentle workouts with varying degrees of difficulty, endota Retreat has a number of low intensity disciplines (think: pilates and yoga) available at your fingertips. Get your blood pumping from the comfort of your home while you’re guided through the workout every step of the way.
*Source: Meta-analysis published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise.
Clear, calming space
It’s easier to remain focused when you’re surrounded by a clear environment. Being exposed to clutter contributes to an inability to focus and think clearly, which can impact your stress and energy levels. This is because our brains like order, and constant visual reminders of mess and clutter exhaust our cognitive resources. Spring is known as the season of renewal and, after a long winter, a spring clean helps us shed what we no longer need. In the same way that clutter is overwhelming and all-consuming, the intentional act of decluttering promotes a sense of calm and helps us re-energise by restoring a sense of control over our environment. As winter comes to an end, take on your inner Marie Kondo and use this as the opportunity to reset your space and notice the immediate effects that positive visual feedback has on your brain and energy levels.
Because our bodies rely so heavily on the foods we eat to fuel them, diet can be the main culprit of fatigue. While it often feels easier to eat fruit and vegetables during the summer months, wintertime is when our bodies really need the abundance of nutrients they provide. Keep your plates colourful with a variety of ingredients and fresh produce that improves both your energy levels and overall health. If it’s inspiration you’re after, endota Retreat’s recipes are designed with ease, nutritional value and diversity in mind to help keep you nourished and energised from within. Our winter-warming picks, Quinoa Quiche or Moroccan Lamb.
Self-care is important all year ‘round, with small, daily acts of self-love known to significantly reduce stress levels and increase your energy. Remember to focus on yourself and to do things that are just for you as they’re vital for your overall wellbeing – in winter and beyond. When it comes to healing tired skin and a tired mind, few treatments are as relaxing or restorative as a facial. Designed to stimulate the skin at a deep level and boost collagen and elastin production, our New Age Light Therapy facial helps diminish the look of fine lines for plumped skin and radiant results. While the warmth of the LED light transforms and infuses your skin, enjoy a soothing head and foot massage and try not to fall asleep – or do, relaxation is what facials are for, after all.
If you’re looking for more self-care inspiration, look no further than our self-care rituals blog.