7 Energy Tips To Get You Through A Stressful Week

Mar 14, 2019

Dr. Ben Connolly

Dr. Ben Connolly

NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR

We’ve all had them. Stressful weeks which feel like they go on for an eternity and will never end. It feels like you’re in the Colosseum fighting for survival, then finally the weekend hits and like clockwork, you collapse and come down with a cold. We very rarely have a choice to say no when it comes to weeks like this so here are the top 5 ways to keep your energy level up to not only survive the stressful week but to truly thrive.

Tip 1: Eat breakfast, or not

We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, the largest mistake I see patients making is that they choose a high carb, low fat, low protein breakfast which quickly spikes their blood sugar which then causes a crash mid-morning which distracts them from their work and sends them looking for more quick calories, usually in the form of a muffin or baked good. Instead, if you’re going to eat breakfast have a low carb, moderate protein and high-fat breakfast such as an omelet, a smoothie or some Skyr yogurt with hemp hearts and an avocado.

Or why not skip breakfast? If you’re not hungry in the morning then maybe intermittent fasting is for you. If you’re sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day do you really need all those calories first thing in the morning? I’m not saying eat less throughout the day but optimize the timing of your food. Skip breakfast and fast from 8 PM in the evening through till noon the following day. Eat the same amount of food but all within an 8-hour window.

Tip 2: Go to bed on time

We often stay up late to cram and get all our work done. However, you would be much better off going to bed on time and instead, waking up early in the morning to finish your work. Research shows that the first 2-3 hours we are awake is when we are most creative. Also, staying up late at night means you’re going to bed too late which your body responds to as a stressor. Therefore it releases more cortisol (stress hormone) which will negatively affect your sleep. Compound this over 5 nights and by the end of the week you’re toast. Going to bed on time and before midnight, (ideally by 10 PM) means your body will release melatonin between midnight and 2 AM which lowers cortisol meaning you wake up in the morning feeling less stressed, more rested and ready to tackle the day.

Tip 3: Exercise

We all know this, however, it’s always good to be reminded. No matter how crazy your week, be sure to get at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. It will increase oxygen delivery to your brain, release endorphins (feel-good chemicals in your brain) enhancing your mood and therefore your productivity. Carve out some to get some steps in, go for a walk, hit the gym or do some yoga.

Tip 4: Write down what you need to do

Stressful weeks often feel that way because we come into the week and the days of the week without any real plan. A great way to combat this and to put yourself back in control of your week is to write down what needs to get done and prioritize everything. Then you know that you are going to tackle the most important tasks first thing in the morning when your brain is fresh and your motivation is high. Leave less important and mundane tasks which just need to get done for mid to late afternoon when you’re most likely not running at 100 percent.

Tip 5: Enhance your quality of sleep

Keep a notepad beside your bed and before going to bed write down any thoughts or repetitive ideas you’re having. connecting your brain to paper through the pen is a great way to take these thoughts out of your head. Also, if you wake up throughout the night and think of something you have to do, write it down, if you don’t you’ll continue to think and dwell on it which will prevent you from falling back asleep and then you’re even more tired the following day.

Stressful weeks are going to happen and that is ok, but it is how you prepare for them and treat yourself and your health through the week that matters. We want to thrive in our life, not just survive which means planning to succeed. As the old saying goes: “Failure to plan is planning to fail”

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