While the holiday season is a joyous, cheerful time of year, it can also be insane and draining.
Because you’re constantly on the go with Christmas parties, shopping, family coming to town, friends coming over, and the kids Christmas pageants (just to name a few), energy levels can be completely tapped by the first week of December.
Then you’re left fighting fatigue all the way through to New Years.
When you don’t have the energy, the holidays are an uphill battle; it turns fun occasions into obstacles and joy into stress.
Luckily, there are scientifically backed ways to increase your energy and avoid holiday and Christmas fatigue.
I’ve listed 7 of the best ones here in this article; use them and you’ll come out of the holidays healthy and on top.
Exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re tired.
The mere thought of expending more energy when you’ve got nothing left in the tank is exhausting, but it seems to have the opposite effect.
In an article for WebMD, Kerry J. Stewart, professor of medicine and director of clinical and research exercise physiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said, “Exercise has consistently been linked to improved vigor and overall quality of life.”
“People who become active have a greater sense of self-confidence. But exercise also improves the working efficiency of your heart, lungs, and muscles,” Stewart added. “That’s the equivalent of improving the fuel efficiency of a car. It gives you more energy for any kind of activity.
Yoga is one type of exercise that may be particularly effective for boosting energy; moreover, it doesn’t seem to matter how old you are when you do it.
Volunteers at a British University participated in a study consisting of one 60-minute yoga class per week for 6 weeks. At the end of the trial, they reported greater feelings of clear-mindedness, composure, elation, energy, and confidence.
Another study included 135 generally healthy men and women 65-85 years old. The participants took part in a yoga program for 6 months.
Compared to other groups in the study, the yogis came out further ahead in a number of quality-of-life measures related to well-being, energy, and fatigue.
3. Drink Water
“Dehydration affects all people, and staying properly hydrated is just as important for those who work all day at a computer as it is for marathon runners,” said Lawrence E. Armstrong to News Medical. Armstrong is a professor of physiology at the University of Connecticut and one of the lead scientists of a study investigating dehydration and energy.
They looked at 25 women and 26 men, all healthy and active.
They found dehydration is an energy killer; it alters a person’s mood, energy level, and even their ability to think clearly.
“Even mild dehydration that can occur during the course of our ordinary daily activities can degrade how we are feeling – especially for women, who appear to be more susceptible to the adverse effects of low levels of dehydration than men,” commented Harris Lieberman, one of the studies’ co-authors.
4. Supplement with Fish Oils
In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, participants were asked to take fish oil supplements for three months. As a result of the supplementation, the researchers found evidence of reduced mental fatigue and faster reaction times in 18-35-year-olds.
Stress and fatigue go hand in hand. Little bouts of stress are tolerable, but when the little bouts turn into long stretches, stress can manifest as a continual feeling of fatigue.
Chronic stress, the kind that lasts for days and weeks at a time, can directly deplete your energy reserves leaving you feeling depressed, worried, irritable, and exhausted. It can also affect other areas of your life critical to recovering from stress: sleep, for example.
If you’re not sleeping because your stressed, you can’t adequately recover from the previous days stressors and you won’t be equipped for what’s coming up tomorrow. Then you’re behind the eight ball and the cycle continues.
Adaptogens are compounds that help prevent the physical and chemical effects of stress – they’re something I’ve brought up on this website a few times before.
Adaptogens, by helping maintain homeostasis during a stressful event, prevent fatigue. Here are 6 that are particularly useful.
6. Combine Carbohydrates with Protein
Consuming sugar makes us sleepy because sugar influences a group of cells in the brain that secrete orexin.
Orexin is a neuropeptide that regulates a myriad of mental properties, including sleepiness and hunger.
Therefore, the sleepy effects of sugar intake can be counteracted with protein.
7. Be Fair to Yourself
There could be one simple reason you can’t maintain your energy levels this holiday season: you’re just trying to do way too much.
There are a lot of demands on our time, especially around the holidays. The mere thought of it can make a person want to curl into a ball and whimper.
That’s why it’s so important, at this time of year more than any other, to be realistic with yourself about your workload and your schedule.
If you spread yourself too thin, you’re going to feel fatigue no matter what you do. And you, and everyone else around you, will suffer for it.
Keeping the “gitty up” in your step can be tough this time of year. But there are certain things you can do to help you keep your energy levels as high as possible.
Give a few of my suggestions a try and let me know if they work for you in the comments.
If you’d like to know more, please contact me, I’d love to help you out.
Follow the blog for email updates of when new articles are available.
Follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for regular information on living your healthiest life.