Get your energy fix

It sure is difficult to have a giggle when you’re lacking get-up-and-go, so here are some top tips for raising your energy levels when life gets hectic.

apotheca

First off, in order to work out how to boost energy levels, we need to know why we’re feeling so slow. Neal’s Yard therapist Sonja Kappe’s one-hour Vitality M.O.T at Neal’s Yard Remedies in Cardiff, seeks the cause to find the cure. After she has assessed her patients, she assigns them one of four personality types, which are based on the different parts of a plant, and she then treats them according to their type.

“Seeds are people who like to do things in their own time. They are nurturing people so like to be nurtured,” she said. “Flowers are outgoing people who might be burning the candle at both ends, roots are people who can be very gentle and like to read a lot and take a lot of knowledge in like a root. They tend to get depressed.”

Finally, she said many journalists are shoots, people who like to know a lot of things and are very outgoing, but not as much as flowers. Acupuncture is a good treatment for them.  Kappe’s theory might sound to some like a new-fangled hippy line, but it is rooted in the Ancient Greek concept of the different humours dictating our mood, so shouldn’t be sniffed at.
A Vitality MOT costs £35 for an hour session at Neal’s Yard Therapy Rooms, Morgan Arcade, Cardiff city centre. Call 02920 235 721.

Nutrition

When work and social commitments start to pile up, it might not seem as if there’s enough time to plan meals. It’s easy to end up surviving on fast food or forgetting meals. The Food Standards Agency recommend eating at least three nutritionally balanced meals, including five portions of fruit and vegetables, a day to keep us feeling happy and healthy. A balanced meal includes starchy
carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, rice or potatoes, a source of protein like fish, meat, dairy or beans and some veg. For snacks, sandwiches, cereal bars or yogurt are far better than chocolate and sweets because they keep blood sugar levels steady, unlike high-sugar foods, which can cause mood swings.

Sleep

None of us can run like the Duracell bunny unless we get enough rest and sleep. Many people find it hard to unwind when the adrenaline’s pumping faster than a sprinter’s thighs, so it is really important to make an effort to chill out before going to bed.

One remedy for restlessness is a glass of milk before bed. Scientists are not quite sure why it is so effective. Nevertheless many people swear by it to send them off to dreamland, so it is worth a try.
Herbal sleeping tablets such as Nytol (a combination of hops valerian and passion flower) are also pretty powerful and cost £4.88 for a box of 30 tablets from Boots. If all else fails, an earplugs and eyeshade set can be bought for £3.91 from Boots to shut out the noisy, bright world around us.

Supplements

For an extra kick, there are a few supplements worth a try, but before reaching for a chemical-ridden energy drink, consider something a bit kinder on the heart.

Rumour has it that Lorraine Kelly swears by the effervescent tablets Berrocca. Not only are they sugar free, but they provide a high dose of vitamin B and C to perk you up. They are available from Boots for £4 for 15 tablets.

Finally, many Korean people swear by red ginseng to fight fatigue. It comes in liquid form, which can be drunk as a tea and can be bought at most Asian supermarkets.
Boots also sell Red Kooga’s ginseng pastilles, but their main ingredient is sugar and they are a costly £6.84 for only 30 tablets from Boots.

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