With ‘busyness’ being something that everyone accepts, and as something that can be thought of as a symbol of importance, we are spending more and of our time doing ‘things’. Whether this is running from one event to another, meeting friends after work, scheduling in a call in the walk from house to bus stop, every minute is filling up fast.

This can lead to us being run-down – a state which can make us feel perpetually tired, unexcited, unmotivated, often ill and just ‘meh’. Often, we don’t even realise that we’re run down until we’ve been forced to rest and take stock and regain our energy and resilience.

 

Being run-down can seriously affect our immune system and mental resilience, and can eventually lead to sleeping problems, illness and mental health issues. So what can we do about it? Taking a complete break and switching off completely is the best option but often that’s just not feasible. There are other options too and if you’re in the position where you’re feeling like you’re not operating at your optimum level, then you may benefit from adopting one or more of these tips.

 

1. Sleep more effectively

It’s all very well to say ‘get more sleep’, but as well as getting more sleep, we can learn to sleep more effectively. For example, sleeping in a cooler rather than warm room helps improve our sleep, as does removing electrical devices from our near proximity. And flashing lights (e.g. from charging phones or toothbrushes) are a big no-no. Experiment with light levels in your room – blackout blinds may help you fall asleep more easily, especially in summer, or you may enjoy waking up with the sun. Eating 3 hours before you go to sleep will also help your digestive system and avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evening will also ensure you don’t skip out on stage 3 sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep, which is when tissue growth and repairs happen internally.

 

If your partner or yourself snores, then try a non-invasive sleeping aid, such as Asonor, an anti-snoring spray, and if you find it hard to drift off and remain asleep, then you may want to invest in H7, a series of patches that are clinically proven to improve sleep for those suffering from insomnia.

 

2. Change your diet

It shouldn’t be any surprise to us that diet can affect our health. As well as affecting our sleep however, it can also affect our energy levels and how well we bounce back from illness, as well as affecting how susceptible we are to falling victim to colds. Eating food that nourishes our body is essential and it doesn’t mean denying yourself of the foods you love; add spices such as turmeric to your cooking, make bone broth (or enjoy good quality Vietnamese Pho), eat enough protein, start your day with hot ginger and lemon and choose foods in their whole state, rather than processed. There’s many good ‘fast-food’ outlets such as EAT and Pret A Manger which have a varied range of fresh food, including eggs and spinach if you get hungry whilst out and about.

 

3. Add garlic to your diet

Garlic is a natural antimicrobial and also contains allicin which can help improve your immune system. Chop it up and add it to soups or stews, crush it in with meats or stir-fries or, if you really don’t like the taste or don’t cook much at home, invest in garlic tablets. 

 

4. Avoid alcohol and sugar

Alcohol and sugar are immune system suppressors so steering clear of these for optimal health is important. Watch out for sugar as it can take many forms, including in fruit (don’t skimp on fresh fruit but don’t go overboard either!), drinks and pre-prepared meals.

 

5. Eat more veg

You can never have enough veg! Especially include leafy greens, and brightly coloured veg, such as sweet potato, butternut squash and carrots in your diet. Keeping meals to 65% veg and 35% everything else will stop you experiencing that deadly ‘food coma’ which saps energy and productivity.

 

6. Get outside more

Especially to green spaces, such as parks or the countryside, where the air is cleaner and there is more nature. Fresh air will clear your lungs and your head and can also help energise you and help you sleep more. And make the most of sunny days, especially in spring and summer, when you can soak up Vitamin D naturally.

 

7. Drink more water

It’s very rare that we ever drink enough water but for cells to function properly we must drink at least 2.5 litres a day, throughout the day.

 

8. Invest in a probiotic

It’s estimated that 70% - 80% of the immune system is in your digestive system so making sure your gut is healthy gives you a better chance of overall health and resilience to illness. Instead of going for a yoghurt or milk-baesd probiotic, choose a pill which has at least 6 billion active cultures in.

 

9. Invest in a supplement that suits your lifestyle

There are many supplements out there so how do you choose? The main vitamins that the majority of people could benefit from and are lacking are A, C, E, zinc and selenium. Either choose supplements individually or go for a combined one, such as the VitaDSO range, which even has supplements for energy, immune system and general healthy living.

 

10. Say ‘no’ more

If saying ‘no’ goes against what you would normally do, or you often feel overwhelmed by all the things people have asked you to do, then try saying no. After all, you have to be fit and healthy in order to do things for others well. It may seem hard at first but it’ll be hugely beneficial in the long run as it will free up your time and headspace.

 

Got any additional tips that you particularly find effective in helping prevent you being run-down? Then we want to know about it! Let us know on Twitter or message us on Facebook.