10 Ways To Recharge Your Batteries This Winter

Shutterstock / Rob Bayer © Portrait of positive and happy mature woman at the beach, wearing pink sweater, isolated with ocean and storm clouds as background

Does your get-up-and-go leave home in the winter months? A new survey by wellness brand Healthspan found that nearly half of us are more tired during the winter months – and 33% of us lose motivation. Recharge your batteries with our top ten energy-boosters!

1 Be An Ice Queen!

Woman in green top and white wooly hat standing on beach

Pic: Shutterstock

“Try to embrace the cold rather than retreating from it,” says leading psychologist Dr Meg Arroll. “In winter, we tend to live in over-heated rooms and that can lead to daytime sleepiness. Wrap up warm and take a brisk walk in the cold air. The icy wind should make you feel invigorated and ready to power through the rest of the day.”

2 Harness The Power of Herbs

“To combat fatigue, herbs such as Siberian ginseng, Korean ginseng and milk vetch can be useful,” says Dr Chris Etheridge, chair of the British Herbal Medicine Association (www.bhma.info).

Stress can take its toll on energy supplies so, if you’re feeling tense or anxious, Dr Etheridge recommends using herbal products containing calming herbs such as lavender, valerian and liquorice. “These herbs help the body respond to stress more efficiently” continues Dr Etheridge, who suggests trying Kalms Lavender One-A-Day capsules (£7.16, www.kalmsrange.com).

“And look for herbal products which display the THR logo as these have been approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.”

3 Water Works!

Cup of hot aromatic tea with lemon balm on wooden table;

Pic: Shutterstock

“Even mild dehydration can deplete energy,” revels Alison Cullen, A.Vogel Nutrition Practitioner and Education Manager. “Pour yourself a glass of water, add a little hot water and a slice of lemon, a sprig of rosemary or a few peppermint leaves and sip away fatigue.”

4 Banish SAD-ness

Lack of energy can be a symptom of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. “SAD is due to the lack of natural light in winter,” explains Dr Meg Arroll. “SAD can play havoc with our sleep/wake cycle, causing fatigue and daytime sleepiness.”

Try using a wake-up light such as a Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300 (£129, www.lumie.com) which will gently wake you up with a sunrise in the morning and lull you to sleep with a sunset at night.

Lumie clock

5 Sleep Well

“Many people try to relieve persistent feelings of tiredness by having long lies whenever they can – very tempting on a cold winter morning – or taking daytime naps,” says registered nutritionist Rob Hobson, author of The Art of Sleeping. “However, staying too long in bed and napping can exacerbate tiredness and make sleeping at night more difficult.

Cover of The Art Of Sleeping book

“To break this cycle, as far as possible, go to bed and get up at roughly the same time every day.”

6 Boost Your Vitamin D Reserves

Vitamin D is the result of a natural reaction between the sun’s rays and the skin. However, in the UK in winter, the sun isn’t strong enough to trigger this reaction and many people’s reserves of vitamin D slump to an all-time low.

“It’s now recognised that a deficiency of vitamin D can cause fatigue,” says Dr Sarah Brewer, Healthspan medical director, who recommends Healthspan ImmunoVit Super C and Vegan D with Zinc and B12 (£11.95).

Healthspan Super C & Vegan D Plus

7 Eat Up!

Make sure your diet includes foods containing energy-boosting magnesium and zinc, such as spinach, chickpeas, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, figs, dried apricots and pumpkin seeds.

Almonds in a clear bowl

Pic: Shutterstock

“To increase energy levels, you should also bump up your intake of foods containing potassium,” says nutritionist Alison Cullen of A.Vogel. “Bananas are a good source of this nutrient, but other good sources are avocado, spinach, sweet potato, edamame beans and dried apricots.

“And, for a quick top up of key nutrients, including magnesium, zinc and potassium, try A. Vogel Balance Mineral Drink (£6.99, www.avogel.co.uk).”

Balance by A.Vogel

8 Get Closer!

The sensation of someone you care for touching your skin can jumpstart energy levels! “It’s well documented that physical closeness can have a positive impact on health,” says psychologist and therapist Sarah Waite.

To use the power of touch to boost wellbeing and, in turn, boost energy levels, treat someone in your social bubble to a hand massage.  Gently warm Senss Serenity Hand and Massage Serum (£25, www.senss.me) between your hands. Cradle the hand of your loved one and, with your thumb and index finger, use small circular movements to gently massage their hand, fingers and forearm.

Serenity Massage Oil

9 Supplement Your Diet

If you’re worried your daily diet is lacking in nutrients, turbo charge your energy levels with a supplement which has been specially developed to combat fatigue, such as ubiquinol.

“Ubiquinol is a natural substance found in all parts of the body which is a crucial nutrient when it comes to energy production,” explains Dr Meg Arroll. “Ubiquinol can be found in foods such as fatty fish, olive oil, spinach, avocado and offal but if you don’t think you’re getting enough in your diet, try Healthspan Ubiquinol (£34.95, www.healthspan.co.uk).”

Healthspan Ubiquinol

You can also improve and maintain your energy levels by boosting your body’s store of B vitamins, which help convert food into energy. Alive! Women’s Energy Multivitamin Gummies (£15.99, www.natures-way.com) contain a range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B6 and B12, vitamin D and zinc.

10 Be An Iron Woman!

If you have heavy periods, your lack of energy may be a symptom of iron deficiency. “Taking a natural iron tonic will boost iron deficiency-related tiredness, often fairly quickly,” advises nutritionist Alison Cullen of A. Vogel.

Moira Chisholm

I'm the Health Editor on My Weekly and am always interested to hear what's new in this fascinating field. I also deal with the gardening, shopping pages, general features, our website content and the Ask Helen problem page. I have a special interest in Christmas content because I'm on the team for Your Best Ever Christmas Magazine, too!