16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy

What Everybody Ought To Know About Enjoying Life And Having Boundless Energy.

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
Welcome to 16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
Congratulations on downloading 16 EASY STEPS TO RENEW YOUR ENERGY. This book is packed full of easy to implement steps that will improve your energy and support you to get the best out of life…. with the least amount of energy expended as well! Whilst this book is copyrighted, I’m happy for you to print it off so that you can read it in comfort. If you want to use this book in your own business, I’m happy for you to use it as long as the book is not modified and is reprinted in its entirety. As long as you refer to the author and provide all my contact information, you can distribute it freely. Regardless of whether you are using this for your own personal use or downloading it to pass onto friends or clients, I am sure you will find a lot of valuable tips. Most of the information here has come from my 15 years of working with people day to day in my clinic - so everything I suggest here works. Enjoy the book and thank you for your interest. Let me know what worked best for you… I would love to know. Shirley Hicks Counsellor & Psychotherapist www.shirleyhicks.com.au P.S. This e-book is not intended as a replacement for medical assistance. If you’re worried about any aspects of your health it’s best to consult with your GP before commencing this program. P.P.S. I’ve found this book works better if you’re lying comfortably with a pillow under your head and some soft music playing in the background. Why not try it- you’ve got nothing to lose but some tension!

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Content The Energy Rating Quiz Quiz Results 16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy Step 1 Drink Water Step 2 Eat Fresh , Delicious Food Step 3 Sit in the Sun Step 4 Boost your energy with herbs Step 5 Exercise Step 6 Nap, Rest and Sleep Step 7 Spend Time With Family & Friends That Care For You Step 8 Take 5 Minutes a Day to Really Breathe Step 9 Eat The Foods That Boost Your Mood Step 10 Laugh and Have Fun Step 11 Take Time Off To Do Nothing Step 12 Declutter Your Home and Work Space Step 13 Take Time To Say Thanks Step 14 Get Involved In Your Community Step 15 Do Something For Someone Else Step 16 Treat Yourself to Something You’ve Never Done Before About Shirley Page 4 7 20 21 22 24 25 26 27 28 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
Let’s start with a quick 15 minute quiz – it will highlight the areas where you can make the quickest changes for the fastest return. If you haven’t got the energy you can always come back to it later! THE ENERGY RATING QUIZ Circle the answer that best describes what’s happening for you right now. When I wake up first thing in the morning I feel: a. Great- can’t wait to get started b. Like I’d like to sleep for another 12 hours c. What do you mean wake up- I’ve only just got to sleep d. Groggy, feeling hung over and very tired How often do you get to eat breakfast? a. I never miss breakfast b. Most days c. What’s breakfast? d. I’m not really hungry first thing in the morning When do you feel that your energy is at its best? a. First thing in the morning b. Lunchtime c. Afternoon d. Evening When When do you feel that your energy is at its worst? a. First thing in the morning b. Lunchtime c. Afternoon d. Evening
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
Now let’s have a look at where all your energy might be going. Tick as many of the following that applies to you over the last 3 months: ENERGY OUT a. Responsible for household duties b. Work – paid or unpaid c. Taking care of family d. Helping out friends e. Watching more than 2 hours of television per day f. Skipping meals g. Eating fast food more than twice a week h. Smoking i. Drinking more than 2 glasses of alcohol per day j. Drinking to the point that you can’t remember, at least once a month k. Studying- either fulltime or part-time l. Driving in traffic for more than 2 hours/day m. Living with major health issues n. Dealing with a recent loss- job, loved one o. Always running late for appointments p. Financial problems q. Loneliness r. Headaches, grinding your teeth, sore muscles s. Feeling like your emotions are out of control
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
Let’s now have a look at what do regularly do to top up your energy levels. Once again, tick as many of the following that applies to you over the last 3 months: ENERGY IN a. Spending time doing your favourite hobbies b. Laughing and just having fun c. Going for a walk, run or some other form of exercise d. Being out in nature- beach or bush e. Meditation f. Having a rest when you feel tired g. Cooking a delicious meal or going out to your favourite restaurant h. Volunteering your time i. Some form of yoga, tai chi, martial art, qigong j. Dancing k. Singing l. Fun with family & friends m. Holidays or time out from home and work n. Being in a fulfilling intimate relationship o. Playing with a pet p. Having a regular massage or facial or pedicure q. Regular visits to the dentist, osteopath, naturopath and GP as required r. Get a regular 8 hours of rejuvenating sleep s. Try something new
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
Ok- hopefully you’re not totally exhausted after doing that. The whole idea of spending some time to answer the quiz is to help highlight the areas in your life that might benefit from some change. The payback for you is that you will feel better and have more energy if you’re able to make the changes. Some of them may be hard to do on your own. So that’s where I can help… call me at the clinic to make an appointment and we can together get some action happening in that part of your life. Because I know that I can help you to take that first step and to give you the encouragement I’m happy to give you a 50% discount on your first consultation when you book and bring in your completed quiz… you might even want to put the dollars that you save towards a massage or buying that book that you’ve been wanting to start for ages. If you’re on the Gold Coast call 5597 0669 or in Brisbane on 0419 800412. If your too far away then register for my monthly newsletter – www.shirleyhicks.com.au… you might be able to get to an upcoming workshop…mmm a holiday on the Gold Coast.. that would do wonders for your energy! Anyhow- let’s have a look at the quiz results. Most times quick quizzes like this confirm what you already know. The difference is that I have also given you some suggestions as to things you can start doing today so by the end of reading 16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy, you will have an action plan in place.

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
MORNING WHEN I WAKE UP FIRST THING IN THE MORNING I FEEL: Greata. Great- can’t wait to get started Congratulations- it would seem that you are doing a number of things in your life that are supporting you well. Waking up with energy and feeling good are both signs of someone who is able to balance the energy going out and the energy coming in. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Alternatively, you may be just overdoing it and not even realised. That may come as a bit of a shock to hear that. What I’ve noticed with some people is that they start the day feeling great because they love to be busy. As the day wears on, they become progressively tired but because they have such great drive and focus they push through the tiredness, until they collapse in bed that night, rest and wake up the next morning to do it all again. If that sounds familiar then Steps 6,7,and 8 in 16 Easy Steps to Renew Your Energy will be useful for you. b. I’d Like To Sleep for another 12 hours This is so common- lot’s of people find it really hard to get up in the morning… and the annoying thing is if you could sleep for a few more hours you often still feel tired and unrefreshed. So what’s going on here? Experts in the sleep field suggest that people need a regular 7-9 hours of sleep a night to maintain good health. How many are you getting? If you don’t get to bed until 1am and then you have to be up by 6am, then of course you’re going to be tired… exhausted even. So if you need to be up by 6am then you need to have your head on the pillow by at least 11pm at the latest.

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
For all the night owls of you out there who are now groaning with.. “I couldn’t possibly get to bed until midnight”… you might be surprised to know that you’re body is an extremely adaptable piece of equipment and what your mind tells you is not always what your body needs. Step 6 is particularly pertinent for you. upc. What do you mean wake up- I’ve only just got to sleep Not being able to get to sleep and the obvious tiredness that comes from that is more common than you might imagine. Some quick tips to consider: 1. Eat your last meal at least 3 hours before you go to bed bed… and if that meal is after about 7.30pm, regardless of the time you plan to go to bed make sure that the meal is light and not too heavy on your stomach. 8.30 in the evening is not the time to sit down to a large roast meal- but possibly a light omelette, scrumptious soup with wholegrain bread or smaller yet tasty meal would be better. 2. Have your last caffeine based drink at lunchtime at the latestlatest this includes coffee, tea, chocolate, cola based drinks and drinks that contain guarana. Some people become very sensitive to the affects of caffeine. If you need to take these to get you through the day then there are bigger issues to address such as diet and other lifestyle factors. 3. No hot showers or going for a walk before you go to bed. Overheating the body will ensure that you can’t get off to sleep. 4. Get the television, computer and mobile phone out of the bedroombedroom how did I know you might have all if these in your bedroom? Because it’s one of the most common causes of insomnia….and before you tell me the television helps you
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
fall asleep, be aware that even when you’re sleeping the brain continues to register the noise and stimulation that a television creates- which means it’s impossible to get a sound sleep with it going in the background. 5. Move the clock radio away from your bedside so that you are not sleeping right next to it. For some people, being so close to the small amount of electromagnetic radiation that comes from your clock radio is enough to create a disturbance in your sleep. 6. Make sure your bedroom is a welcome, soothing and calm space for the body and mind to relax. Use soothing colours, relaxing oils and a comfortable, uncluttered bed. 7. If you are tossing and turning for more than an hour, get are yourself up, make yourself a cup of soothing tea (non caffeine), listen to some soft music and breathe. You might even want to write out anything that’s going on in your head that is also keeping you up- by doing this your mind has a greater chance of letting you get to sleep. Put on a favourite relaxation tape (with headphones if you share your bed) and drift back into sleep. Teach your body to know that you will take the time to listen to what is bothering it and then work to create the most conducive atmosphere for it to relax and let you fall back into sleep. If you are still having problems after trying all these things (sometimes it may take a few weeks to get into better habits) and some of you will, then either email me or call me at the clinic. There are a range of herbal and homeopathic medicines that can support better sleeping habits, which are useful to use in the short term until a better sleeping pattern is established…. and the great thing is they don’t leave you feeling hung over.
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
d. Groggy, feeling hung over and very tired This is often a sign that you might be having a disturbed sleep throughout the night. You might be experiencing a condition called Sleep Apnoea- your local GP can help you identify whether this is the case or not. Eating a heavy meal and consuming too much alcohol can also result in a groggy type of sleep. Your digestive power is actually it’s weakest in the evening- so loading up with a heavy rich meal late in the evening keeps your body “up” way past it’s bedtime as it struggles to try and digest what you have just eaten. So after about 7.30pm choose lighter meal options and linger a little longer over that glass of wine. If you are a sensitive sleeper and wake at the slightest noise it might be a good investment to buy some ear plugs as well as a sleeping eye mask to cut down on any stimulation during the night when you are sleeping. Sleeping for too long can also leave you feeling tired. Sleeping consistently for longer than 9 hours per day may be a sign of other changes you need to make. One of the biggest offenders here is… I’ll catch up on my sleep soon. The concept of catching up on sleep is a misnomer- you can’t ever catch up on lost sleep. Once you’ve lost sleep – that’s it- you’ve lost it and trying to sleep longer the next day will only upset good sleeping habits. If you follow 16 STEPS TO RENEW YOUR ENERGY you will find it easier to get the right amount and quality of sleep naturally. EAT HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET TO EAT BREAKFAST? a. I never miss breakfast Once again, congratulations – this is the best way to start the day… especially if your breakfast is made up of a good
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
quality low fat form of protein such as eggs or nuts or low fat cheese and the right form of carbohydrate energy food to keep you going i.e. wholegrain bread or muffin. Some great breakfast suggestions are: • • • • • Low fat plain yoghurt with fresh fruit and a sprinkle of your favourite nuts Wholegrain toast with choice of eggs Wholegrain, low GI cereals –add additional nuts and yoghurt of your choice Porridge (not the microwave kind) with your choice of fresh fruit, nuts, low at milk or yoghurt Skim milk smoothie with yoghurt, fruit and even a serving of protein powder if you’re up to a busy morning Try and steer clear of toast and jam, toast and butter or a white muffin- you’ll feel great for about 15 minutes and then spend the next 2-3 hours lurching towards the next blood sugar drop when you will most probably make another poor food choice. Start the day with a good meal and you’ll be less likely to grab cake, chocolate, lollies and caffeine based drinks to keep going

b. Most days On those days that you miss breakfast have some quick backup solutions ready to go. Suggestions might be:

Wholegrain fruit & nut muffins- keep some in the freezer so that you can grab them and by the time you get to wherever you’re going you can defrost them and they’re ready to devour
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy

Boil some eggs and have them in the fridge. Once again you can just throw one into your bag and if you don’t get to make any toast to have with them, then just eat the egg on the way. A great source of energy in a neat packageisn’t nature clever! Grab a sandwich on wholegrain on your way to work or wherever you’re going. Sandwiches don’t just have to be a lunchtime meal.

c. What’s breakfast? There are lots of reasons people tell me for not having breakfast. They’re not hungry, they don’t have time, there’s nothing to eat. You may have really got yourself convinced that you survive perfectly ok without breakfast. I wonder if you’re up to an experiment? For just one week, why not try and have breakfast each morning. This might mean you might have to get organised to get something in the house to eat or you could treat yourself to eating breakfast out every day if the budget allows- just to experience how it feels and whether you notice any difference in your energy levels and how you cope during the day. If you don’t really notice any improvements after 7 days you can always go back to your old ways. For those of you who get bored easily, make sure you choose some interesting, tasty breakfast options. I’m not suggesting you have the same cereal every day for a week- if that sounds incredibly painful. Mix it up and add some variety and fun into what you eat. The only guidelines are that your breakfast consists of a serve of low fat, quality protein e.g. low fat yoghurt, an egg, low fat cheese, almonds or walnuts or even tofu for the vegetarians
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
amongst you and a low GI form of energy food e.g. low GI cereal, multigrain bread It’s well accepted that people who miss breakfast regularly tend to be overweight and suffer low energy levels. When I’ve tried this experiment with clients they are constantly amazed at how different they feel during the day… and some actually lose weight. So you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain … so hopefully you will give it a try…. And one last thing. If you’re having breakfast after 9am it no longer qualifies for breakfast but a mid morning snack.. so make sure that you eat when you get up or as soon as you get to wherever you have to get to for the day. d. I’m not really hungry first thing in the morning This is really common. A number of things may be creating this situation: workShift work if you are a shift worker, your normal biorhythms can get really quite messed up. When you’re coming off work and everyone else is getting up to have breakfast, you’d rather be going to bed and sleeping- eating breakfast is often the last thing on your mind. Shift workers will often eat their biggest meals when their body is least ready to digest it. For all of us, we are wired to be able to digest our biggest meal in the middle of the day. No matter what you do, from your body’s perspective that is how it’s geared up. So some eating tips for those of you on shift work: • dayEat your largest meal in the middle of the day Whether you’ve just woken up or your preparing to start an afternoon shift that won’t finish until late, it’s best if you can have your main meal at lunch time. This would be a piece of quality low fat protein,
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
such as chicken, fish or beef with either a salad or vegetables. Stir fry meals with plenty of vegetables and good quality protein and minimal fat would also be ok. This will most probably require some organisation on your part in conjunction with whoever cooks the meals at home. • Eat small, nutritious meals around this larger mealoutside of lunch; make sure you have small nutritious snacks to maintain good blood sugar levels. As an example, if you are doing a 10pm to 6am shift then your days eating might look like this: 3-4 am – snack of nuts/yoghurt & fruit/soup 6am – when you get home, you might have another small snack e.g. wholegrain muffin or low fat cheese on toast before you go to sleep 1pm – Have your largest meal of the day (similar to what you would normally have for an evening meal) 6pm-7pm – have a small snack with the family- it may be a reduced size of the evening meal or an omelette, sandwich, soup 11pm- 2am- if you’re feeling hungry- have a sandwich, soup, tin of tuna, wholegrain muffin or something that is nutritious but not heavy.

• •

• •

The winning strategy if you are a shift worker is organisation, organisation and did I mention…. organisation? Buying nutritious meals from your favourite restaurant, freezing them and then heating them up when you want them is also another good way of adding some variety and getting organised. Doing a weekly shop and getting all your snacks and

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
meals ready.. …otherwise hunger and tiredness will take over and you’ll make poor choices. If you’re not a shift worker then I want you to try the same experiment that I talked about for people who don’t eat breakfast at all. Try for a week to have breakfast every day, even if you’re not hungry- sometimes when we stop listening to our body signals, the body stops sending them. If you start to eat breakfast again you might start to reconnect with the natural hunger that we are all programmed to have first thing in the morning. WHEN DO YOU FEEL YOUR ENERGY IS AT ITS BEST OR WORST? For many of you, you may have never considered how your energy might fluctuate during the days. Part of managing your energy levels is learning to listen to how your body is goingwhen its tired…. do you stop and rest or do you push on? When you are feeling energetic, do you work within your energy reserves or do you overdo it only to feel exhausted. When you’re making good lifestyle choices you should be experiencing sustainable levels of energy throughout the day, without major slumps. Notice when your energy feels best during the day- is it the morning, lunchtime, afternoon or evening? Sit and consider what you might be doing leading up to these times that might be impacting on this “energy spike” e.g. Waking from a good sleep but if you don’t have a good breakfast then your energy levels may start to drop around lunchtime. If you’re energy feels great at lunchtime it may be because you’ve eaten a good meal and you’re managing the daily stresses ok. If afternoon is your best time it may be because
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
you’re coming to the end of your workday and you’re looking forward to going home, the gym or catching up with family and friends. If it’s best in the evening, once again it may be a combination of eating a good meal, relaxing and putting your feet up after a busy day. If you’re energy is fluctuating wildly during the day then here are some things to consider. The time of day when you notice the energy shifts may be a clue as to what is happening for you: If you’re energy is worst first thing in the morning then think about the amount and quality of sleep you’re getting. Also if you are a chronic eater of late meals the night before, you can often notice big energy drops when you wake up due to blood sugar changes. It may also be a reflection of the day to come and the amount of stress you feel in facing that day- that alone can be enough to dampen your energy. When your energy drops at lunchtime it may be a combination of poor eating leading up to lunch i.e. no breakfast, work pressures or that you’re finally running out of puff because of a bad nights sleep. Energy levels dropping in the afternoon can often be drops in blood sugar- often a good protein snack such as nuts, yoghurt or even a tin of tuna will pick your blood sugar levels up and can be a wonderful energy boost. Often most people will choose a coffee and cake which will give you an immediate boost but leave you feeling even worse, an hour or so later. So resist the caffeine and sugar based instant energy hits and go for better more sustainable choices. If you’re not sure then go to my Fast fact HEALTHY EATING for more tips. Also my Fast Fact HOW
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
TO STAY SANE IN A MAD WORLD gives you some great tips as well to manage the stress that builds for you during the day. Often if the evening is when your energy feels the worst, it may be a sign that you just haven’t been listening to your hunger, thirst or tiredness at all during the day and finally by the end of the day, when you get to sit down and rest you finally connect with how hungry, tired and stressed you just might be. This can set you up to drink a little more than you need (the alcoholic type), eat a little more than you need- for comfort and to fall asleep in front of the television which sets you up for a poor night’s sleep and so the cycle continues. When you implement 16 EASY STEPS TO RENEW YOUR ENERGY you will start to balance out these energy swings and make life so much more enjoyable. WHERE IS YOUR ENERGY GOING? Go back and have a look at where your energy is going out. It would be impossible for any of us to not tick some of these boxes. Most of us go to work and have commitments at home that need to be met. So when you interpret these charts, it’s important to consider how each aspect makes you feel. If you really love going to work and get great enjoyment then work would put more energy into your life than it takes. However for a lot of people work can be a very draining part of their life- especially if you are not enjoying the work or the people that you are working with. In this case, work can be an amazing energy drain. Only you can judge what aspects of your life work for you and which ones don’t. Having said that if you have seven or more of these items on the ENERGY OUT table ticked, and they really feel like they drain you- then it might be time to start making some changes.
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
If you have ticked every box then there is absolutely no discussion- the time could not be better for you to start to make the changes you need to make- it’s time for you to put into action straight away all the steps I suggest. Just like a car running out of petrol, sooner or later you will come to a stop, especially if there aren’t many activities happening that bring ENERGY IN today for your body. Before we get onto 16 EAST STEPS TO RENEW YOUR ENERGY, let’s have a look at what you are already doing to balance out the energy drain. The more items you have ticked on the ENERGY IN table the more opportunity you’re giving your body a chance to renew and replenish it’s energy stores. Congratulations for all that you are already doing. If you haven’t ticked any of the boxes in the ENERGY IN table, then once again- today is the first day for you to start to make the changes you need to make to balance out your energy needs. By following the 16 EASY STEPS TO RENEW YOUR ENERGY, you will be well on your way to having a life that has plenty of energy available to do whatever you want to do. So hopefully by now you might already have a better idea of some of the areas that you might need to make changes. Even just being aware that there are more things in your life that are draining your energy rather than topping it up can give you some understanding of why you might be feeling tired, some if not all of the time. So let’s look at the steps you can start to take today to renew your energy and to regain control of your life rather than being swept up in what life is dealing up to you.

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
Here are the 16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
1. Drink water 2. Eat fresh, delicious food 3. Sit in the sun 4. Boost your energy with herbs 5. Exercise 6. Nap, rest and sleep 7. Spend time with family & friends that care for you 8. Take 5 minutes a day to really breathe 9. Eat the foods that boost your mood 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. Laugh and have fun Take time off to do nothing Declutter your home and work space Take time to say Thanks Get involved in your community Do something for someone else Treat yourself to something you have never done before

It’s best if your able to work through these steps in the order that they are presented. The idea is that the easiest ones with the quickest energy returns are to be done first. Work at your own pace. It’s best not to go on to the next step until you have successfully completed the previous one. If you get stuck on any of these, drop us an email. If you’re close to where I practice you can always make a time and we can talk further about how these steps can transform your life and available energy. So now…. Let’s go through each of the steps in detail.
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 1 DRINK WATER Well- that shouldn’t be too hard should it? In my experience this seems to be one of the hardest things for a lot of people. There’s been so much press about how much water to drink that it’s understandable that many people are totally confused. If you’re reading this and saying to yourself, “I don’t really get that thirsty”, then you might want to say to yourself “I’ve got used to not listening to my thirst”- which is in reality what has happened. To encourage healthier drinking habits, start carrying a small bottle of water with you. If you need to, set your mobile phone to ring every couple of hours to remind you to have a drink. If you don’t like the taste of water, add a slice of fresh lemon or lime- even fresh mint will change the taste. You’ll know when you’re well hydrated when the colour of your urine becomes a lovely pale straw colour… with no smell. So what does it matter if you end up going to the toilet a little more often… use the time to breathe and relax. If you’re still not convinced about how much water to drink, dehydration is normally experienced as:
• • • • •

Headaches Tiredness Lethargy Dry skin Dry mouth

… so if any of these are familiar, start drinking!

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 2 FOOD EAT FRESH DELICIOUS FOOD Most of us forget, but food is actually packed full of energy- especially the closer it is to it’s natural state. Unfortunately because of time and convenience, processed foods seem to fit into the modern lifestyle so much easier than food that requires some preparation… however don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you are eating your body is getting all that it needs. Eating healthy and tasty food is actually the quickest way to get the most available energy on a daily basis. You can certainly get quick energy by eating processed foods, however it doesn’t last too long and you’re normally looking for a top up fairly quickly. You can start to make this change gradually. Here are some quick tips for increasing your daily consumption of fresh delicious food: • ownWhy not grow your own whether you have a balcony or half an acre you can grow your own selection of fresh herbs and vegetables- ready to be picked just when you need them. You couldn’t get any more convenient than that… and it actually works out a lot cheaper Experiment each week by buying a fresh new ingredient that you haven’t tried before….. if you want that personalised service then go to your local green grocers and delis where the staff will spend all day if you want to explain how you can prepare and eat a whole range of wonderful new food items. Go to a cooking class and learn all the basics on cooking. Not being able to cook limits your choices in making the
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
best out of fresh foods… and if you don’t like cooking then send someone from your household who does. • Support your local farmer’s markets and buy the freshest produce that you can find. But you need to get there early, as the best of the food is often sold by 9am. Search out new healthy restaurants in your area and try different cuisines. This is a great way of giving you a new eating experience as well as stacks of ideas for what you can do at home. It also is a great way of trying new types of foods without you having to go out and purchase them, find out how to cook them and then to only find out that they aren’t quite what you had hoped for. When eating convenience food choose to add a salad rather than chips. Choose a baked potato rather than potato bake. Choose roasted chicken rather than deep fried chicken. Choose to grill your fish rather than have it fried. Opt for freshly prepared stir frys and go easy on the heavy coconut milk based dishes. When eating pizza, order a thin crust with half the cheese and top it up with lots of fresh ingredients and herbs. Choose a freshly prepared fruit salad than the apple pie and cream. Do you get the idea? Have one day a fortnight that is free of any type of processed foods. Opt for fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh herbs, fresh raw nuts, organic chicken and meats, freshly caught fish, organic free range eggs and plenty of fresh water. Your taste buds will thank you forever. Who knows… it might even become a regular event!

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 3 SIT IN THE SUN When did you last just sit in the sun like a lizard and warm your bones? I think everyone has been scared off being out in the sun because of the risk of skin cancer… and while I’m not suggesting you bake in the midday sun there are good health benefits from being a lizard for a moment. Getting 5-10 minutes of sun a day helps the body convert and build up your Vitamin D stores. The scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and their colleagues at Norway's Institute for Cancer Research in Oslo, say the health benefits from some sun exposure are far larger than the skin cancer risk. Vitamin D is essential in protecting the body against a number of diseases as well as being a vital component of a healthy immune system…. but I also think that taking time out to just sit in the sun is a great way to renew your energy. What better energy source than the sun itself. So find yourself a spot in your favourite park, or it might even be in your own back garden and make yourself comfy. You might even want to sit with your favourite cup of tea and just feel the warmth entering your whole body. Sunlight will make a real difference in your life and it will definitely lift your mood. Just think of when you open the curtains and see a sunny bright day… it can’t help but lift your mood. So make the commitment now to enjoy more sun on your body.

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 4 BOOST YOUR ENERGY WITH HERBS There are a wide range of herbal medicines that can have a positive effect on your energy levels. However as with anything, they can have quite a potent effect… and if you’re already taking medication it is always a good idea to check with a qualified herbalist or naturopath before you embark on supplementing with herbs. Having said that however some herbs that I have found work a real treat in helping to boost your energy are: Withania – this is a very gentle tonic to your overall energy levels and I’ve found it to be very supportive for young women who are doing too much and not resting enough Siberian Ginseng – Siberian ginseng will actually assist in restoring your energy levels and gives your adrenals a real boost Liquorice – not the Darrell Lea kind but medicinal liquorice will assist in soothing tiredness and exhaustion Oats – another great herb to help calm troubled nerves. Scullcap – a wonderful calming herb for the nervous system and helps lessen the over reaction to the little things in life… which are going to happen BacopaBacopa - great if your having problems with poor memory and concentration A great way to try these are in teas… so pop into your favourite health food store and see what they have in the way of teas. If your diet has been up and down, then supplementing with a good quality Multi- B will also assist.

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 5 EXERCISE – SKIP THE GYM MEMBERSHIP AND GET OUT INTO NATURE AND WALK I haven’t got the time or money to exercise is a common mantra. But it actually doesn’t take any fancy equipment or air conditioned gyms to actually start. Nature is pretty clever in having provided free of charge a great gym- there’s always a cool breeze, great views and that something extra that’s hard to define when you are outside in nature…and even when it’s cold, throw on a jacket and enjoy the feeling of the cool air on your face. It might even make you walk a little faster. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that has it’s own natural beauty then there is no excuse.. you could start right now. If you don’t, then find opportunities during the day as you travel around to enjoy nature and stretch the legs. Some suggestions are: • • • Have lunch in a park close to where you work- even better if you have to walk a little to get there Get off one bus stop earlier if it’s feasible and walk that extra to work Take the opportunity to play “spot that tree” if you happen to live in a concrete city… and when you do take a moment to marvel at how it can exist amongst all that brick, cement and concrete Park the car on the way home from the shops near a park or beach and take 10 minutes to go for quick walk. Who knows…. It might become a 20 minute walk before you know it and the groceries will survive!
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 6 AND NAP, REST AND SLEEP – CREATE THE TIME AND SPACE TO REST Resting and sleep seems to have become an annoying pastime in the 21st century. It seems to be the last thing on our list of what we have to get done and often sleep ends up being whatever is left at the end of the day…. And if that only amounts to 3 to 6 hours then it’s only natural that you’re going to be feeling tired. Sleep is one of these things that you can’t really catch up on once you’ve lost it. However having 2 or more consecutive days of less than 8 hours sleep will have the same effect on you as if you were drunk- both your ability to think and to coordinate will definitely be impaired. It’s also important to have a space to sleep that is calming and nurturing, so that you can have the best quality sleep possible. Here are some quick tips to make sleep a greater priority: Learn the art of Power Napping: This happens to be a personal favorite! If you have to stay up late for work or other functions, take a nap before hand. However, try not to nap too close to bedtime as it could interrupt your normal sleep pattern. If you’re not sure how much sleep you actually need, try this fun exercise over a few days Go to bed at the same time each night and notice what time you wake up in the morning without an alarm. If you continue to feel tired when you wake up, gradually move your bedtime earlier until you wake up naturally and feel well rested. That is going to be your new bedtime!

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 7 SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS WHO CARE FOR YOU The key phrase in this step is … “WHO CARE FOR YOU.” I’m not quite sure how it happens but we can seem to get ourselves into some relationships that end up taking a lot out of us and don’t give much back in return. Some key signs that this may be happening are: • You dread the person calling you, because you know it’s going to require you doing something • You no longer feel excited about getting together • When you talk to them it seems to be all about them. Whenever you mention something that’s happening in your life, you notice that they are able to bring the topic of conversation back to themselves. • You start to act out of “rules” that have been inadvertently established between the two of you, rather than acting out of genuine love and concern. Have you ever heard yourself say, “I’d better call or I’ll be in all sorts of trouble?” So what to do about it? They say you can’t pick your family and that may be the case, but you definitely have control over whom you choose as friends. Relationships that work best are those that tend to: • Be supportive for both people- you can be there for that person but you also know that they will be there for you • Based on honesty and trust- to be able to freely talk about what’s happening for you without fear of being judged • Understanding- to be able to talk to someone who only wants to understand and not necessarily change you can be the most precious connection of all.
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
If you are experiencing more of the first and not so much of the second, then it may be time to really sit down and review where you sit in the relationships stake. This can be one of the hardest and scariest things for you to do.... as it often seems easier not to rock the boat and ask for what you need. You might even be an expert in finding “work arounds” for all the problems that you experience rather than ask for support from those that around you. One way of starting to make changes around those unsupportive relationships is to imagine if a friend was experiencing this type of thing. What would your advice be for them? Now as a wise soul, I’m sure your advice will be spot on. The next thing to do then is to listen and take that very advice and make the changes in your own life that you would suggest to a friend. The advice we give our friends is always better than the advice that we give ourselves. Other ways of helping to deal with requests that don’t really support you are: • Practice saying No • Thanks.. I can see how you might think that, but I’m going to do this anyway • Not right now • Can I get back to you on that? • I really have a lot on my plate right now. I’m not really in the space to take on anything else. I’m sure you understand? …. And of course practice saying YES to all the things that you might like to do with family and friends. If you normally just go along, why not dare to suggest something you might like to do. That’s the quickest test of whether family and friends are actually there and care for you.
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 8 TAKE 5 MINUTES A DAY TO REALLY BREATHE AND RELAX When you are tired, overworked, anxious and feeling strained there is normally quite a lot of muscle tension that comes along for the ride. Ever noticed those stiff shoulders, neck or back? That tension is there not only because you might have sat at your desk, on your computer, for 6 hours straightbut it’s a sign of something bigger. It’s a sign that you may not be taking time out to check in with your body to see how it’s coping with the day. When you practice regular deep breathing you will find that your muscles will relax, aches and pains will become less and you will feel ‘lighter” and be able to think more clearly. If you’re not sure how to breathe deeply, then find a relaxation or yoga class close to you, where these practices are encouraged and taught. Otherwise, you can start at home right now. Just find a quiet spot, make yourself comfortable- you can lie down if you want, and just place your hands below your navel resting on your lower abdomen. Practice trying to send your breath low enough so that your hands move on the in and out breath. Don’t force the breath and if you feel dizzy, just allow your breath to return to its normal pattern. You might start with- and often encourage charged way of body. want to practice with 12 breaths in and out to then just rest. Once that feels comfortable I people to sigh on their outbreath- it’s a turbo releasing all the deeply held tension in your

So start, breathing, sighing and relaxing. Your body will love you for it!
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 9 EAT FOODS THAT BOOST YOUR MOOD HAPPY FOODS – Foods such as dark chocolate, milk, bananas and chicken all boost the body’s own natural endorphin levels and assist in lifting your moods. SNOOZE FOODS – the best foods to help you calm and snooze are dairy products such as cottage cheese, low fat milk, chicken, hazelnuts, whole grains, rice and hummous.

… and reduce the foods that depress your mood. A little less of these would be good. SAD FOODS – everyone’s moods can be affected differently by the food they eat. However for many people, a meal that is high in white sugar and flour products can lead to feelings of sadness and lethargy, one – two hours after eating. Best not to have just before bedtime. DEPRESSING FOODS – watch your intake of caffeine loaded foods- coffee & milk chocolate as well as too much alcohol, which will definitely depress your mood.

For more information on this go to www.shirleyhicks.com.au and download the Fast Fact Sheet- GET INTO THE MOOD WITH YOUR FOOD.

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 10 LAUGH AND HAVE FUN – even if you have to fake it in the beginning beginning The health benefits of laughter have been receiving a lot of interest in the press lately.. and for good reason. The available research overwhelmingly supports the fact that having a regular laugh is a great tonic for the whole body. It can boost your immune system, help relieve tiredness and tension and it’s something that you can do, without having to have lessons. Some quick tips to be able to have more laughter in your life: • • • • Find other positive outgoing and happy people to spend your time with. Practice smiling – even when you fake a smile or laugh the body will automatically start to feel better. Yawn and stretch those jaw muscles- laughter is a great antidote if you grind your teeth. Compile your own personal library of humorous material that always gets a laugh- at least from you. This could include DVD, books, tapes and even feel good inspirational cards to help you change your perspective. Join or start a local laughter clubwww.laughteryoga.org for more information. go to

• • • • •

Spend time playing with your pets or children. Play is a great way to start laughing. Avoid the news on radio or television. Try and increase your spontaneity in all things that you do- this is the fastest way to a giggle. Find out what makes you happy and keep on doing it.
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 11 TAKE REGULAR TIME OFF TO DO NOTHING Now this wouldn’t seem to be too hard a thing to do, would it? Well I’m constantly amazed at how difficult it seems to be for everyone. If you feel guilty when you do nothing, then it’s time to change that attitude. There is a lot of action, in inaction. Let me repeat that… there’s a lot of action in action. What I mean by that is that when you take the chance to stop being busy and just sit, you actually give yourself the opportunity to catch up on what’s been happening…check in with how your body feels.. notice the thoughts that you are thinking… there is a lot of action going on there. Not being able to take time to stop is a little like putting a cake in the oven, closing the door on it and then never checking to see when it’s cooked. You’re going to end up with either a burnt cake or a fire in your kitchen… and this is what happens to people. It takes a “fire” for them to wake up and check out what’s happening in their life. So- if this idea seems impossible for you, then start slowly. Take 5 minutes or whatever you can allow a day to sit in a favourite spot- under a tree, near the water… for some it’s the peace and quiet of the bathroom, but wherever it is, just sit and notice how it feels. If you’re a really busy person it will most probably feel awful to begin with, but if you stick with it you will start to look forward to this time. And if you’re thinking I can’t find the time, then skip watching the weather each night and take that time to sit somewhere quiet and just be in inactive- it’s most probably the busiest thing you will end up doing in a day.

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 12 DECLUTTER YOUR HOME AND WORK SPACE Have you ever noticed when you have gone somewhere that there are spaces that you automatically feel comfortable in and those that feel quite uncomfortable? If you don’t have a sense of this then spend some time this week making an effort to notice. I guarantee what you will find is that you have spaces that feel good and others that don’t feel so great. We are very affected by our surroundings. If you feel anxious and overwhelmed have a look at the spaces you live and work in. Are they also a little cluttered and “busy”? Simply by creating “space” in the space that you live, will have an instant effect on your energy levels. So start by decluttering one room at a time. If there’s a lot of clutter, it may be just a part of that room at a time. Decide what you want to keep, what you want to give away and what is a throw away. As you sort through the clutter you might be quite surprised to what you are still holding on to. Don’t get overwhelmed by the size of the job. Just take it slowly – one step at a time. You might want to reward yourself at the end of each decluttering session with something that makes you feel good. And once you have some space, it might be an idea to bring into that space anything that uplifts you- it might be a special picture, a beautiful plant or new bright cushions. The environment around you is a direct reflection of you. What does the environment around you tell you about yourself? Decluttering is one of the quickest ways to feel better and having more energy- so start now and enjoy the new space: inside and outside.
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 13 THANKS TAKE TIME TO SAY THANKS There is an interesting connection with feeling down and depressed and the lack of appreciation in life. When you are feeling low on energy and possibly depressed, it can seem very hard to be thankful for much of anything that you have. The concept of saying thanks is not an invention of the New Age movement, however it has been popularised by it ….and I’ve seen a lot of people get twisted right out of shape when someone suggests to them that they need to be grateful and thank the person who just hurt them, because they are teaching you a lesson. And when you look at it that way, it’s understandable to see why people get so upset. Why should I be thankful for anything or anyone that creates me so much pain? Well- I’m not suggesting you have to change your views on that in any way. What I am suggesting however is that something in your life will start to change if you can find something to focus on that you can be thankful for. It may be a loved pet or even the hot cup of tea you hold in your hand. The trick with this is the willingness to be able to move your focus away from what you don’t have to what you do have… and just one thing may not be enough to balance the hurt and pain of all that isn’t going right. But a sneaky thing happens when you get enough of things that are going right. the other stuff doesn’t seem to matter quite so much and you feel more energetic and motivated. You can start practicing this by acknowledging 5 things that you are thankful for every day- it might be the great dinner you’ve just had, the wonderful nap or just even the fact that you can read this page. Try it- it works!
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 14 GET INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY Another great way of getting more energy in is to donate your own energy to the people around you in a fun and rewarding way. It may sound paradoxical, but we humans are programmed to be social beings. It’s vital for your health to be with others who are also experiencing life. I look at it this way- if I was in the middle of an ocean in a small boat all by myself, it might be nice for an hour or so. But after 5 days, I might be desperate to make contact with someone else- if only to be rescued. If I was on this ocean with a whole lot of others it may not seem quite so frightening or overwhelming… but of course that might depend on who the ‘others” are. So look out for activities and groups in your community who look like they might be a good match for what you’re interested in. It’s well accepted that people who have good support structures and people around them are healthier and happier than those who don’t. This doesn’t mean joining every group that is available and absolutely exhausting yourself. You might want to try one activity at a time. Some thoughts to jog you into action to find that community activity: • • • Check out your local Adult Education Community Centre for courses that might be of interest Check out local newspapers for events happening in your neighbourhood Make an effort to go to local events- the local food and wine fair or markets

.. and if you can’t find what you want, start it. That’s a great way of meeting and connecting.
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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 15 DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE ELSE This might feel really challenging if you’re low on energy or time. But imagine if someone did something out of the blue for you? Would it be nice? How do you think you might feel about it? Now take that and multiple the feeling 2-3 times and you’ll be getting close to how doing something for someone else will make you feel. This is a similar theme to Steps 13 & 14- they are all a little harder than the previous steps because they involve you in putting some energy out- but the returns are great. Of course, it’s important that what you do is something that the person would really appreciate. Not what you think they need. So reminding them about tidying their room may not be the strategy I’m suggesting. But letting them know how much you appreciate them- cooking them a delicious meallistening to them when they need to be heard are all easy ways of doing something for someone else. The more you practice this, the more people will start doing things back for you. It may not be the same person, but it seems like a baton in a relay, the act of doing something nice gets passed on and sooner or later, it’s passed back to you- often from the least expected people and situations. When you receive these acts of kindness and thoughtfulness back, allow them into your life- they will fill you up with energy and this in turn means you have even more energy to do something for someone else. Play with it and I guarantee within a week you will notice a change.

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
STEP 16 TREAT YOURSELF TO SOMETHING YOU’VE NEVER DONE BEFORE Now surely there must be a list of things you’ve always wanted to do but it’s been relegated to the “when I have time” or “when I have energy” list- which means it will never happen. The only time you have is now, so why not start, regardless of how energetic you feel. You might need to start slowly, but that’s ok. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, such as climbing Mt Everest- it might be just wearing a colour you’ve never worn before. Here are some easy suggestions to get you going: • • • • • • • • • • • Use a new word a day Take yourself to lunch Try a new food Take a different route home Drop a dollar coin where someone will find it Start a singing class Pick up that guitar and learn to play Make a surprise gift for yourself- make sure you’re surprised when you get it! Buy a breadmaker and wake to the smell of fresh bread every morning Let someone do you a favour Follow that impulse to make the changes you need to make

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16 Easy Steps To Renew Your Energy
About Shirley I have a special interest in supporting people to find ways to live a healthier and more fulfilled life. I worked for many years in IT in Australia and overseas – I’ve had my fair share of “burnouts” and stressful times. But that’s what life presents you- if I didn’t stop to listen I most probably would be in a very different space in my life now. So the tips and strategies I have provided you in this e-book, I have used time and time again in my own life. I know that they work. I changed my career and started listening to what it was I really felt drawn to. This meant a major change in my lifestyle, but the satisfaction and happiness quotient definitely increased. I have drawn from my naturopathic and clinical experience and study, as well as what has worked for me in my day to day life to produce this e-book. If you enjoyed it, you might like to join in on my regular teleseminar programs or workshops. Go to www.shirleyhicks.com.au for further information. Thanks for taking the time to read 16 Easy Steps to Renew Your Energy. I would love to hear how it has helped you. I’d also love to hear from you if you have any suggestions on how it can be improved. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any suggestions for what else you might like to know about. If you enjoyed this e-book please pass it on to your friends, family and work colleagues. Gold Coast Holistic Health Suite 2, 151 Cotlew Street ASHMORE QLD 4214 07 5597 0669 Gecko House 7 Reid Street, WOOLLOONGABBA 4102 – 0419 800412

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