Home > Natural Health > Natural living Updated 01 October 2015 Naturally beat exhaustion Exhaustion season is upon us, and in about a month most of us will be knee-deep in last-minute travel plans, cocktail parties and sweltering days preparing Christmas puds and keeping kids entertained. 0 Shutterstock Related Signs you're burning out The symptoms of stress Health matters, the natural way Assess Ask the natural health expert » Learn Natural therapies to try » Quiz Is my vegetarian diet balanced? » Test yourself: How flexible are you? » A quick guide to The Atkins Diet This medicinal plant that only grows in the Western Cape could replace antibiotics one day How are you going to manage, especially considering that you are probably totally exhausted already? We have a plan that will see you wide-eyed and bushy-tailed once you actually hit those last few days before 25 December. Among all the dozens of gurus, experts, specialists and authorities (including your grandmother) who are full of sage advice on how to slow down and conserve your energy, I found one who gave particularly good, practical advice. Turns out this a South African born GP, Dr Frank Lipman, who is regarded as a pioneer and internationally recognised expert in the fields of Integrative and Functional Medicine. He’s also the founder of the Eleven-Eleven Wellness Centre in New York City, where his personal brand of healing has helped thousands of people – including Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Bacon and Donna Karan – reclaim their vitality and recover their zest for life. Dr Frank Lipman’s seven sure-fire ways to ensure you have sustained energy right through to the end of the year: 1. Cut out caffeine and go slow on alcohol A cup of tea or coffee may give you a short-term lift, but a new study shows that caffeine consumption even six hours before bedtime can have significant, disruptive effects on sleep. It’s even worse if you’re taking oral contraceptives. Caffeine blocks sleep neurotransmitters and over-excites the adrenal glands. Alcohol is just as disruptive to sleep patterns, plus it cuts oxygen to the brain, while being high in sugar. 2. Cut out sugar Dr Lipman believes sugar can put enormous stress on hormones – when you crash from a sugar high your adrenal glands kick in and release cortisol, a steroid-like substance, to help lift you up again. The theory is that, over time, as your adrenal glands try to constantly regulate your sugar levels, they exhaust themselves, leaving you feeling washed out. To combat this, he says you should cut out sugar and artificial sweeteners. Going cold turkey could put even more strain on your body, so reduce your intake day by day and consider taking L-Glutamine, said to relieve sugar cravings, as the brain uses it for fuel. Or, by all means, have a piece of fruit or a fruit smoothie. 3. Avoid processed fats Processed fats and foods are toxic to the body, particularly if you're run down. Avoid hydrogenated fats and trans fats as they not only increase bad cholesterol, but are said to also block the uptake of good fatty acids such as omegas three, six and nine – needed for healthy brain function, eyes, joints and skin. 4. Eat most of your food by lunchtime The body's metabolism reaches its peak by lunchtime (slowing down as the sun starts to set) and you should use this to your advantage by making breakfast and lunch your largest meals of the day. Be sure to eat most of your daily protein and fat before noon. If you eat late, include nutrient-packed carbs like fruit, vegetables and whole grains that will help you relax and detoxify while you sleep. 5. Sleep in the dark Scan your bedroom for blinking or glowing lights – the alarm clock, the charging indicator on your cell phone, the DVD clock and timer etc. Turn these off or cover the lights. Every little bit of light can stop your melatonin levels from rising, which you need to fall sleep and reach the deep restorative sleep your body requires. If you can’t darken your room all the way, wear a sleep mask or add blackout curtains to make it darker. Read up some more on sleep and why this is so important.6. Practice Ubuntu According to the concept of Ubuntu, what makes us human is the humanity we show each other. It’s a worldview that sees humanity as a web of family, rather than a mass of individuals. When you start to relate to those around you in this way, you’ll feel more connected, energized, and you’ll have a sense of abundance. So get up from your desk and connect with the cleaner, the deli girl, the guys in IT... 7. A simple exerciseDr Lipman is really into yoga and his energising ‘reclining open chest pose’. He says it does wonders to avoid the afternoon slump while helping to elevate your mood and give you a nice energy boost. Stuck in an open-plan office? Book a few minutes in the conference room, borrow an unused office or duck out to a nearby park. Laura van Niekerk NEXT ON HEALTH24X 7 reasons why you should drink matcha tea 2016-03-02 14:07 More: Natural HealthNatural living advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... From our sponsors Cipla today announced the launch of its innovative inhaler called Synchrobreathe. Live healthier How loud is too loud? » Heal your hearing Pain relievers linked to hearing loss in women FDA approves balloon device to clear Eustachian tube SEE: Interesting facts about hearing loss Our ears perform quite a complex job – not only are they responsible for helping us hear, they also assist with balance. Get back into your healthy habits » 7 beach sports to keep you active 7 reasons to start running Here's how to get yourself back into exercise after a break 5 ways to kickstart your fitness routine in 2017 With the festive season at an end, getting back into your fitness routine should be a breeze with these five steps.