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Beat lockdown lethargy

Tackle your lack of energy with these diet and supplement suggestions

We are currently living in strange and stressful times. Our usual routine of the school run and the commute to work has been replaced with a home-schooling and working-from-home set-up. Meetings and social events are being carried out on webcams and our regular gym routine seems like a distant memory. It’s no wonder that many people are feeling utterly exhausted and depleted.

Stress and anxiety

“Studies have demonstrated that inactivity, stress and the mental tiredness that they cause impact negatively upon physical capacity and energy levels,” says Mike Wakeman from “Stress and anxiety also adversely affect sleep, which further leads to increased feelings of fatigue and low energy levels. These issues can be compounded if people have been unable to exercise as they would normally have done, for example, at the gym as a result of the lockdown. So, typically energy levels might be depleted, and the motivation to restart engaging in higher levels of activity could be lacking now that restrictions appear to be lifting.”

Suzie Sawyer, clinical nutritionist from says: “We often feel more invigorated and energetic just by being around energetic and engaging people, especially family and friends. Our social interaction has been severely lacking and for some people who have been totally isolated, seeing no one for a while can make you feel really lacklustre, often depressed, which affects energy levels.”

Coping mechanisms

“Clearly there is heightened anxiety and many people are worried on all manner of levels right now, and for very good reason,” says Suzie. “Whilst the immune system can update its protective effects on the body in the short-term, longer-term stress and anxiety raises cortisol levels which suppress production of white blood cells, needed to fight infections. Additionally, vitamins C and B5 are needed to produce stress hormones secreted by the adrenal glands; these nutrients get used up more quickly during stressful times. However, the great news is there’s much we can do to protect our immune system, relieve anxiety and to feel more balanced. Here are a few tips:

How to get back on track

“No diet or nutrient will cure or protect against illnesses, but there are ways we can update our diets to get our health on track,” says Dr Carrie Ruxton, from the Health and Food Supplements Information Service (HSIS; Here are her top five tips for helping to support your immune function and increase your energy levels.

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