Fill your energy tank

By Renate Engelbrecht

Thursday, Apr 30

Tired due to lockdown? Here’s where I fill up.

Has lockdown left you empty, scarred and just tired overall? I bet many people feel scarred emotionally, but also physically as keeping kids entertained while working full-time from home and also trying to keep the house from being a complete mess is quite a mission.

I’ve been there. Picking up dolls, crayons and pieces of toast just to pick it up again an hour later is no joke and tests your patience like crazy! Not to mention the way you feel after a whole day of this and more.

Here are my top five ways of filling up my mental and physical energy tank without breaking the bank for multi-vitamins and shakes:

  1. Me-time. Sometimes it’s really just a matter of regrouping. As much as I love my little munchkins, conversations about potty training, why they need to take an afternoon nap, where fairies come from and why they can’t have more Easter eggs can be emotionally draining. That often leaves me tired mentally and most of the time my patience is very little by the end of the day. Taking a 15-minute timeout late afternoon really just helps me to regroup, take a breath and prepare myself for suicide hour. Sometimes I even come up with some clever ways to entertain Catha for another hour or two which makes the most difficult time of the day a breeze!
  • Wine. Don’t judge. I don’t drink; I appreciate. And there’s nothing like a glass of Avondale’s Samsara or Spier’s Seaward Chardonnay that calms the senses and miraculously blesses you with another dose of patience. This blog is not called Suitcase & Chardonnay for nothing.


  • Less bread. I’ve found that bread brings my energy levels down within minutes. Just certain breads, though. After some trial and error I’ve seen that 100% rye and sometimes also stoneground or sourdough breads are still fine, but also not too much. Stoneground breads are thought to be more nutritionally sound due to the fact that they still contain the germ and bran. I love sourdough bread for many reasons, including the fact that it has a longer shelf life. It also has a better blood sugar response, it is low in gluten, higher in nutrients and it’s good for your gut.
  • Exercise. Even – no, especially during lockdown, I’ve been focusing on doing any kind of exercise every day. Whether it was running around the house five times, doing a couple of push ups and planking a few times or whether I joined JEFF Together on Facebook. Towards the end of lockdown I also joined Alive and Balanced on her personal training app and I must say if I was struggling to lose that last few kilograms after my pregnancy, this is the answer! Exercise not only ensures increased oxygen levels in your blood stream, it also allows for increased functioning throughout the body and an increase in energy production. As the lockdown progressed, I even started having dance-offs with my 2-year-old. She did not find it very funny… Wikus (my husband) did, though.
  • Connecting. One of the things I’ve noticed about myself is that I get energy from connecting with people – especially people I am close to. During lockdown this was probably one of the hardest things to do as I could not connect to my tribe (except for my family at home) face-to-face. I had to make do with Skype or Zoom, Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp video calls. Still, once I spoke to my people I felt lighter and my spirits were lifted.


What do you do to fill your energy tank physically and mentally?



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