Get More Sleep
As humans, we should be getting anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep per day. Poor sleep quality will eventually slow you down and make you begin to feel fatigued, quickly. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, there are tips and tricks you can try to change that such as putting away the electronics one-two hours before bed, trying soothing sounds at nighttime, or even wearing a sleep mask.
You might also need to change your bedtime. Going to bed closer to when the sun goes down and not staying up late into the night can help give you more energy by improving your sleep. Also, if you know you take 15 minutes to fall asleep, go to bed and turn off the light 15 minutes before you want to be asleep to guarantee a full seven to eight hours.
While our bodies need some stress to grow physically and mentally, prolonged stress can cause many long-term side effects such as high blood pressure, headaches, depression, and risk of heart attack among other things. If there is an abnormal amount of stress in your life, you could try things like short walks, yoga, meditation, or chiropractic care to destress your mind and body.
There are great free yoga and meditation practices on YouTube if you don’t feel like paying for a class. Deep breathing can also help calm down your heart rate and reduce stress in a matter of minutes. A good deep breathing exercise is to breathe in for four seconds, hold it for five, then release for six. Repeating this until you feel relaxed can help refocus your energy.
Move Your Body
Any exercise is good for fatigue, even if you feel too tired to try. Exercising releases endorphins that make us happy and give us energy that makes us want to move around more. In this case, moderate exercise is even better than intense exercise. Perhaps a 10-15-minute walk, yoga, Pilates, or even tai chi will help to dispel that foggy feeling.
Even just walking around your home or your office can give you more energy by getting your blood pumping and waking up your body. Exercise also helps you sleep better at night, making you feel more energized the next day.
Smoking causes fatigue by limiting the amount of oxygen you’re able to breathe in and also by causing several other health issues. And yet that short burst of energy, clarity, and calm a smoker hopes to gain from that smoke break is only a temporary fix for lack of energy. Believe it or not— within a day of quitting oxygen levels, blood circulation, heart rate, and blood pressure will all return to normal, giving you a fresh burst of energy to get through each and every day.
This lifestyle change may not be as small as the others, but it will make a huge impact on your energy levels and your health overall. The nicotine in particular is what you need to watch out for. Nicotine is a stimulant, which makes you feel like you have more energy in the short-term, but it can make it difficult to go to sleep at night, and good sleep is crucial when it comes to your energy levels.
Limit Alcohol Intake
Nightcaps are lovely every once in a while, especially since they make us drowsy and ready for bed. (Ergo: Nightcap, duh!) However, nightcaps can intrude on our sleep cycles by raising our heart rates and/or waking us up to use the bathroom. Nightcaps may actually account for about 10% of all persistent sleep insomnia. So, put down that brandy or scotch right before bedtime and try some warm milk or tea, instead.
Also be careful about having a glass of wine at lunch or a mimosa with brunch because they could make you more tired during the day. Limiting your alcohol intake in general could be very beneficial for your energy levels, so just be aware of the alcohol you drink throughout the day.
What we eat determines the amount of energy we will have each day. Foods that boost energy in a natural and healthy way are oatmeal, eggs, chicken, sardines, walnuts, coffee, tea, berries, dark chocolate, and water. Don’t skip meals as that means your body is missing out on essential nutrients that will get you through your day. You must eat enough each day to fuel your body, or fatigue will always haunt you.
While the fat and sugar from many processed foods will help energize you right after you eat them, they are digested and processed by your body faster because they are already processed, leading to energy spikes and crashes. To avoid this, add more whole foods into your diet. Whole foods are more stable sources of energy because the body has to work to break them down, and complex carbohydrates found in many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains help stabilize your blood sugar, leading to fewer energy spikes and crashes.
Sing a Song
We know. It’s silly, right? However, singing can give you an emotional high while lowering stress hormones. It releases those ever-popular endorphins that make us feel energized and uplifted. Singing also gives the lungs a workout and helps us take in more oxygen which, in turn, boosts our energy for a lot longer than one of those energy drinks can.
It can also help reduce your stress by calming your body. If you think about it, singing is a great way to express yourself, and it tells your body that nothing bad is happening to you right now. Singing helps you connect to your emotions and gives you more energy, especially if you are singing along to a fun and up-beat song. You might even start dancing!
How many times have you heard that one before? We know, but we promise it will give you an abundance of energy every day. Also, dehydration causes fatigue because all the body’s organs are working harder, not smarter. We’re not saying that you must drink those eight full glasses per day, but we are saying to drink at least enough water so that you’re not thirsty and your urine is a healthy, pale-yellow color.
Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and our brains are about 75% water, making water very important to staying energized and alert each day. If water is difficult for you to drink because of its lack of flavor, try drinking water with lemon or your favorite fruit in a reusable water bottle. There are also tons of varieties of flavored sparkling waters for you to try, just watch out for those added sugars!
As humans, social isolation is a no-no—mainly because it leads to feelings of fatigue and depression. A social life is instrumental in our happiness and reduces those daily stresses. So put on that party dress and get out there! Unless you’re an introvert. In that case, we suggest you walk outside at least once a day to soak up some sunshine and at least glance at other people.
Talking to a coworker for just a few minutes or calling your friend after work could help give you that much-needed boost throughout the day. Even if you are an introvert, socializing can really get your energy levels up and keep you going. Try to talk to at least three people throughout the day to help with your energy levels, even if you can’t be there in person. Be creative!
Make Love, Not War
That’s right, we said it. According to Forbes.com, sex stimulates brain function, burns calories, and relieves stress and depression. And—if you’re in a loving and trusting relationship— the testosterone in semen can carry a direct energy boost to a female partner. So, we recommend making love in the morning to start your day off happy and stress-free with energy to burn.
Is there a better way to relieve stress and get that extra boost of energy than connecting with your partner? Not only could this start you off on an energized note for the day, it could also be beneficial to your relationship health.
Caffeinate Before Noon
We all know that coffee can give us that extra bit of energy, clarity, and focus that we need to get through a busy morning or day. Espresso coffee, as a matter of fact, is best for this because it has the strongest antioxidant properties. However, drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks after at least 2 pm can disturb your sleep, making you wake up sluggish and even more fatigued than before.
However, you also have to be aware of the amount of coffee you drink each day. If you have a big dose of caffeine in the morning from your venti Starbucks order, you are bound to come crashing down a few hours later, especially with the possible added sugars. Consider green tea if caffeine affects you negatively or if you absolutely need that afternoon pick-me-up since caffeine from green tea affects your body differently, but you should still avoid drinking caffeine in the late afternoon and evening.
Plan Your Day
Burnout is a real thing, people! It can be in every aspect of your life; professional, family, and social. When you have too many things on your daily to-do list, you can get burnt out quickly. We advise that you sit down with your list and set priorities so you can pare down activities and lessen the chance of burnout. Oh! And don’t forget to ask for help if you need it. Not everyone can be Superman or Superwoman.
Planning your day either the night before or in the morning could help set you on track for energy-level success for the day. This is because you know ahead of time how much energy you need to spend on each task, making sure you budget your energy wisely throughout the day. For example, if you know you have a draining meeting planned for the afternoon, you can plan to make your morning more relaxing so you don’t spend all of your energy too early-on.
Volunteer Your Extra Time
There are enough studies on the health benefits of volunteering, that it would make your head spin. But here’s the general consensus: Volunteering decreases the risk of depression, helps you stay mentally and physically active, reduces stress levels, and—here they are again— releases endorphins that increase the more you volunteer.
Even if you can’t get out of the house, there are many new ways of volunteering coming around through online volunteering. As long as you have access to a computer, you could volunteer. If you don’t have access to online volunteering options, consider, instead, donating to a local charity or two or finding a safe way to volunteer without risk of exposure to Covid-19.
Start the Day Right
Before leaving the house, do your best to eat a meal high in fiber and/or protein. These foods will give your body sustained energy to get through the first half of your day. For example, eggs are packed with protein and oatmeal is packed with good fiber. Eating one or both will provide the nutrients necessary to give a steady and sustained source of energy.
You’ve always heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that is true when it comes to focus and energy. Letting your blood sugar get too low in the morning by not eating could make you feel groggy and tired until you finally eat lunch. Eating gives you energy, and if you eat first thing in the morning, then you are setting yourself up for energized success. Just try to avoid those donuts and pancakes that won’t give you lasting energy.
Take Lots of Short Work Breaks
Yeah, you can tell your boss we gave you permission. Tell them we said it will make you more productive! According to lifehack.com, a 30-second microbreak can increase productivity by as much as 13% and a 15-second break from staring at a computer screen can reduce fatigue by as much as 50%! Make sure to also tell your boss that taking those short, regular breaks can help the creative process, decision-making skills, and they can also help with retaining information.
Burnout does not look good for productivity, and it can really start to show if you let yourself go too long without a break. This isn’t only for your everyday schedule, but for your weekly, monthly, and yearly schedule as well. Making time for breaks, such as declaring the weekends work-free or going on a vacation at least once a year, could really boost your energy levels and help you to avoid burnout.
Eat Smaller Meals More Often
Instead of eating three big meals each day, try eating five or six smaller meals throughout the day, so you are eating the same amount, just at more frequent intervals. Why? This has to do with your glycemic index, your blood sugar.
Depending on what you eat, your blood sugar can go down significantly between meals, causing you to feel drained. If you eat smaller meals more frequently, this will allow your blood sugar levels to be more stable throughout the day with fewer dips, causing you to feel more energized. Remember to eat healthy foods as well!
Taking certain supplements can have a positive impact on your energy levels. Taking a daily multivitamin could help solve some deficiencies you may have, or give you a little boost to your nutrition to help you thrive.
Specific supplements like Magnesium, B-Complex, or Vitamin D3 could also boost your energy levels. Just be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new supplement to make sure it will not interact negatively with any medicines you are taking or health conditions you are experiencing. Also make sure that you are not taking the laxative form of Magnesium, because that would not be good either!
Get Sunlight First Thing in the Morning
Getting sunlight first thing in the morning could help set your circadian rhythm on the right track for the rest of the day. Try to aim for at least 5 minutes of sun exposure as soon as you can in the morning. Open up a window, walk out on your porch, and soak in those sun rays.
If you are going to bed closer to when the sun sets, waking up closer to when the sun rises is a natural way to get your body in-sync with the sun’s circadian rhythm, helping you to feel more energized. Sunlight also helps to make you feel more alert if you are feeling tired. It naturally keeps the melatonin away (a chemical in your brain that makes you sleepy). That’s why it’s important to avoid the blue-light from screens in the evening since the sun during the day gives off a blue-ish light, naturally making your body stay awake.
Added sugar can really mess up your energy levels. Processed foods that have a lot of added sugar, like candy or soda, can spike your blood sugar levels super high and then cause them to crash down super low in a short amount of time.
In order to avoid these peaks and crashes, focus on eating foods with complex carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes, or getting your sugar from more natural substances, like honey or fruit, so that it takes your body longer to process the food and stabilizes your blood sugar, keeping your energy levels stable as well.
Brighten Up Your Space
Brighten up your space by adding a houseplant, lighting a candle, or diffusing essential oils. Houseplants add life and character to what may be a boring office cubicle. If plants make you happy, this would even have double the effect by having something you love close by. Plants also help put more oxygen in the air, and some even help filter the air. Breathing better quality air will definitely help you feel better throughout the day!
Smelling a bright scent like peppermint or citrus could also really brighten your mood. These scents can help you feel more awake and energized just by having them near. Light a brightly-scented candle or diffuse a peppermint or citrus essential oil to help keep you energized and awake when you need them most.