Increasing energy levels at work

Low energy sleeping at work
Photo courtesy of The Guardian

What goes up must come down – including energy. We love our energy highs, when we are ready to take on the world, are super productive, and feel great. Those energy lows though? Not so much. Instead we complain, berate ourselves for not feeling our best, and try to find any solution to increase our energy.

Some of our solutions, however, are really band-aids: they’re not fixing our low energy problem, they’re just covering it up for a while. These band-aid solutions, like caffeine and sugar, make you feel good for a little while, but there is usually an energy crash that follows. And while sugar and caffeine are not inherently bad, if they come wrapped in a 400-calorie package, or are being used as a constant crutch to support waning energy, the negative effects can be larger than just that one-time energy crash.

So today, when your energy starts to decrease, and you’re ready to find the nearest quick fix to bring you back up, consider some of these tips instead, which address the root cause of your low energy. These sustainable systems to increase your energy have no negative side-effects, and can help you feel better, work better, and smile!

Tips to increase energy levels at work

  • Take a 5 minute walk.

    Amazingly, sometimes the antidote to low energy is to actually use some energy. By getting out of your chair for a few minutes, your muscles and blood gets moving, and you’ll start taking deeper breaths: that extra oxygen helps you feel more awake and invigorated. Plus, the change of scenery can be especially useful if you’re feeling angry or exasperated at yourself for the low energy. Taking the step away from the computer, and returning to a fresh slate in 5 minutes!

  • Drink a glass of water.

    Being dehydrated makes you feel tired! Plus, similar to the previous tip, getting out of your chair, using some muscles, and drinking something cool can help wake up your body and reinvigorate you.

  • Take note of your previous meal.

    Did you have a heavy or salty sandwich for lunch? A sugary breakfast pastry? Salty meals promote dehydration, which, as we discussed above, leads to tiredness. A high sugar meal, on the other hand, initially can provide you with a lot of energy, but quickly results in an energy crash when your blood sugar decreases rapidly. This tip is particularly useful if you notice a consistent pattern to your energy slumps. Look at what meals are preceding these energy lows, and make changes to have meals full of high quality protein, fiber and whole grains, and lots of fruits and vegetables to keep you happy and satisfied. Bringing your lunch to work can be a great way to ensure you’re having a healthy, energy-filed meal!

  • Schedule a 15 minute “energy break” with a coworker.

    Getting out of your own head and meeting with a friend can be a great way to beat the low–energy blues. Take a walk together to chat – about work or non-work things – and keep it active to boost the benefits of your break! No one to walk with? A phone call with a loved one can work wonders to keep you happy and motivated

  • Work on low-energy tasks at this time of day.

    It is natural to have changing energy levels throughout the day, and sometimes, even a walk or water isn’t going to fully wake you up. In those times, it’s best to go with what your body is telling you, rather than trying to fight it. If you notice a natural energy dip that’s not due to dehydration, food, or not getting enough sleep, schedule that time to do more administrative, cleaning, or easy tasks. Trying to tackle an important or intellectually-demanding task when you’re not at your mental peak is a battle you don’t need to fight! Work with what your body can do.

These strategies focus on addressing the root causes of our low energy, and to work with, rather than against your body, to keep you going healthy and happy. A simple step away from the computer, connecting with others, and getting your heart moving can be the reset button you need to get back to feeling your best.

What are your tips for increasing energy at work? Let’s help each other out by leaving a comment below!

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