So many things to do, so little time. Or is it enough time, so little energy? It’s easy to feel as though you’re on a treadmill with everything at work and in the rest of your life demanding more attention and action on your part.
1. Get enough sleep
Too many people treat lack of sleep as a badge of valor. It may be necessary sometimes, but it can hurt you in the long run. When you’re short of sleep your thinking becomes muddled, your reaction times are slower, and your efficiency plummets. Not getting enough sleep negatively affects your health, not just your productivity. The good news is that you can pay off the debt by getting some extra sleep every night.
2. Make sure you eat
Skipping meals is a questionable way of losing weight, but it’s terrible when it comes to maintaining energy. Food is the fuel your body needs to move, think, feel, and operate. And, yes, your mom was right: Breakfast is particularly important to get you started.
3. Be sure you drink enough
Virtually all the body’s processes require water. Without enough, the biochemical reactions can’t properly work. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
4. Don’t trust sugar
Looking to a candy bar for a quick pick-me-up is actually a great way to need a little lie-down. Sugar is a short-term fuel that fools you with a quick burst of energy only to drain it away with a crash.
5. Have some caffeine
People habitually reach for caffeine for a reason: It will pick you up. The metabolic effects are complex and research says that some people may need as much as three cups to make a difference. Then again, there is some evidence that even a single cup may be enough to help, as has been shown by the greater attention demonstrated during prolonged simulated highway driving.
Regular physical exercise boosts energy levels. It helps heart and lungs to operate more efficiently and will “deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues.”
7. Take a nap
There are times that you won’t get enough sleep at night. Rather than constantly fight drowsiness, sometimes a nap in the middle of the day can refresh you enough to keep going.
8. Switch off between tasks
You can get drained by monotony. When you’re flagging, try swapping off to do something different; it will help you keep yourself more alert.
9. See the doctor
Basic conditions like problems with thyroid or blood-sugar levels can affect the amount of energy the body can create. If you haven’t had a physical in a while, get one now.
10. Get up and move some
In addition to switching mental gears for a bit, getting up and away from your desk can help.
11. Have the right balance of minerals
Potassium and other minerals are necessary for health and to keep the body producing energy. Use an old hiking tip and keep some dried fruit and nuts around. They’re good sources of potassium.
12. Get into the light
Maybe it’s because of thousands of years of conditioning and association, but dark can make you tired. Some research has suggested that exposure to light can increase alertness, at least at night.
13. Take a cold shower
Yeah, maybe not your favorite treat in the world. But a cold shower will wake you up like few other things. Some researchers have said that a 3-minute cold shower could reduce fatigue in those who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.
14. Break out the lemon
Aromatherapy may be popular with the new age crowd, but does it work? In the case of energy and the smell of lemons, apparently so. Ohio State University researchers found that lemon aroma had a “positive effect on mood.” Your own experience would probably show that a better mood is more likely to bring about greater energy.
15. Turn up the volume
Cranking up the tunes stimulated higher self-reported levels of energy, according to researchers.
16. Check your posture
Score another one for mom: Posture matters. Sit up and it’s easier to generate positive thoughts quickly. Also, body posture affects subjective energy levels.
17. Splash some cold water on your face
According to University of Chicago researchers, splashing cold water on the face or wrists perks you up. The reason why isn’t absolutely clear, but it might have something to do with the release of noradrenaline, a hormone that is a “fight or flight” chemical.