Practice shows, that people tend to complain about being tired and suffer from chronic fatigue more and younger than ever before. Are you familiar with the afternoon slump? Do you leave work and feel burned out? Do you have difficulties to master the energy to engage with family, children and friends or have the stamina for a hobby or an hour in the gym? Even after a decent night sleep, people still find it a struggle to power through the day.
We can’t increase the time we have per day to engage with all the stakeholders in our life, but we can kick our energy levels up a notch to be more productive, more present and more mindful with the time we have. Here just a few tips everyone can implement today:
Use food as high quality fuel
The type of food you choose can mean the difference between feeling sluggish or full steam ahead.
Meals with the most energy kick are packed with both fiber and protein, a combo that keeps your tummy feeling full and your blood sugar steady. When you eat low-fiber grains, your blood sugar spikes, but drops a short time later, leading to an energy crash.
Water the source of energy
Drink, drink, drink. 80% of the people I know are chronically dehydrated. Drinking 2-3 lt of still, plain water (preferably mineral water) a day is not just increasing your energy levels, but has a significant impact on your health, wellbeing and aging.
Take short breaks
This can make you more productive by helping you avoid a burnout.
Researchers at Louisiana State University say workers who take several short breaks throughout the day work more quickly and make fewer mistakes than those who take just one or two longer breaks.
Time your breaks throughout your working day if possible, make them active with walking around, climb some steps or office exercises or stretching. See office exercises here:
Is your stomach growling? Don’t just dash to the vending machine or the next 7/11. Simple carbs and sugars, like those found in white pastry, cookies and chips, will raise your blood sugar for a short boost, then leave you feeling drowsy and still hungry for the rest of the day.
Instead, go for high-fiber, high-protein options like trail mix, a fruit and some nuts or seeds like a banana with some sugar and salt free almond butter or some cut carrots with hummus.
If you are looking for a new job, put on your checklist to ask if the new employer has a staff pantry, or at least a fridge and free drinking water available, so you have the option to bring snacks from home.
Start your day with a 3-5 minute exercise burst. There are several YouTube channels available with short body weight exercises, run up and down some stairs or take a few minutes to walk around the block.
A study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that a 10-minute walk provides more energy than eating a candy bar.
Try to add more movement into your day whenever you can. Join some fitness classes, or encourage your family and friends to join you in a team sport.
Try to spend at least 5 minutes every day focused on your breathing. You can do it lying in bed or sitting comfortably in your office chair. It’ll get easier to stay focused with practice. Meditation can ease stress and fight fatigue.
Your mind is bound to wander during the day. When it does, you can refocus on the present by paying attention to your breath for a minute. Breathe in slowly, hold your breath for 2-3 seconds, breathe out slowly and repeat. This kind of mindfulness can help you do better on the job but also helps in stress situations at home.
Assess your stress
Everybody has some pressure in their lives, and the office can be a common source of tension. Too much stress can hurt your work. It can also cause anxiety, sleep loss, overeating, and exhaustion.
If your job is taking a toll, consider talking to your boss or someone in human resources about how you can change the situation for the better. For ideas and suggestions to bring to your boss or human resources talk to a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist.
Judith Coulson is a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist and Nutrition Professional working with individuals, executive teams, schools and companies based in Thailand and Hong Kong. Book a personal Nutrition Consulting session or contact Judith@lifestylefoodclinic.com directly.