We’ve all been there – those days when you’re having a rough morning, experiencing the post-lunch sleepiness, or hitting that 3:00 p.m. crash. Sometimes, it’s hard to stay energized throughout the work day and simply toughing out the tiredness or reaching for another cup of coffee isn’t always the best option. Instead, try some of these methods for staying energized.
Studies have shown that taking a 20-minute walk boosts energy. If you’re not able to go for a walk, a great alternative is our Flex at Your Desk handout where you can strengthen your muscles at your own desk by following the program. Climbing stairs is also a simple way to get moving, and a great way to build cardio and leg strength wherever you are.
If you don’t feel like moving, you can take a break and stretch at your desk. Stretching can relieve the tension in your neck, shoulders, and back as well as get the blood flowing to help make you feel relaxed and more productive. Download this handout with simple stretches for improved blood flow and reduced tension.
Dehydration is a cause of fatigue. Your cells need adequate hydration to optimize the production of energy from food. If you don’t have adequate hydration in the cells, your ability to produce energy is reduced and you feel often feel fatigued. To perk up, drink some cold and crisp water. Plain water not your favorite thing? Try these recipes for infused water that are perfect for the summer time.
Have a Natural Snack
Grabbing a candy bar, chips, or other processed snacks for energy will only take you so far. Oftentimes, processed snacks lead to a crash not long after consumption. Instead, try eating plant based snacks like apples, oranges, almonds, yogurt, or very dark chocolate for sustained energy. Looking to up your snack game? Learn what makes a snack ‘healthy’ and options to try from this article by UW Medicine clinical dietitian Diane Javelli.
Listen to Some Tunes
Listening to music while you work can be great for focus, productivity, and energization. In fact, there are a ton of benefits to listening to music. Click here to learn all about them! Not sure where to start? Tune in to The Whole U on Spotify. We’ve got a variety of playlists curated for your different needs, whether that’s high-energy songs or something specifically curated for stressing less and tuning out the world beyond your desk. Listen while working, on a walk, or during a quick break from your desk.
Check your Posture
If you’ve been sitting for a long time, check out The Whole U’s guide for desk posture. Unhealthy habits and misuse of muscles throughout your work day can leave you feeling less than your best. Correcting your habits and muscle movements can help you feel stronger and more attentive! If you’re looking to take more of a deep dive, watch this webinar recording with the UW Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences’ Dr. Peter Johnson that dives into working ergonomics including body alignment, monitors, mice and keyboards, chair positioning, and more.
Take your Eyes off the Screen
Staring at a computer screen for hours on end really strains the eyes and worsens exhaustion. Keep the 20-20-20 rule in mind when you are feeling a bit lackluster: Look at a point 20 feet away, for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes to break the continuous computer screen fixation. When you take breaks throughout your work day, you can reignite your energy.
Consider learning more about your personal focus zones and structuring your day and your tasks based on when you are most energized. Some people have more focus and energy in the morning versus the afternoon. Learn more about these methods and how to find your own focus style by watching the following webinar recordings from The Whole U and guest speakers:
The workday can be tiring. What other methods do you use to fight against low energy throughout the day? Share with us in the comments below.