If you feel exhausted at the end of your workday, than you used to be, you are not alone. Fatigue is a common symptom, especially amongst people between 30-50 years.
For many Americans, their ruined sleep routines during the pandemic have left them feeling exhausted than they have ever experienced in their lives. A Gallup survey showed 73 percent of adults viewed the pandemic as growing worse — the highest level of pessimism recorded since Gallup began tracking that assessment in early April. (Dennis, Duda & Achenbach, 2020) We are still trying to assess when there will be relief and get back to life as we knew it. It feels like limbo.
Mentions of “Zoom fatigue” have popped up more and more on social media, and Google searches for the same phrase have steadily increased since early March. (Fosslien & West Duffy, 2020) It’s up to us to proactively combat screen fatigue and things we know contribute to stressful energy zappers and unhealthy habits. There are plenty of simple ways to boost energy naturally.
Here are ten quick ways to create health energy:
Replenish with Adequate Water
When you are low on your body fluids, you tend to feel more tired than usual. Increase natural beverages and water-filled food such as fruits, vegetables, and clear soups to replenish the water content your body loses throughout the day. It helps in regulating your energy. The daily intake of fluid depends on age, weight, how active you are, and your climate. A goal of eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is a healthy habit.
Eat A Balanced Diet
Choose from a mix of fresh fruit and veggies to eat every day. The vitamins and minerals present in them are right for your body. If you need a quick snack during the day, keep a serving or two of your favorite fruit or vegetable handy. Avoid big meals with too much salt, sugar, and saturated fat; high-calorie foods with minimal nutrients can leave you feeling dazed. Eating smaller amounts and more frequent nutrient-rich meals also help balance blood sugar levels; keeps you alert and energetic.
Exercising may not be your preferred thing to do when you feel tired, but once you lace up your sneakers and get out the door, you will likely feel more alert. For the most significant health benefits, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of training each week. (Wong, 2020)
Get A little Sunlight Every Day
Especially during winter, remember to step outside your home for at least 30 minutes to an hour during the day. The natural sunlight can improve your energy level and help fight a seasonal disorder known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or the winter blahs. Being exposed to this light within the first one or two hours of waking can support your circadian rhythm, regulating your sleep system, and providing more energy.
Drop That Extra Weight
Losing weight can provide a powerful energy boost. Even small reductions in body fat improve mood, strength, and quality of life. Most weight-loss experts recommend cutting back on portion sizes, eating balanced meals, and increasing physical activity.
Moderate Your Sleep: Time & Pattern
If you think you are sleep-deprived, try getting less sleep. This advice may sound odd, but determining how much sleep you need can reduce your time spent in bed, not sleeping. This process makes it easier to fall asleep and promotes more restful sleep in the long run.
Here’s how to do it:
- Avoid napping during the day.
- The first night, go to bed later than usual and get just four hours of sleep.
- If you feel that you slept well during those four hours, add another 15–30 minutes of sleep the next night.
- As long as you’re sleeping sound the entire time you are in bed, slowly keep adding rest on successive nights. (Harvard Health Publishing, 2020)
Eat Your Vitamins
If you are continually feeling tired or low energy, your diet may lack some nutrients that are key to feeling energetic. Vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron are commonly lacking in people with low energy. Ensure that you are getting enough of these nutrients through food sources or supplements. If you are unsure of what’s lacking, it’s best to consult a physician. Your doctor can order tests to determine the levels of these and other vitamins in your blood.
Use Caffeine to Your Advantage
It’s a known fact that caffeine helps in increasing alertness. Having a cup of coffee can help sharpen your mind. But to get the best effects of caffeine, you are advised to consume it in moderation. It can cause insomnia, mostly when consumed in large amounts or after 2 p.m.
Manage Stress Levels
Stress-induced emotions consume massive amounts of energy. Talking with a friend or relative, joining a support group, or seeing a psychotherapist can help diffuse stress. Relaxation therapies like meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and tai chi are also practical tools for reducing stress. If you’re a smartphone user, there are relaxation apps such as The Mindfulness App, Calm, and Headspace. (Timmons, 2020)
Regulate Alcohol Consumption
One of the best hedges against the mid-afternoon fatigue is to avoid drinking alcohol at lunch. The sedative effect of alcohol is incredibly strong at midday. Similarly, avoid a in between cocktail if you want to have energy in the evening. If you are going to drink, do so in moderation at a time when you don’t mind having your energy going a little down.
Energy levels can change by changing just a few habits. If you feel tired, more than likely your habits and behaviors are contributing. If you feel that your fatigue is seriously affecting your ability to function, it’s time to visit your primary care physician. Once you can rule out biological reasons for your fatigue problems, take into account the methods above and see if you don’t feel better after time. We love feedback. Give your new habits 30 days and let us know what worked best for you on our Facebook or Instagram pages.
Dennis, B., Duda, J., & Achenbach, J. (2020, August 11). With no end to the pandemic in sight, coronavirus fatigue grips America. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/with-no-end-to-the-pandemic-in-sight-coronavirus-fatigue-grips-america/2020/08/10/a959424c-d7fa-11ea-930e-d88518c57dcc_story.html.
Fosslien, L., & West Duffy, M. (2020, April 29). How to Combat Zoom Fatigue. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2020/04/how-to-combat-zoom-fatigue.
Publishing, H. H. (2020). 9 tips to boost your energy – naturally. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/energy-and-fatigue/9-tips-to-boost-your-energy-naturally.
Wong, C. (2020, February 29). 7 Natural Ways to Get a Boost of Energy. Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/ways-to-boost-your-energy-89843.
Timmons, Jessica. “Best Meditation Apps of 2020.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 24 Aug. 2020, www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/top-meditation-iphone-android-apps.