If you’re always wondering how to get more energy, the answer’s (literally) right in front of you: Change your everyday habits. Even though your brain’s on auto-pilot you’re still burning energy. Many of us blindly assume we’re tired because of something specific that happened last night or last week, when it’s likely because of things we’ve been doing for years. Break the monotony and learn how to get more energy!
We all have days where we feel out of sync or in a fog, but if your primary form of communication is yawning, you need help. Check out the 10 energy-zapping habits below to see if they’re part (or all) of your problem.
How to Get More Energy: 10 Habits to Nix
1. Sleeping erratically
If your sleep cycle and the amount of sleep you get is all over the map, your body and mind are working overtime to compensate. The problems this can lead to are serious–depression, mood swings, and weight gain just to name a few. To keep your body’s rhythms in sync, try your best to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (including days off).
2. Skipping breakfast
Food has a lot to do with learning how to get more energy. Running on an empty stomach makes you feel lethargic and puts more stress on your body than necessary. Healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be rocket science: Just eat within the first hour you’re awake and include whole grains, protein, dairy and fruit as part of your morning routine.
3. Feeling dehydrated
Dehydration slows your metabolism. By drinking more water, you’ll boost your immune system and have more pep in your step. Of course, water can get boring after a while, so make sure to also have hydrating foods at your disposal.
4. Drinking too much coffee
If you’re wondering how to get more energy, cutting back on your caffeine/sugar intake is a must. Drinking coffee gives your body a false sense of energy, which leads to an inevitable crash later in the day. As your body becomes used to high amounts of caffeine, you’ll find yourself upping the dosage (until eventually you’re drinking it directly from the carafe with a straw). To reduce this stress, cut back on caffeine/sugar and start using natural ways to boost your energy instead.
5. Staring at a computer screen
Not giving your eyes a chance to rest between tasks can cause fatigue, blurred vision and headaches. To prevent eye strain, establish the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away for 20 seconds at an object that’s 20 feet away.
6. Eating the wrong carbs
Make sure you’re eating natural, unprocessed carbs such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables and toss the white bread that’s pretending to be healthy. When you don’t have enough carbs, your brain steals energy from your muscles–not cool.
7. Living in clutter
A cluttered home equals a cluttered mind – it makes your brain feel overwhelmed, which can also lead to physical exhaustion (not to mention delays when you can’t find what you’re looking for). Try it: Clean up a small area of your home, keeping only what you’ll actually use. You’ll be surprised at what a difference it makes for your mental clutter!
8. Exercising too little/too much
Leading a sedentary lifestyle is physically taxing, especially for those of us who work in an office. Take a break every hour for light stretching and a short walk. At home, find a few hobbies you enjoy that don’t involve sitting. But don’t go to the other extreme and start exercising too much. This causes your body to release too much cortisol (the stress hormone), which can lead to burnout. If you can comfortably repeat your exercise daily without forcing yourself, then you’re on the right track.
9. Not resting enough
You might be thinking, “no duh,” but many of us push ourselves too far without realizing it. The adrenaline will keep you running for a minute, but it’s hard to know when you’ve crossed the line from adrenaline to cortisol. Spread out your daily tasks so that you have pockets of time to rest. Taking time to breathe before your next round of tasks will make a big difference, both in energy level and efficiency.
10. Allowing others to deplete you
Our social relationships can have a big impact on our well-being. If you find there are people in your life who make you feel tired, irritable, or stressed out, take time to reevaluate your relationships and create boundaries.