By Max Izenberg
Keith works in a very busy manufacturing plant as a controller and although he thoroughly enjoys his job, he has noticed a lack of energy during the workday. This is a recent occurrence in his life, since he has always prided himself on his energetic disposition. As a matter of fact, it was this particular characteristic that enabled him to obtain his last salary increase. Now he wonders what is happening and how he can reverse this lack of enthusiasm that is so troubling.
Amanda is a highly successful attorney who decided to work from home part-time after her second child was born. Previously she worked a very busy 10-hour day with no noticeable loss of energy. Now, like Keith, she finds she is also running out of gas quite early in the day.
These two people are not alone with this dilemma. It seems to be a universal problem and, unfortunately, it is not always confined to the workplace. Studies indicate almost 45% of people complain about a lower level of energy most of the time. Lack of energy, if not addressed, can lead to a lower quality of productivity and decreased motivation—problems that could result in losing that promotion or even one’s job, and also affect those at home who are trying to accomplish their work.
So how do we deal with this challenge? Here are some successful approaches to handling the tiresome problem of losing energy.
Eat a nourishing nutritional breakfast. Too many people eat breakfast on the run or maybe skip it altogether. This is simply not a good choice since breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is essential in establishing your frame of mind, both mentally and physically, for the rest of the day. Thus, breakfast should consist of good proteins and carbohydrates such as fruit, an omelette, and whole wheat toast. Skimping on this crucial meal will drag you down by mid morning.
Make your first break count. If you have that caffeinated pick-me-up drink or that chocolate bar, you may obtain some temporary energy, but by mid-afternoon you will be fighting those yawns. Keep some healthy snacks on hand such as crackers and cheese or nuts and raisins. These types of foods combine protein and carbohydrates--hence they will aid in your quest for energy and help stave off hunger until lunchtime.
Drink plenty of water. Many times we think we are hungry or we may feel a headache approaching—both conditions can lead to loss of energy. These symptoms could be due to simple dehydration—lack of enough water in your system. Drinking six to eight glasses of water daily will ensure your body will run more efficiently and energetically.
Stretch out. If your work confines you to a desk most of the day, you need to get up every hour and stretch for a couple of minutes. This will revitalize and energize you, make you feel better, and help to relieve those aching muscles in the neck and lower back --aches that sap your energy.
Deep breath. Is stress getting you down? Make deep breathing part of your day. It’s fast and easy and you can even do this while sitting at your desk. Take three very deep breaths consistently during the course of the day to help energize you and feel less stressed.
Walk those extra steps. Exercise is a proven factor in obtaining more get-up-and-go. How about getting off the bus or subway one stop before you ordinarily would? If you are in a building with an elevator, walk up those flights of steps. If you drive to work, try parking a block away.
Eat a light healthy lunch. Skip the sauces, desserts, and heavier types of meals. Instead, opt for a salad with chicken or a sandwich on whole wheat bread consisting of tuna fish—and save the soda or alcoholic beverage for another time. The sugar in those drinks will boost your blood sugar levels for a short time and then send them crashing down. Eating a lighter and healthier lunch almost guarantees your body will not have to expend extra energy in the digestion process, which will further deplete those reserves.
Laugh—it’s the best medicine. It has been proven that humor mitigates stress and that positive thoughts and laughter promote good energy. Start looking at that glass half full and laugh at life’s smaller problems rather than taking them to heart. These are both panaceas for your heart and your energy.
Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep has been referred to as a mini-vacation for your body, since your body repairs itself while you rest. Some constructive means to achieve that improved level of sleep would be exercise, meditation, yoga, or eating less food in the evening. Waking up in the morning ready to take on your day presents an extremely powerful tool for putting the “oomph” back in your body.
So if your vitality, focus and concentration are on the wane, and you’re ready to call it a day first thing in the morning, try these proven methods. They will help to replenish your tank and you will be able to call on that newfound energy to carry you through the day.
About the Author(s)
Max Izenberg is an author, lecturer, and nutrition expert who helps organizations, businesses, families, and individuals establish healthier lifestyles. Her new book, Reaching for 100, provides insights on the correlation between good nutrition habits and good health. For more information, visit: www.maxliving.ms