Where has my energy gone?
Fatigue is the enemy of productivity. When we are low on energy, just getting through the work day can be a chore and we are left with no motivation to get things done or make clear decisions.
The good news is that there are simple lifestyle tweaks that can boost your energy and enthusiasm for tackling even the toughest of workday challenges.
Sleep isn’t just about resting – lack of sleep not only leads to fatigue, but also to decreased strength and stamina, and depression symptoms. Growth hormone, a protein made by the pituitary gland, plays a role in making muscles healthy and bones strong. It affects how our bodies collect fat (especially around the stomach area) and it helps balance the ratio of good to bad cholesterol. It’s also essential for normal brain function. Since growth hormone is secreted primarily when we sleep, high-quality shut-eye each night will help keep weight and pain down and boost your energy. Try to switch off devices at least an hour before your bedtime and take a warm bath instead of watching that extra Netflix episode. Your brain will thank you for it the following day!
How Thrive at Work can help: If you find it hard to switch out of ‘thinking mode’ at night (that feeling when the swirling thoughts in your head keep you awake) then try training your brain during waking hours. Our ‘Energy Re-Boot‘ sessions teach techniques which allow you to switch out of ‘brain mode’ and into ‘body mode’, allowing you to relax, de-stress and read important signals from the body vital to good health. Furthermore, massage has been found in studies to decrease levels of cortisol and increase levels of the chemical serotonin, which produces melatonin, helping promote a restful sleep, so make sure you don’t miss out on the chance of a regular visit from our chair massage specialists to your office.
Keep your goals realistic
Being a perfectionist can sap your energy, causing you to spend longer than necessary worrying over your decisions. Instead of moving forward with a task, perfectionists obsessively circle back, ruminating about whether they are performing well enough. Perfectionists set goals that are so unrealistic that they are difficult or impossible to achieve, and in the end, there is no sense of self-satisfaction. If this sounds like a pitfall you tend to fall into, try setting a time limit for yourself on your projects, and take care to stick to it. In time, you’ll realise that the extra time you were taking wasn’t actually improving your work.
How Thrive at Work can help: Regular yoga practice can train us to become kinder and more gentle to ourselves, allowing our progress to unfold naturally rather than rushing to achieve things at an unrealistic pace. Thrive at Work’s Office Yoga classes offer an excellent brain training for ‘real world’ challenges off the mat as well as a wonderful physical energy-boost on the mat.
You can jump-start your energy by getting up from your desk and moving around. When you get moving, nitric oxide is released from the artery linings to allow blood to move freely through your vessels. This helps get more nutrients to your cells. Your body responds to your actions. If you sit still at your desk all day your body will downshift energy production. If you tell your body that you need to have a brisk lunchtime walk or exercise session, it responds by giving you the energy you need to do just that.
How Thrive at Work can help: The Thrive team offer workshops, yoga classes and stress-resilience programmes, which give you ways of building some simple movement into your work day routine so that you leave the office with a spring in your step.
Adjust your office lunch
Filling up on processed carbs such as white pasta / bread / rice or biscuits, chocolate and crisps causes spikes and dips in blood sugar that leave you dozing off in the afternoon. These foods hit the bloodstream too fast, giving you a quick rise in blood sugar, followed by an energy crash as the levels drop. This leaves you feeling light-headed, moody, irritable and exhausted.
Keep blood sugar steady by including lean proteins and whole grains in your office lunch and wave goodbye to that mid-afternoon energy dip.
How Thrive at Work can help: Our workday nutrition workshops show you how your choice of office snacks, lunch and drinks can unleash that perfect feel-good workday mood, avoid a mid-afternoon crash and maximise your focus and productivity. Get to know your own personal response to the foods that you tend to reach for at work and how to avoid the ones that trigger emotional and energy dips.