Increase your energy naturally throughout the work day!
I wrote about this a year ago and I am writing about it again because (a) I am still struggling with it and (b) I've learned more about why I may be chronically tired and it may help you!
You already know I'm going to tell you to move. Walk. Move. Stretch. Get up and get active. Whether you enjoy working from home or not, you may be struggling to stay awake some days and it is so tempting to go work from the comfort of your couch, which inevitably only makes you feel more sleepy. Productivity declines and the odds of napping straight after work increase. Sound familiar?
I get the urge to nap several times a day (I wish I was being dramatic). Especially in the winter months when the sun is basically non-existent, and in the spring when there are more dreary, wet days than sunny ones. But living in a constant state of tiredness will ensure that your mental health, productivity, and happiness do not thrive. Luckily, there are many ways to boost your natural energy that do not involve more caffeine.
TAKE A WALK. And let me repeat, take a damn walk. Walking has so. Many. Health. Benefits. Everyday I go for at least 3 walks, 2 15-minute walks in the morning and afternoon and one 30-minute walk on my lunch break. If you feel tired and want to skip your walk, this is when it’s most important, because once you get home, you’ll be energized to tackle the rest of the workday. Rain or shine, hot or cold, dress appropriately and get out there. The weather conditions can also help wake your body up.
PACE AROUND. If you're in a meeting or on a call where you don't have to have your camera on, pace around your space. This movement will help stimulate you.
SIT-STAND DESK. 100% worth the investment if you work from home frequently. Not the most aesthetic piece of furniture, but one that is worth the eye sore. Make goals where you have to stand every other hour, or whatever is realistic for you. Refrain from meandering on over to the couch or working from bed (yes, I've done that before and it ends in a nap). Shop my Sit-Stand Desk here.
WORK FROM A COFFEE SHOP. If you can, taking your laptop to another location can be very stimulating. For me, as much as I like to be alone, constantly being by myself and not talking face-to-face with anyone definitely contributes to my constant fatigue. This is highly dependent of the type of work you do and equipment you need of course, but if you're able to get out a couple times a week, it really breaks up your days.
TAKE YOUR BREAKS. Your productivity depends on this. Quick bouts of an activity that make you happy can reduce your stress and give you the motivation to continue on effectively with your day. Remember, no one cares about your wellbeing as much as you do, so listen to your body and mind. You deserve a break. Watch a YouTube video or something that makes you laugh if movement is absolutely out of the question.
GET SOME SUN/FRESH AIR. This is part of the reason why walking outside is so powerful – some fresh air and, if you’re lucky, some sun, will make you feel alert and alive. Even if you don’t have time to walk, but have 3 minutes to stand outside, do it. Feel the breeze, breathe deeply, and soak up the sun. This is also a great time to practice gratitude.
MOVEMENT. Drop and do 10 push-ups. Give me 50 jumping jacks. Do some squats in your chair. A quick 60-second activity will boost your energy levels. Get your heartrate up every time you’re feeling a bit tired, the more often throughout the day the better. Exercise ideas include but are not limited to push-ups, sit-ups, planks, inchworms, squats, lunges, glute bridges, high-knees, and burpees.
CREATE YOUR IDEAL ENVIRONMENT. From lighting, to temperature, to sitting or standing, you need to create the environment that is most productive for you. What makes you feel best? For me, I like lots of natural lighting and I like to stand, as it keeps me more focused and awake. Experiment to find what works best for you.