Are you struggling to stay focused at work or when you’re studying? It’s not unusual to feel lethargic and drained, especially if you’ve had a lot of recent stress. Well here’s a secret… there’s something you can do about it. In fact, there’s a lot you can do about it.
What's causing your low energy?
First things first, you need to find out what the cause of your slump might be. It’s very likely that you might be feeling tired because you’re overworked, stressed or, more obviously, not getting enough sleep. Today’s fast paced environment means we’re always ‘go, go, go’ and being constantly connected online mean that there are a lot of distractions that can cause us to be less focused and lead to a slump at the end of the day. Establishing what the cause of your tiredness will help you understand which one of the solutions will give you the best boost.
Sometimes all we need to get through a full work day is just a simple walk around the block to help you feel more energised. Utilise your lunch break to take a scroll and don't forget to take regular breaks from your desk and stand more too.
Daily exercise is also so important, besides regular runs, sports or gym time, you should be walking around as much as possible every day. When we sit for an excessive amount of time, our body goes into 'relaxation mode' and because our physical body isn’t moving much, our brain stops ‘moving’ as much too, making you tired and less focused.
One of the number one reasons that cause tiredness is diet. More specifically, a bad diet that includes a high intake of carbohydrates, dairy or sugar. If you think you could be eating too much of one of these food groups, or too much of all three, reduce your consumption and see if you notice any energy differences. A lot of these types of foods, especially sugar and carbohydrates, fill you and give you energy momentarily but actually then spike your glucose levels, causing them to rise and make you hungry again a few hours later. This very spike, does the exact same to your energy levels because it uses a lot of energy to break down the foods in your stomach. Dairy is also a known cause of chronic fatigue in people who are sensitive to it. So if you you think you are sensitive to dairy, switch you regular milk habits to almond milk or another alternative for a week and see how you feel (it's really not that bad by the way!).
Try not to ever skip meals. You can do this by making sure you’re prepared with meals for the week. Being prepared will also help you to not fall into the habit of buying a carb or sugar filled meal when you’re starving and in a rush! Keep some power snacks on you like bananas, nuts or a smoothie. This will regulate your metabolism and give you the little energy boost you might be needing. Drink plenty of water too, sometimes you might think you’re hungry but you might actually just be thirsty! You'll be surprised at how much energy a glass of water can give you.
Lastly, another thing to be aware of is your gut health. Yep, your stomach could be a big cause of your tiredness, especially if you’ve been eating badly and not treating your body well with the food it needs. Some simple ways to cleanse your gut is to drink a cup of warm lemon water or aloe vera juice every morning and drink a tablespoon of apple-cider vinegar before each meal. Jessica Sepel is an expert in this field and explains how you can get your gut health on track very clearly in her article: Heal Your Gut And Perfect Your Digestion.
How are you sleeping? Tossing and turning, or sleeping like a rock? Your lack of sleep or disruptive sleep could be making you tired, for obvious reasons. Make sure you always get in the quality sleep you need. Starting your day right, with a proper morning routine, or stretching well every day can also increase and stabilise your energy levels.
Avoid and be aware of distractions
Social media has changed the way a lot of our routines work. It often becomes a natural impulse to unlock our phones and check our social feeds. But you may not know how scrolling on your phone is contributing to your low energy levels. Staring at your screen puts a lot of strain on your eyes. Luckily, according to Medium, there are a few things you can do to decrease the tired effect phones have on you like dimming the brightness of your screen and breaking the habit of 'checking' your phone regularly.
Cut down on the caffeine
Although coffee and energy drinks boost your energy temporarily, they soon wear off and actually make you more tired. Switch the energy drinks and coffee for juicing if you need an alternative. Juicing is a great form of energy boosting. You also visit your doctor or local clinic and get a Vitamin B shot to boost your energy for the week if you're weening off the caffeine.
Make sure your alcohol intake is minimal during the week and the weekend too. Drinking a lot of alcohol over the weekend can not only affect you the next day with a bad hangover, it also takes its toll the following week, making you tired and leaving you to catch up on the lack of sleep and low immune system. Up your water intake and lower the glasses of wine.
There could be a number of different reasons why you're struggling to keep awake during the day. Try all of the above and see what works for you, everyone is different and what's causing your fatigue might not be what's causing your colleague's. What's most important though is to be inspired enough in your work that you enjoy what you do, even if you are tired some of the time.