Nine energising steps to beat daily fatigue
With longer evenings and lighter mornings, summer is a time of year when many of us are at our most energetic – but for some, even the extra dose of Vitamin D is not quite enough to combat that dreaded afternoon slump.
If you find yourself struggling to keep your eyes open each afternoon and dreaming of 5pm when you can go home to rest, you’re not alone – chronic tiredness and fatigue are increasingly common problems that leave many feeling down and unhappy, resigned to the fact that it’s just how life is. But don’t give up just yet, as there is always a way to find some relief – and some small tweaks and changes to your lifestyle could make all the difference.
Establish Good Sleeping Habits and Routines
When it comes to maintaining good energy levels, quality sleep is key. 8 hours per night is the optimum time to spend with your head on the pillow, and setting yourself a routine is a great place to start. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day, and that includes the weekends – and get into good habits such as meditation and light reading to help you drop off easily at night.
If you can get your eight hours, you’ll wake up feeling more refreshed from the get go, giving you a fighting chance of making it through the day without the need for a nap.
Start the Day with the Right Breakfast
Starting your day the right way will set the tone for the hours ahead – so get up in plenty of time, and cook yourself a nutritious breakfast to kick things off.
If you’re going to be working all day and eating your lunch later than usual, you need a breakfast that will provide slow release energy, steadily throughout the day. That way, your energy levels won’t drop too sharply and leave you flagging before lunch.
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Learn to Relax and Do Nothing
With today’s fast-paced lifestyle, relaxing is more difficult than ever, and with the constant demands of work, technology and families, it’s little wonder it’s so difficult to switch off. Everyone should make time for themselves, no matter how busy – and the better you get at taking time to relax and do nothing, the more effectively you’ll conserve energy, staving off tiredness later in the day.
Get up from your desk and walk
With desk jobs a reality for many of us, sitting still for eight hours a day or more can easily sap you of energy – but with regular breaks and taking the time out, you can start to fight back.
Get up and have a walk around whenever you can – simply moving for a few minutes and getting your blood pumping again can have a huge impact on energy levels, giving you the extra boost you need for the afternoon ahead.
Find better balance at work
Feeling tired all the time could be a sign that you’re working yourself too hard. Burn out is becoming increasingly common in today’s modern life, and is a good indicator that you need to achieve a better work/life balance. Try talking to your boss about it and see if there is any scope for revising your working hours to suit you. Your energy levels will be much more consistent if you are not forcing yourself to work far longer than you need to each day – and your productivity levels are likely to increase, too.
Don’t Eat More Than You Need
Loading up on lots of food, especially in the middle of the day, can often leave you feeling tired and lethargic – and too many carbs at lunchtime can often be the culprit of that afternoon slump. All that additional food weighing you down is bound to make you sleepy – so try to stick to light foods instead and opt for lean protein and vegetables. It’s a simple change that can make a big difference, and one you can make now.
Stay Hydrated Throughout the Day
Many people overlook the importance of staying hydrated during the working day, but it’s one of the major contributors to tiredness – and sipping an extra glass of water or two is a simple way to give your energy levels a boost. Keep a large, two-litre bottle of water on your desk and remember to fill it up during the day. In the absence of good hydration, mental alertness will suffer, so drink your fluids to stay sharp and on the ball.
Don’t Rely on Caffeine Too Much
A cup of coffee might be the first thing you reach for when energy levels are flagging, but caffeine can often do more harm than good. Drinking too much caffeine might leave you feeling more alert to start with, but the crashing lows that are guaranteed to follow can leave you feeling worse than before. Relying on caffeine to keep tiredness at bay is definitely not a long-term solution – so stick to one or two cups per day.
Struggling through the day feeling tired at every turn is no fun for anyone, so if you’re sick of stumbling through the daily grind in desperate need of an afternoon nap, then make some changes now and you could see a huge difference in just a couple of weeks.