Zoning out in meetings. Reaching for your third cup of coffee. Doomscrolling your social feed. These are all signs you need an energy refresh. Your body has a limited energy budget. You can’t expect to spin your wheels all day without refilling the tank. The good news is that energy is a renewable resource. Here are some ways to maximize your energy budget.
1. Rise and (sun)shine
Get some sunlight within the first two hours of waking up. Natural sunlight is an important signal to your brain that it’s time to get your day going. Even just 5 minutes will help kickstart your natural cortisol hormones that drive alertness and energy in the morning.
2. Delay your caffeine drip.
We love coffee, too, but caffeine first thing in the morning messes with your biological wake-up routines. Use the first hour of your day to get up, get outside, and move your body. Then grab that java.
4. Say “cheers” to a well-hydrated body.
More than half of your body weight is water. Not muscle, not fat, not organs — straight up H2O. If you’re feeling thirsty you might already be in a state of dehydration, and that can negatively affect your memory, attention span, and energy levels. Make your day flow by refilling that water bottle to meet your hydration quota (1/2 to 1 ounce per pound of body weight).
5. Spread a little gratitude.
It’s not just a nice thing to do. Science has shown that expressing gratitude also delivers a powerful dose of feel-good brain chemicals that boost energy and increase motivation. We recommend starting a mindset practice that focuses on things you’re grateful for.
6. Get your brain some oxygen.
In addition to the blurry vision, too much screen time can cause something called email apnea, where your breathing pattern becomes more shallow. Try looking up at least once every 20 minutes and use one of those focused breaks to reset your visual focus and take some deep breaths.
7. Crank up the stress (strategically).
At its core, short-term stress tells your body you need to pay attention and be ready for action. You can use this to your advantage with focused breathing practices or splashing cold water in your face in a pinch.
8. Turn your afternoon upside down.
Take a break from your inbox and stand on a half-stability ball or get into a stability-challenging yoga pose to shake things up. Challenging your balance system prompts your brain to send out chemical signals for increased focus and motivation.