By building stamina and resilience you can have more energy throughout the day to be productive at work and after work.
People who have energy all day to complete task after task, who are productive at work and still have enough power in them to pursue hobbies, do housework, and maintain social relationships, possess two important qualities. They have physical stamina and mental resilience. And on a rare occasion, they do lack energy, they have few tricks up the sleeve to give them a little kick.
You too can be like that. All you need to do is increase your physical and mental energy levels. Which is really not that hard once you know what to do.
If you already ruled out health problems as a possible cause for your low energy levels, then you can start practicing these small activities and before you know it you’ll have enough energy throughout the day to do everything you want.
Improve your posture
When you’re standing or sitting with a good posture you are spending less energy and straining your muscles and tendons much less than with the bad posture.
By learning to always stand up straight you’ll save yourself a lot of energy. You’ll be able to stand longer, sit more comfortably, walk more, and physical work will be easier. Having a good posture will also prevent you from having many bone-related ailments that are believed to come with age but actually come from the wrong posture.
This is what bad posture will do to you:
- wear out your spine,
- cause pain in the neck, shoulders, and back,
- decrease flexibility,
- impair balance,
- slow down digestion,
- and reduce lung capacity.
Every one of these symptoms drains you of energy and makes your movements difficult. And what’s worse these are not symptoms only the elderly experience. This can already start in the late 20’s.
If you have to choose just one thing you can work on to have more energy during the day then choose to work on your posture.
Learn how to stand, sit, and move with a correct posture and keep it in mind during the day. Just know it will be hard in the beginning and you will forget about it for long periods of time. It’s helpful to set a quick signal on your phone to remind you every hour to check in and correct your posture. Give your body time to adjust to a new way of standing.
To help you get started these are 3 tips for better posture:
- Roll your shoulders blades back and down to fix your upper back.
- Tilt your pelvis slightly forward to fix the lower back.
- Pull your belly button in and up to tighten the core.
And here are 7 physiotherapy exercises you can do daily to improve posture.
Build up strength
Strong muscles need less energy for movement than weak muscles.
Although exercising is probably the last thing on your mind when you come home tired from work, but it’s also the quickest way to get out of the tiredness cycle. You don’t have enough energy for the day because literally, you don’t have enough strength. Only with exercise you can strengthen muscles and build up stamina. The more you work, the stronger your muscles will be. And the stronger your muscles are, the more you can work. Now this is the cycle you want to be on.
Core muscles are the most important set of muscles you have. They participate in everything from breathing and talking to walking and lifting heavy things. If you have a weak core your body is spending enormous amounts of energy just to compensate.
By strengthening core muscles, you can greatly improve your energy levels. A weak core causes weakness of the whole body, back pain, poor balance, slouched posture, and shortness of breath. All this not only drains your energy but also messes up your mental health.
Stimulate vagus nerve
Having a toned vagus nerve will improve your mental resilience. Vagus nerve has many important roles in the body, and one of those roles is relaxation after the stress response.
Often when you feel like you have no energy, it’s not a lack of physical energy but rather mental. You are mentally exhausted, irritable, discontent, and unhappy. You experience too much stress throughout the day that in the evening all you can do is sit on the couch and watch the same shows over and over again. What you’re experiencing is a weak nervous system.
Heaving a strong and healthy nervous system makes you more resilient. Just like muscles can be weak or strong, so can the nerves. And through stimulation, you can strengthen them.
Stimulating the vagus nerve will make you mentally resilient in the long term but also it will relax you momentarily.
What you can do is really simple, and it will take only 5 minutes. It’s a vagus nerve stimulation in a form of a gentle massage.
You can learn how to do it in this video:
Take cold showers
Cold showers train your body to better cope with stress, they build your willpower, resilience, and alertness.
Sudden coldness forces your body to release a cocktail of hormones that make you awake, alert, and euphoric. This should give you enough of an energy boost to do few more things in the evening.
But if you decide to make a cold shower part of your morning routine then after a while you will notice you’re having much more mental energy, strength, and focus during the whole day.
Getting into a cold shower game doesn’t have to be painful. Slowly getting used to them is the key. Start with a 25°C(80°F) shower for 30 seconds and gradually build up from there. First, increase the time, and later start decreasing the temperature. To make it easier, start during the summer so in time for the winter you are already used to them.
Cold showers work best in long term, they give more benefits the longer you endure and many people swear by them being their secret for success. But if this is not your thing, no worries, you can live happily and full of energy without them as well.
Make a plan
Having a written plan of what you need/want to do will take away overwhelm and decision fatigue.
Sometimes the reason you don’t have enough energy is that you don’t have direction. You just have a vague idea about a number of things you want to do, but you don’t have priorities or specific tasks you should do. This lack of focus makes you exhausted.
When you’re dealing with a lack of energy on a mental level, knowing exactly what you need to do helps a lot. Thinking about what needs to be done and making a decision to do it takes as much energy as does to start the task.
To make it convenient you can make three lists where tasks are divided into groups depending on the amount of energy needed to finish them. For example, you have high-energy, medium-energy, and low-energy tasks. Or you can divide them by how much fun they are (boring, meh, fun). This way you can easily choose from the group of tasks you feel confident you’ll have enough energy to complete.
Sugar and fat fix
Feeling low on energy sometimes means your body doesn’t have enough “fuel”.
This is easily fixed with a help of food. Food high in sugar and fat is a great energy booster. But instead of taking an energy bar or something similar, that is high in refined sugars and fats. Try eating something more simple and healthy.
Healthy sugar&fat fix can be:
- Banana and 100% nut butter
- Raisins and peanuts
- Dried apricots and cashew nuts
Just before a task, eat, drink a glass of water and get on with whatever you need to do.
This is an old trick but it’s too good not to mention it. A coffee nap, also called nappuccino, stimulant nap, or caffeine nap is a combination of a power nap and coffee. There was a whole study that proved the effectiveness of this method.
Try this when you’re sleepy and can’t get yourself to do anything, but it’s 5 pm and the day’s not over yet.
Drink a shot of espresso, and then immediately lay down for a 20-minute nap. Maybe you’ll not fall asleep, it doesn’t matter, all it matters is that you lay and rest. Set an alarm to let you know when 20 minutes are up. Then when the alarm goes on get up and in few minutes you’ll be awake and alert.
Having healthy habits will greatly improve your energy during the day and allow you to be energetic and productive at work as well as after work. Eating healthy, drinking water, and getting enough sleep every night are the basics of good health and these 7 habits will help you to have maximum energy every day.