Other than money, if you could have more of one thing, what would it be? If you answered time or energy, you are probably part of the majority. With busy schedules, long commutes and the expectation to multitask, it’s no wonder so many of us lack the time, energy and motivation to exercise or cook a healthy meal, and sometimes have trouble being fully engaged at work or home. The good news is that there are many simple, daily practices that can boost your energy, which may help you become more engaged and productive at work, therefore helping you get more out of your time.
Here are our top 6 ways to energize in the workplace:
Although counterintuitive, more and more evidence shows that taking more breaks can actually boost your energy and creativity, not to mention benefit your health and happiness. To stay on schedule, take a break.
Deep breathing and/or relaxation exercises can help reduce tension so you can focus on your work and tasks at hand. Taking just a few minutes can reward you with renewed energy and engagement throughout your day. Begin by taking several deep breaths to help you become more present and attentive and to let go of the distracting “chatter” in your mind.
Movement breaks throughout the day are an excellent way to keep your focus, prevent fatigue, and relieve body stiffness. Standing, stretching, walking, and dancing can be incorporated into your workday for a fun energy boost. Download Stretch Break reminder software at the campus Blu portal.
What you eat (and drink) can have a major impact on your energy levels. Have you ever experienced a “sugar crash” after eating sweets? Balanced meals throughout the day can keep your energy (and hunger levels, mood, and weight) more stable. Follow the Healthy Plate Model as often as possible, and include healthy snacks if needed. Find healthy recipes at Cook Well Berkeley.
Equally as important is drinking plenty of water to avoid one of the main causes of afternoon fatigue – dehydration. To gauge your hydration, your urine should be clear or pale yellow, and you should be visiting the restroom every two to four hours. Soda, sugary coffee and/or tea, and energy drinks may give you a temporary buzz, but water is the winner for long-lasting energy.
Even small amounts of sleep deprivation can make us less efficient. Most adults require 7-8 hours of good sleep to feel and perform at their best, but less than 30% of our population is getting this much rest. If you are one of the many that have trouble sleeping, check out these 15 sleep remedies.
Incorporating more positivity, gratitude, and praise into your life can actually boost your energy, as well as your spirits! Try shifting your thoughts from negative to positive, reminding yourself what you’re thankful for, saying thank you, and complimenting others. Learn 5 ways to cultivate gratitude at work.
Hopefully you will find these tips to be useful and maybe even start practicing one or two today. If you’d like to increase your odds of successfully gaining more energy, we know accountability and support can make a huge difference.
That is why Be Well at Work – Wellness Program (formerly known as Health*Matters) is offering the Energize to Be Well 6-week online challenge, beginning on Monday, October 10, 2016. This challenge is available to all UC Berkeley faculty and staff at no cost, and promotes daily practices to help you feel energized and engaged. Team participation is optional but encouraged for social support and will be recognized throughout the challenge. The weekly newsletter will provide a goal for the week along with daily energizer practices, educational guidance, and resources. Submit your weekly progress for a chance to win prizes, including a grand prize of a FitBit Alta! Participating teams will be eligible for additional team-building raffle prizes.
In addition, there will be an Energize to Be Well panel presentation on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 12:10-1pm in the Tang Education Center. Campus colleagues will present the evidence behind daily practices and share personal experiences for increased energy and engagement.
To register for the challenge or the panel, visit uhs.berkeley.edu/energizetobewell.