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How To Stay Energised in the Office

11 February 2022

Does your mind start to wander mid-morning? Do you struggle to push through the afternoon slump?

Whether your job is highly repetitive or you manage multiple tasks throughout the day, staying energized and on top of your game while at work is no easy feat.

Thankfully it doesn’t have to be this way. You can do more than drink your weight in coffee to stay awake and alert throughout your workday.

Here are some simple tips on staying energized in the office, and what you can do to keep your body happy and healthy while at work.

Have Caffeine

Okay, we did just say that you do not need to have coffee to stay awake at work but caffeine does help.

A moderate amount of caffeine has some good health benefits, but over-indulgence leads to an energy crash and that's where most of us fall short when it comes to the afternoon shift.

Most healthy adults should have no more than 400mg of caffeine per day. That's around four cups of brewed coffee or two energy drinks. A little caffeine in the morning can help you to:

  • Improve your memory

  • Improve mental functioning

  • Decrease tiredness

  • Protect against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease

  • Suppress your appetite

  • Burn more calories while digesting food

So coffee is not just great for energy it is also good for weight management and can even promote hair growth! However, if you have too much you will begin to experience negative side effects such as:

  • Headaches

  • Anxiety

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Restlessness

  • Insomnia

So make sure you don't exceed the recommended daily dose of caffeine and regulate your energy the healthy way.

Get Moving

Easier said than done when you are required to sit at a desk for 8 hours or more a day. However, even while sitting, you can get moving just enough to keep your energy levels stable.

Standing Desks

Standing desks are a wonderful solution to the mid-day slump. Not only does standing keep you active, but standing desks also offer a whole host of additional health benefits.

Standing desks are designed to promote bodily health and has seriously positive effects on your energy levels and ability to retain focus.

Walk, Don’t Roll

Most of us have office chairs with wheels that tempt us to roll over to the other side of the desk or to talk to colleagues.

Instead of rolling, get up and walk, or simply stand. Getting up from your desk multiple times a day will help you to stay awake and alert.

Stretch and Move

Office swivel chairs are designed to move with your body. Use this to your advantage by stretching, moving and twisting occasionally throughout the day.

Stretch out your legs under your desk, do mini leg raises, move and stretch your ankles, any movement that can be done while you tap away at your computer will help you stay energised throughout the day.

Eat A Moderate Lunch

The more you eat the more energy is required for digestion. Most people experience the mid-day slump a short time after lunch and if your lunch is especially heavy, you will likely struggle to stay awake in the afternoons.

Drowsiness is a natural side effect of eating, foods that are high in carbohydrates and proteins boost serotonin which gives us that relaxed, sleeping feeling we experience after a good meal.

To avoid heavy eyelids after lunch, eat smaller portions or eat lighter meals. Eat your meals in a bright space or outside, and drink plenty of water to help keep you hydrated and alert.

Set a Workday Routine

If you are given regular breaks at work, take every last minute to do something active or engage your brain in a different activity.

It is tempting to use your lunch breaks to get ahead of your deadlines, but work breaks are crucial for managing your energy and ability to remain focused. This is especially important for people who work at home who often do not give themselves a break at all.

Here are some rejuvenating activities you can do at work:

  • Go for a walk

  • Meditate

  • Make meal plans for the week

  • Stretch

  • Give yourself a mini-massage

  • Do something creative

  • Taking the stairs instead of the lift

  • Do a short workout

Even if you do not move much, giving your mind a rest and engaging in something other than your work can help you lift your mood and experience a boost of energy.

Use Energy Boosting Scents

Smelling salts are not just a remedy for fainting Victorians, they actually help you to boost mental clarity and regain focus.

Traditional smelling salts are made from ammonia, but you can replace the chemical scents with natural ones and treat your senses to delightful smells that will awaken you and boost productivity.

Zesty scents like lemon and lime invigorate the senses and boost energy. Most supermarkets sell other energy-inducing scents such as:

  • Jasmine - Boosts alertness

  • Peppermint - Fights fatigue

  • Rosemary - Increases focus and memory

  • Basil - Regulates adrenaline

  • Orange - Lifts mood

You can inhale the sents directly (make sure to dilute with water first!) spray them around the room or dispense them into a handkerchief for discreet smelling.

You can also use the oils to give yourself a mini massage at your desk. Rub the oils into your temples or shoulders to stimulate your muscles and your mood at the same time!

You no longer need to rely on caffeine alone to keep you going throughout your workday. Keeping yourself energised at work not only helps you to keep on top of your workload but is also great for your physical and mental health overall.

Our brains and bodies are interconnected, when you stimulate one you indirectly stimulate the other. Therefore you will notice a significant lift in your mood as you make an effort to move about and keep your energy levels high.

Partaking in light physical activity at your desk and taking frequent mental breaks from your work has a positive effect on your energy, changes how you experience your day, and increases the quality of your work.