Nothing is worse than having a million things to do, only to feel drained and tired with only the thought of your bed on your mind. If you feel this way often, you’re not alone: A 2013 survey from Virgin Pulse found that 76 percent of workers in the United States report feeling tired many days of the week.
Most of us turn to a cup of coffee when we feel our energy dipping too low, but we can only have so many cups before we start feeling jittery. Fortunately, there are other ways we can fight fatigue, both in the moment and long-term, that don’t require over-caffeinating or any drastic lifestyle changes.
If you frequently find that you’re feeling sluggish and desperately need a pick-me-up, try one of these seven ways to boost your energy naturally, whether you’re at work, at home, or out and about.
1. Drink Water
Instead of reaching for that cup of joe, you may want to fill up a glass of water instead. Research has found that even just mild dehydration can cause fatigue, so making sure you load up on water can help boost your energy as well as improve your focus and mood.
2. Take A Walk
Exercise can boost your endorphins as well as improve your energy levels overall, but taking even just a 30 minute stroll outside can rejuvenate your mind and body. Any physical activity is good, but many studies show that moving around outside has the greatest impact, likely due to the natural serotonin boost from sunlight.
3. Take A Power Nap
Sleeping for a quick spurt of 15 to 20 minutes in the afternoon can have powerful effects on your brain power and physical energy. Research shows that catnaps can help improve energy levels and even boost creativity and memory.
4. Have A Snack
A drop in energy can be caused by low blood sugar, so it’s important to eat foods throughout the day that keep your blood sugar levels steady.
Avoid foods high in caffeine, sugar, and fat and instead opt for high carbohydrate options — preferably whole grains — which have been shown to help sustain alertness throughout the day.
5. Watch A Funny Video
Who wouldn’t take any excuse to watch a funny YouTube video? Research has found that laughter and humor can help increase energy levels, and having a good chuckle can even be a motivator to start taking on more challenging activities.
6. Take A Cold Shower
It may be the last thing that sounds appealing, but a cold shower might be the solution to your body’s lethargy. Studies show that brief exposure to cold water can reverse the effects of fatigue, as a chilly shower can alleviate muscle pain as well as increase metabolic rate.
7. Belt A Tune
Many of us have turned on music to help pump us up, but as it turns out, singing along to this music can actually be even more beneficial. Studies have shown that engaging in a musical activity can increase your energy levels and decrease overall levels of tiredness.