Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / AUG. 12, 2015
version 7, draft 7

Where Your Energy Comes From While at Work

Who wants to feel tired every day at work? That would be no one. And yet, many of us spend our afternoons yawning at our computer screens and drinking copious cups of coffee in the hopes that they will start to make us feel alive again. But there are many sources of energy to draw from when you’re at your 9-to-5, and none of them are difficult or complicated. Read on for where your energy comes from when you’re at the office, and follow these tips to get the most of your days so you never miss a beat.

See Also: 5 Ways To Get More Energy Mid-Week

Unexpected Sources of Caffeine

You know that there’s caffeine in your daily cup (or two) of coffee -- that’s why you’re addicted to your morning trip to Starbucks. But caffeine is hidden in many other foods and drinks. If you treat yourself to a piece of dark chocolate every afternoon or splurge on a chocolate bar every once in a while, that chocolate has caffeine and could be contributing to how awake you suddenly feel.

On a related note, if you drink tons of coffee because you think that more is better, that’s definitely not the case here. You’ll only start to feel anxious and nervous if you consume too much caffeine, and what good is feeling more awake if you feel so sick? Stick to two cups a day and get your energy from more natural sources like green tea or even black tea. There’s much less caffeine in tea than drip coffee so it’s a safer way to consume it.

Your Choice of Breakfast

If you want to have steady, even energy all day long, then you have one job (besides your regular job, that is): making sure that you eat a proper, healthful breakfast. You will be yawning before you know it if you enjoy a muffin, pastry or donut for breakfast, and that goes for a breakfast that consists of only a piece of toast or a bagel. Refined carbs that are made with white flour contain sugar and that’s a recipe for exhaustion. But combining good carbs that have whole grains with protein is your ticket to fueling up in an energy-promoting way. Add a side of scrambled eggs to your oatmeal topped with honey and blueberries. Enjoy some almond butter on a whole-wheat pita with a side of banana slices and oranges.

Eat some less conventional breakfast foods and you will feel just as energetic. Try some chicken or turkey for your morning hit of protein and pair with toast or even quinoa or millet. You can even heat up some black beans in the microwave with your choice of spices and make a fast breakfast burrito with a whole-wheat tortilla. Keeping things interesting will also wake you up since you’ll enjoy what you’re eating instead of the same old, same old.

Eating Healthy All Day Long

Eating well makes you feel awake in two ways: what you’re eating makes you feel good rather than ready for a nap the way that junk food or take-out would, and you feel proud that you’re sticking to your healthy diet, which also brings you satisfaction and happiness rather than the exhausting regret of enjoying another slice of fattening pizza and calling it lunch.

If a typical food day for you means a huge blueberry muffin and giant coffee is breakfast, a handful of sour candy is your mid-morning snack, a fast-food burger and fries is lunch and you may even skip dinner because you snacked on potato chips all day long, no wonder you feel like you have zero energy. If, on the other hand, you eat oatmeal with fruit and nuts for breakfast, a salad with salmon and avocado for lunch, hummus and veggies for an afternoon snack, and make a healthy turkey chili with brown rice for dinner, you’re going to be full of joy all day long and ready to be productive. The choice is yours. How would you rather feel?

Your Naturally Cheery (or Not) Personality

Some of us are just born happy. We have smiles plastered on our faces all the time, talk to strangers and seem to always be in the best of moods. Others may be just as happy and satisfied with their jobs and lives but may not show it quite as much. Both are totally normal but if you’re naturally cheerful, you’re most likely going to feel less tired and have more energy at work. When we’re happy, we’re more interested in working and can easily motivate ourselves. We can more easily see the good in others and ourselves, and we can better judge what we need to do in order to be more productive or do a better job at our current project. We won’t take negative feedback quite as hard as we would if we were in a bad mood, and we know that we can handle anything that our bosses or coworkers send our way.

How Fit You Are

You’re not imagining it: that gym buff who sits in the cubicle next to you may not be working out when you’re, well, at work, but they do have more energy than you if your butt sees the couch more than it does squats at the gym. According to experts, if you break a sweat on a consistent basis, you will be more energetic in general. So find a type of exercise that actually makes you want to get moving, and the good news? There are so many fun kinds of exercise to do these days, whether you want to indulge your inner ballerina at a barre class, get super amazing abs by doing pilates or want to do aerial yoga. If you’re yawning more than smiling at your desk, you might want to consider upping your workout intensity or frequency. Your mood and energy levels will say thank you.

Your Love or Hatred for Your Job

Resentment and misery makes you tired. If you enjoy your work, you’ll be naturally energetic every day of your life because you’ll actually want to work hard. You’ll enjoy it so much it will keep motivating you. It’s a positive cycle. The opposite means you’ll have no energy at all because you’ll be unmotivated and uninspired. And once your motivation goes out the window, so does any hope at not feeling extremely exhausted all the time. So make sure you really like your job or find another one that will give you the energy that you need to feel in order to succeed.

How Often You Actually Rest

The most energetic people realize that some days need to be total rest days. That means making Saturday your absolutely no workout day or the afternoon that you spend in front of the television. You will have more energy during your work week if you take advantage of your weekends and actually allow your body and mind to chill out and relax instead of filling your weekend with as many activities as you do during the week.

See Also: Top 10 Ways to Love Your Job More

Wondering why you feel so tired some days, and like you could stay up for a week straight, on other days? As the above ways energy explain, it all comes down to a few simple swaps in terms of what you’re eating in the morning and all day long or how much exercise you get on a regular basis. The good news? You can feel more energetic, starting as early as tomorrow by changing your diet and your lifestyle.

Do you constantly feel tired at work? Can you think of any other reasons why your energy levels are so low? If so, let us know in the comments section below.

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