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Admit it, you’ve been there: you wake up feeling great, get to work, sit down amongst the chaotic pile-up of papers on your desk, and all of the sudden your brain decides it’s snooze time. Or you’ve hit what you presume to be a midday slump, and you chalk it up to simply needing a caffeine boost, reaching for the nearest sugary beverage, assuming it’ll do the trick. It’s happened to all of us. These weird time periods where we feel like the life has been sucked out of us despite our preventative measures leave us wondering— what stole our energy? Where has it gone, and why has it left us?

Turns out the old “it’s not you, it’s me” is applicable in this scenario. You might have developed a few habits that seem harmless at face-value, but beneath it all, they’re wreaking havoc and zapping the pep right out of your step. Here’s what might be draining you, and how you can fix it:

  • Associating regularly with Negative Nancies. We all have them— friends who give off negative energy and leave us feeling angry, upset, frustrated, or any other plethora of emotions that just aren’t good. This can take a bit of evaluation, but it’s time to dump these friends, and we say this with love. Or not. If a social life is as important to you as it is to us, you want to make sure you’re surrounding yourself with those who are supportive and positive. Say goodbye to the Debbie Downers in your life, or minimize your contact with them if you can’t cut them off completely.
  • Slouchy stances. Are you a sloucher? Many people don’t realize that their posture, when standing, walking or sitting, can be vastly improved. The most effective (and healthy) way to hold yourself is straight-up. Straighten your back, lift your chin, and walk on. Not only will this allow you to gain a bit more spring in your step naturally, but it also psychologically makes you feel more confident, which leads to higher energy levels as well!
  • Sugar highs. Do you find yourself reaching for a soda or energy drink midday when you hit that seemingly inevitable wall? Turns out, your sugar highs quickly become sugar lows— while that sweet drink might give you a short-term boost in your energy levels, it’s short-lived at best. Switch over to water instead, and sip throughout the day. Studies show we often don’t get enough H2O anyways, so switch out your soda for some ice water when you’re feeling parched and a little tired.
  • Disheveled spaces. If you spend a lot of time in a space that’s cluttered, chaotic, discombobulated, or any other word for “messy”, your mind will mirror that state, decreasing your ability to focus and increasing your stress. This actually takes more energy than you might think. Start and end the week by making sure your desk or work space is clear of any junk, and keep it as organized as you can as the week progresses to maintain your energy levels (and sanity) throughout the day. You’ll feel much better when you can find everything you need with ease instead of flipping through all of your files and having the stress of wondering if you misplaced something.
  • Skipping breakfast. If you’re one of many who believe that cutting out breakfast is the easiest way to lose weight, or that simply not having the time to eat is a valid excuse, you definitely want to start reconsidering. Getting a hefty calorie intake within an hour after waking up has been shown to boost energy levels throughout the day, but especially within those first few dark hours of the morning where all seems bleak. Pick something quick, healthy, and yummy that you’ll look forward to eating every morning and stick with it!! You’ll feel much more productive when the groans of your stomach aren’t distracting you.

The truth is that staying energized can be as simple as fixing a few poor habits! Try out these quick solutions and let us know if they’ve worked for you. Another thing to improve your energy levels, even if you’re tired, is exercising regularly— and you already know we can help with this! Stay energized, my friends.