20 Biggest Everyday Energy Killers—And How to Avoid Them
Stop sapping your mind and body.
We've all been there: You're feeling super low on energy during the day and do everything you can to perk yourself up, but nothing seems to be working and all you can do is daydream about climbing back in bed. So, what gives?
There are plenty of everyday energy killers in your life right now that you don't even realize are there, whether that's coffee (yes, coffee!) or your significant other. The next time you're feeling drained, look to these culprits—and learn how to deal with them. And if you're looking for a quick fix, check out these 13 Tricks for an Instant Energy Boost.
Constantly Arguing with Your Significant Other
Arguing with your significant other 24/7 about every little thing that comes up isn't just going to put a major strain on your relationship — it's also going to completely drain your energy. The longer your fighting goes on, the more exhausted you'll feel: Even one fight can take a toll, so doing it on the daily is just going to get worse. If you think you can repair your relationship, take those steps. Otherwise, your best bet is ridding your life of all emotional vampires, significant other included. Also: Be sure you and your S.O. is not suffering from one of these 20 Relationship Warning Signs Smart Couples Never Ignore!
Not Getting Enough Sunlight
Do you ever notice how crappy you feel when you don't get much sunlight during the day? Well, there's a reason for that. While spending too much time indoors can make your energy levels take a hit, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found spending time outdoors can do the opposite, giving both your physical and mental energy a much-needed boost. Get some fresh air and you'll feel reenergized in no time.
Staying Up Too Late Binge-Watching Netflix
Watching TV for a few hours at night might be your favorite way to wind down after a long day, but there's a major downfall to that: For every hour you stay up past your bedtime, you're losing an hour of sleep that can affect your energy levels.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, sleeping is how your body restores its energy: With a proper amount, your mental well-being will be in a good place, but with too little, you'll be lagging all day long. So watch Stranger Things, but make sure you have a solid lights-out time, too. Working on improving your zzz's? We've got the solution: This Genius Productivity Hack Will Improve Your Sleep.
Letting Your Emotions Get the Best of You
There's nothing wrong with being a super-emotional person and always feeling all the feels, but it does start to kill your energy after a while. Make sure you're not getting too emotionally invested in things: Sure, your friend's issues are important and you're spending a lot of time trying to save the planet, but your personal well-being has to come first. Otherwise you won't have any energy left to give. And for great advice for being more zen, read up on the 40 Things to Let Go of in Your 40s.
Reaching for a Nightcap Before Bed
You probably look forward to drinking a glass of wine before bedtime, but be careful — it could be the reason you're always feeling so tired. Sure, it puts you to sleep like a baby, but according to the Cleveland Clinic, that sedative effect isn't all it's cut out to be.
When you have alcohol in your system, your quality sleep is much worse and you tend to wake up more during the night as its effects wear off, completely draining you of energy the next day.
Sitting at Your Desk All Day Long
If you work at a desk, you probably notice you quickly go from feeling energized in the morning to super slow as the day goes on. And, part of that might have to do with how much time you spend sitting. Instead of being glued to your chair, take physical breaks throughout the day to give your energy a boost, whether that's going on a quick walk or finding a standing desk to work at. And, make sure you schedule in some exercise before or after work: According to a study published in The Lancet, one hour of exercise can offset eight hours of sitting. Even though, you can't avoid sitting down for a long period of time, to make it bearable, pick up one of The 15 Best Upscale Office Chairs Executives Swear By.
Spending Too Much Time Scrolling Through Instagram
Be honest: How much time do you actually spend scrolling through Instagram and other social media platforms? It's probably more than you think — whether it's on break at work or lying in bed at night — and it can seriously mess with your energy levels.
Not only is it completely draining being overloaded with data as you see and respond to new updates from everyone in your feed, but the blue light from your phone also causes some issues. According to Harvard Medical School, it can throw off your circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion, making it nearly impossible to get a good night's sleep and draining your energy levels in the process. If you're having trouble unplugging: Check out these 11 Easy Ways to Conquer Your Smartphone Addiction.
Drinking Way Too Much Coffee and Energy Drinks
Sure, caffeine initially pumps you up, giving you an insane amount of energy. But — as Isaac Newton once said — what goes up must come down, and soon enough that boost is going to end, leaving you feeling pretty crappy. In fact, that constant up-and-down cycle can lead to other issues, like irritability, insomnia, and anxiety, making it incredibly hard to stay up-beat and energized.
Visiting the Vending Machine at Work Too Often
Everyone pays a visit to the vending machine once and a while, but those snacks aren't just bad for your waistline. All that excess sugar makes you feel good initially as it gives your body a "feel good" dose of dopamine, but it doesn't take long for that to go away. Instead, eat snacks that will fuel your body and keep your energy levels up, like a vitamin C-packed orange, a handful of nuts, or a fiber-filled apple. Self-control can be super hard, but for advice on how to handle your cravings, check out 27 Smart Ways to Control Your Cravings.
Slouching in Your Chair All Day Long
There's a reason your mom always told you to sit up straight. Good posture is important for preventing injuries, but it's also crucial for keeping up your energy. Contrary to popular belief, your body uses more energy slumping around than it does when you're standing up straight. In fact, one study published in the journal Biofeedback found slouchers tended to feel more sleepy than non-slouchers. So sit up tall with confidence: You'll feel better both mentally and physically.
Wearing Way Too Tight of Clothes
Everyone has that pair of pants that's just a little too tight or that skirt that looks cute but makes it kind of hard to breathe. (Pain is beauty, right?) Well, all that sucking in and uncomfortableness comes at a cost: Tight clothes don't allow your blood to flow properly — especially during long periods of time — which can lead to a lower supply of oxygen getting around the body, making you feel much more low on energy than you might wearing normal-fitted clothing. Next time, make sure comfort is a priority — and, you know, breathing.
Not Getting Enough Iron and B Vitamins
It might be time to load up on your fruit and veggies. When you have vitamin deficiencies, your energy levels tend to plummet — particularly when it comes to iron and B vitamins. The good news is there's typically an easy fix. Chat with your doctor to make sure you properly get your body on the right track, and fill your plate with plenty of spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, peas, beans, papayas, oranges, and cantaloupe. Before you go grocery shopping this week, here's Why Health Experts Want You to Avoid Lettuce in 2018.
Being Too Much of a Perfectionist
Sometimes it might seem like it, but no one's perfect — that's a fact. And when you're constantly striving for something that's unattainable, you'll drain every ounce of energy you have in your body. Instead, work on setting more realistic goals for yourself and not beating yourself up when things don't go exactly as planned.
Saying "Yes" to Everything
Go look at your schedule. Is it jam-packed? Well, that's probably why your energy is non-existent lately. When you say yes to everything — whether it's dinners with friends or meeting after meeting at work — you're eventually going to get worn down.
To get your energy levels back up, starting saying no occasionally and using that personal time to unwind and relax so you can take on the challenges that lie ahead. If you want to double your productivity in a shorter time, bookmark these 15 Ways to Double Your Productivity in Half the Time.
Traveling from Time Zone to Time Zone Too Often
If your job requires you to travel often, you're probably leaving a chunk of your energy behind in each stop. While getting to jet-set around the world is a pretty great gig, it's also an easy way to drain your energy: Jet lag is real, and those traveling from time zone to time zone are not only low on energy when they're awake, but also have trouble sleeping to build up new energy in the process. Make sure to schedule in time at home to refresh your body so you can actually enjoy your travels when they come up.
Working in a Messy Environment
One second your desk is perfectly organized, and the next everything is just… everywhere. Having a cluttered workspace might not seem like a huge deal as long as you get your work done, but according to Princeton University, the mess can totally kill your energy levels.
Basically, all that extra junk lying around "[competes] with your brain's ability to pay attention," making you tired and unable to think clearly. Or do anything, for that matter. Put everything away and make sure you have a Zen place to work – that way, your energy levels will stay at a usable level.
Being Constantly Stressed Out
Crazy enough, stress has become something we brag about. When you're chatting with friends, it can almost like a contest. Being stressed out is nothing to discuss lightly, though, because it's actually one of the main things killing your energy, says the Cleveland Clinic.
To get your levels back on track, you first need to combat all the pressure in your life, whether that's spending less time with toxic people or trying relaxation techniques for the things you can't control. Once you start feeling more at ease, you'll feel more energized, too. And for an amazing stress-fighting hack, see here: Feeling Stressed Out? Science Says to Wear Your Partner's Shirt!
Hitting the Gym Way Too Often
Going to the gym on a regular basis is a great way to keep your energy levels up, but going overboard can do the exact opposite. One study published in the Journal of Novel Physiotherapies found overtraining can wreak havoc on not just your physical health, but also your mental and emotional health, making you feel completely drained. Instead of trying to squeeze in too many workouts, stick to ones you actually enjoy and you'll feel much better all-around.
Hanging Out With Super Negative People
Arguing with your significant other is an energy killer, but so is spending your time with negative people. When those around you always seem to be complaining, they're going to suck you into a half-glass-empty mindset, too. Instead of feeling energized and ready to take on the world, you'll quickly feel mentally exhausted from just being in their presence. Luckily, all it takes is hanging out with more positive, happy people to fill your energy fuel tank again.
Criticizing Yourself 24/7
It's time to turn the volume down on all that negative self-talk going on inside your head. It's bad for your mental health, and it's not good for your energy levels either. The more you do it, the more drained you'll feel so instead focus on talking yourself up. Once the positive thoughts muffle the negative, you'll instantly feel your body perk up.
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