5 Tips to Boost Your Energy Level for Work

Everyone that I know of has the same problem that I do about work. I get bored of the monotony, I don’t get enough rest the night before, and I can’t focus on work.  I just keep watching the clock drag slowly by as I pray that I can stay awake long enough to get home and crawl into bed. I had no energy at all.

I didn’t always have those days, and usually even on those days when I knew it was going to be bad and I sloshed my way through enough coffee to stop a bull elephant’s heart, it was and still is hard to break the cycle of the long habit of copious amounts of caffeine and sugar to get through those highs and lows of the day. I don’t know about you, but by the time that caffeine and sugar high roller coaster is over I feel like I have been put through the wringer and I am praying for someone else to put me out of my misery.

Now, I don’t have to worry about that because of changing a few things that I eat and drink. Looking back, I am personally shocked that I had enough energy to even make that much coffee each day.  Following the tips below will help you boost your energy levels, and will help you get through the work day without feeling drained and tired.

Here are 5 tips on boosting your energy levels to get through the workday:

  1. Vitamin C: Increased levels of Vitamin C (about 400 milligrams) help increase energy. Most people’s daily intake is around 100 milligrams or less. You can find vitamin C in an 8-oz glass of Orange Juice (82miligrams). Half a cup of strawberries has about 42 milligrams. Half a cup of broccoli contains about 58 milligrams.
  2. Iron: Iron is essential for women to help increase energy. During your menstrual cycle, you can lose a lot of iron. Small iron deficiencies can leave you feeling depleted and not having the energy for work. Add iron to your diet by eating a half cup of quick cream of wheat or oatmeal for breakfast, which provides you with 5 milligrams of iron. Red meats is another good way to add more iron to your diet—only a 3 oz. serving would be a good recommended portion.  The recommended daily intake is 18 milligrams.
  3. Eat several small meals a day. This keeps you your blood sugar stabilized, which in turn will keep you having energy at work all day.
  4. Keep you proteins and carbs balanced. Don’t run to the vending machine and get a packet of donuts when you feel that crash coming, eat some crackers and peanut butter instead. I like the low fat string cheese with some crackers, or some low fat low sugar yogurt.
  5. B vitamins: Increases energy. I personally like the Crystal Lite energy drink mixes because you get a little caffeine, but the B vitamins in the drink help to keep that boost going that you started with the caffeine. The packets say to use a 16oz bottle of water, but I use a 1 liter bottle because it dilutes the mix down more and helps me to drink more water throughout the day to flush the toxins out of my body, which in turns helps to boost my energy levels that much more.

Try one or a few of these little tricks and tell me what you think in the comments below.

Workplace Anxiety Tips That Do Not Cost a Dime

We all feel anxious at one time or another and many times our jobs contribute to, or even increase, our anxiety levels.  Some reasons for having high levels of workplace anxiety can include additional responsibilities being given to us at work, lack of job satisfaction, worries about the recession, lack of a feeling of job security…and the list goes on.  While a little stress in our lives is a normal thing, excessive stress and anxiety can cause health issues and can hinder our job performance.

Here are a few things that I do throughout the day to break the anxiety, depression, and overeating cycle.  How can we better manage our workplace stress and our eating habits in order to become healthier in both mind and body?  There are several steps we can take to help reduce workplace stress that will also help to curb our desire to numb ourselves through comfort eating.

Help control your stress levels by performing the following actions during your work day:

  1. Take a breather. Get up from your station, cube or where ever you are at and walk. If you are a cube rat like myself and can get up whenever you want, take a lap around your area or go outside. If you do not have that much freedom, then go to the bathroom, water cooler, or find a reason to walk to the copier or whatever apparatus you can walk to and just walk quickly and get your heart pumping. When you move swiftly at work, or with exercise, it your body releases serotonin in your brain and helps to make you feel more relaxed and happy.
  2. Perform stretching and meditation exercises in the morning before you go to work.  Meditation can help reduce stress levels, calm ones nerves, and can help you get prepared for the workday ahead.  Stretching exercises can also help by getting your body ready to keep up the hectic pace at work, and can also help relax the body and mind.
  3. Accept that no one is perfect, and that your boss does not expect perfection—he just expects your best efforts.  Learning and growing from your mistakes is all that you can do.  Set personal goals and standards, and take pride in yourself when you meet or exceed those goals.
  4. Reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake.  Caffeine gives you a burst of energy, but excessive amounts of caffeine can contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress. I use those drink mixes for your water that give you a little caffeine and B vitamins. So see, I didn’t completely eliminate caffeine, I just cut down. Everything doesn’t always have to happen at once.  Baby steps!
  5. Talk to a co-worker or supervisor when you feel overwhelmed or stressed.  Oftentimes just vocalizing our stressors and fears helps to reduce the level of stress we are feeling.  “Getting it off your chest” is a good way to calm ourselves down and refocus our minds.
  6. Laugh!  They say that laughter is the best medicine for the soul.  Exchange funny stories with a co-worker or watch a funny video to relieve tension and reduce stress.

All of these actions are things I do on a daily basis to help with stresses from work and it is what has worked for me for the last 11 years as I have worked in the high stress level of the corporate world.  I don’t always do them all perfectly, nor do I perform every action every day, but I have found that just doing some of the above named actions will help give you that push you need to get through the day. Try just doing one of these during your work day and see what works for you.

Please let me know if there are other things that you do to help relieve stress and anxiety at work or if any of these tips I have used helps in any way.

6 Steps to Stop Excessive Overeating Because of Anxiety at Work

Excessive anxiety can lead to skipping regular meals, snacking from the vending machines at work, and comfort eating, all of which can lead to weight gain.

It’s a vicious cycle—you get stressed, you eat a whole bag of Doritos—or two—you start to put on weight because you don’t feel like exercising, you get more stressed because you are getting fat, you eat some more, etc.  I know, because I am currently in this situation.  I am a chronic comfort food eater.  Food makes me feel safe, and it calms my troubled emotions.  That is, until I realize that I’ve eaten three Snicker’s bars, four slices of pizza, a slice of cake, and two large glasses of soda.  Then, I panic and start chastising myself for eating so much—which makes me feel more anxious and depressed.  Then all I want to do is curl up in a ball and sleep for 14 hours.

Have you noticed that I didn’t mention exercising?  That is because I didn’t exercise—I loathed the concept of having to run and sweat and hurt in order to lose weight.  That is why I became an unhealthy, obese 40-something woman.  I have begun to exercise a little more regularly, and I have been somewhat surprised to find that when I do exercise, I feel much better emotionally.  I believe it is because exercise releases endorphins that make you feel better.  I know that I do feel much better after a good workout and I have lost a few pounds to boot!

Help control your eating habits by following these steps:

  1. Do not skip Meals: When you skip meals, your body thinks there is a food shortage, and begins to store fat instead of burn it.  Always eat a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have healthy snacks between meals to keep your body in the “burn fat” mode.
  2. Drink Plenty of Water:  Dehydration can often times be mistaken for hunger.  That is why it is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day.  Drinking at least 64 oz. of water a day helps reduce hunger cravings, improves the quality of your skin, and helps flush the toxins from your body.  Drinking a glass of water before each meal can also help reduce the amount of food you eat, and it is also an easy way to control food intake.
  3. Eat Breakfast:  Starting your day with a healthy breakfast helps provide the fuel your body needs to jumpstart your metabolism and allow you to work at your peak level.  Eating breakfast also helps to keep your blood sugar levels stable, and prevents you from becoming so hungry that you cannot concentrate at work and also prevents you from overeating at lunchtime as well.
  4. Avoid the vending machines:  Bringing healthy snacks from home will help you ignore the call of the vending machine when you get hungry.  Eating a healthy snack of a piece of fruit, yogurt, or carrots between breakfast and lunch will help you keep your blood sugar at normal levels and will reduce hunger pangs as well.
  5. Eat a healthy lunch and dinner:  Taking time out to eat lunch and dinner will keep your metabolism going, and will keep your body from thinking it is starving.
  6. MOVE: Although the word “exercise” is distasteful to some, adding a little movement into your daily routine will help your body burn calories and will actually give you more energy as well.  Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to a coworker’s office instead of emailing or calling them, or even walking around the perimeter of your workplace parking lot will get your circulation going, increase your heart rate, and help burn calories that would otherwise be stored as fat.

Don’t forget the side effects of your diabetic medications!

When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the doctor prescribed me Metformin and Glipizide. These are two of the most common of the medicines prescribed when diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The first thing I did when I picked up my medicine was pull off the paper work and take out my pills and read how often I was supposed to take it.

Yeah, I even talked to the pharmacist who told me that I may experience some nausea at first in taking the Metformin until my body got used to it.

I did not realize that “some nausea” meant constant diarrhea, heartburn and throwing up because every time I ate if felt like my food just sat there like a rock until it came back up.

Every time I would go to the doctor he would tell me that my symptoms would lessen and some people had more problems with the medicine than others, but I would get used to it.

Two years later I was still not used to it and even though, I was constantly in the bathroom for some reason or other I still could not lose weight.

I tried everything. I even went on this diet where I ate all organic foods and pretty much went vegan for a while, but it never helped in fact it seemed anything raw I could not digest it and it would just come right back up.

One day it got so bad that I had to have a friend take me to the walk in clinic down the road because I couldn’t stop the throwing up and diarrhea.

When the nurse practitioner comes in he gives me a shot of Phenergan to stop the nausea and a prescription for it to take home and told me to drink clear liquids.

Just before he left he turns to me and says “I see you are allergic to sulfur drugs. Did you know that most people that are allergic to those are also allergic to Metformin?”

What! Are you serious? I obviously said this out loud because he said, “that may be what your problem is instead of a stomach bug going around.” He said you should go see your primary physician and see if he can put you on something else.

Go see my doctor! The one that made me fill out a book of info on mine and my family’s medical history just so he could ignore the fact that he might be giving me something that I am allergic to?  The same “doctor”—and I am using that term loosely now—that said I just keep taking the medicine and it was normal for me to be sick all the time?

No f-ing thank you. Can I have another please!?

That day was the day that I realized that if I wanted to get better I needed to take a more active role in my health and not just assume that everything that comes out of a person’s mouth that has the title of Doctor in front of it knows what they are talking about.

I went home and looked up the side effects for both of my medicines and I found that both cause gastro intestinal problems.

Surprise!

Wish I would have read that paper work that I threw away every time I got my prescription.

I made a decision that day to quit taking the Metformin which was the lesser of the two evils in my case and way of thinking.

Guess what? The constant going to the bathroom stopped two days after I stopped taking Metformin.

Now before we go any further, I am not suggesting that you do the same. I have no medical degree and cannot and will not tell you to stop taking any of your medications without seeking medical advice. It is dangerous to do what I did and it could have turned out very badly for me.

I am presently seeing another doctor, but even after this incident, it still took me going to two other doctors before I found one that I think is really paying attention and focusing on me and not how fast he could get through my appointment so he could get to the next patient.

So lessons learned from this painful learning experience are:

  • Read the paperwork that comes with your prescription. It is not just there for decoration.
  • Do some research of your own, but don’t go overboard because if you dig deep enough, everything and its brother causes cancer.
  • Listen to your body and what it is telling you.
  • Just because someone is a doctor, do not take his or her word for everything, within reason; you have a brain, use it.
  • Get a doctor that listens; it took me 4 doctors in the last few years before I found one I felt listened to me.

What to eat? What not to eat? That is the question!

After seeing myself in a full length mirror, it was too much to handle.  Way too much to go around! That’s how I felt as well.

Round!

Just looking at myself made me cry—sob hysterically was more like it—as my dog, Angel, just sat on the bathroom floor with me and stared at me like I had lost my mind.

Which I had.

Sometimes animals are so much smarter than us humans. Maybe it is because they only see life in black and white.  After the tears dried up and my head was totally stopped up and pounding, I knew I had to do something about myself.

Being an English major, I first went to the book store and online and researched all the things I should be doing until I was so confused and weighed down that I didn’t know which end was up.  And of course during all this research I didn’t once take a walk or a jog, I just did what I always did.

Sat on my butt and did nothing. But I did learn some things. Like research is good if you are doing a paper on Shakespeare, but for this so much knowledge can be paralyzing. Then you sit and do nothing.

One person would say you should eat more protein, one said not to eat a lot of protein, no fruit on one and in the same search, I found someone who said I could have all the fruit I wanted.

What the hell!?

Could we get on the same page, please people?

I tried pretty much all of them and I failed miserably, but I learned a lot about foods and what eating the right food could do for you along this journey.

I also found that I should listen to my body.  If I ate something and it did not seem to digest well or it raised my blood sugar then I would not eat it or would change what I ate with it.

For example, if you are going to eat something that is a carb, especially a fast carb that is going to break down in your body as sugar quickly, then you should eat something with protein in it like a piece of cheese or peanut butter.

It is also better to stay away from fast carbs like white breads and sugary foods and drinks for example. If you eat these with no protein—which breaks down slower and helps to keep your blood sugar from bottoming out—you will crash.

Just think of it this way—if you shoot your blood sugar up with a sugary drink or candy and then there is nothing to hold your sugar up and keep it level until the next time you eat then…

Yep. You guessed it. What goes up will come crashing down!

Trust me, you do not want to learn this by having your sugar bottom out and all of a sudden you are sick as a dog and seeing those black little dots, feeling pin pricks on your head and sweating bullets just before you pass out.

Not a fun way to learn and lesson!

But what can I say? My grandma always said I had to do everything the hard way.

I also figured out that I wasted a lot of time researching things when I could have gotten off my butt and done some exercise instead of researching what kind I needed to do. But, that is a whole other topic we’ll discuss later.