10 ways to recharge

10 WAYS TO RECHARGE

REHYDRATE

It may surprise you to hear this, but coffee and alcohol are not water. Still, a lot of us consume them to hydrate ourselves instead of drinking the suggested 64 oz of water a day. Without enough water, the body struggles to eliminate waste products and carry nutrients to cells, which can leave even the skin looking tired. Instead of drinking water only when you feel thirsty (which is the body’s way of telling you it’s already dehydrated), fill a large bottle of water first thing in the morning and place it on your desk. This constant visual reminder will make you drink more throughout the day.

SLEEP DEEPER

Improving the quality of your sleep doesn’t just mean sleeping longer. For example, sleeping in on the weekends throws your natural rhythm out of sync, making it harder for you to get back to a normal pattern during the week. Six hours’ shuteye is pretty much agreed upon as the minimum you need to function normally in the day, but they need to be six good hours.

One way to get proper sleep is to skip the snack before bed. Raising your blood sugar level before sleeping will have a negative effect on the quality of your sleep. Skip the nightcap too, because while alcohol can help you nod off, it may prevent you from going into a deep sleep. Without deep REM sleep—the kind that actually helps restore you—you won't feel or look refreshed in the morning.

DEVELOP A BEDTIME ROUTINE

Establishing a consistent routine before bedtime will help prepare your body for a good night of restorative sleep. After a week or two of following a pattern, pre-bedtime activities like showering or reading will automatically put your body in sleep mode.

BREAKFAST LIKE A KING

Juggling family, career, and your incredibly handsome looks might make you forget the most important meal of the day. Skipping breakfast lowers your metabolism, making it more difficult for your body to burn sugar and give you enough energy throughout the day.

SOAK UP THE SUN

Despite all the (legitimate) warnings about UV exposure, it’s still important to get at least ten minutes of sunshine a day. The Vitamin D that comes with outdoor natural light will boost your mood and energy levels. So leave your desk at lunchtime (do you really need another reason to?) and get outside for some sun. Make sure to put on some good sunscreen if you decide to stay out any longer.

WORK UP A SWEAT

Exercise doesn’t just make you look good. Regular workouts, or even just a brisk 20-minute walk each day, can have a major impact on your mood, immune system and general well-being. Also, it will give you more energy rather than wear you out. Counterintuitive, right? It happens because physical activity supplies oxygen to every cell in your body, increasing energy levels and leaving you feeling (and looking) completely revitalized.

FUEL CORRECTLY

You could put vegetable oil in your gas-tank. Might work. Probably won’t. The same will happen when you put the wrong food in the engine that is your stomach. To avoid that midday energy slump, look closely at your diet and, more specifically, at the kinds of carbs you eat throughout the day. Chances are it’s the processed foods like soda, baked goods, and white bread that are taking a bite out of your energy. Replace them with complex carbs and whole grains like brown rice, rye or quinoa to keep your energy level up all day.

CATCH YOUR BREATH

This sounds obvious, but remember to breathe. Properly. Most of us take short, shallow breaths which make it harder for oxygen to get itself around the body. Instead, breathe down into your abdomen and exhale completely, pushing your belly button back into your spine. Try it right now. Seriously. It’ll help keep you alert and calm.

TECHNOLOGY TIME OUT

If you’re reading this late at night, then it’s time to look at the impact of blue light on your energy levels. Like caffeine, blue light is a stimulant that will keep you awake and spoil a good night’s restorative sleep. Yes, that YouTube clip is hilarious enough to watch on repeat, but you should cut back on your tech addictions when you get home at night.  Switching everything off a little while before bedtime will lower your stress, allowing you to relax and recuperate.

DE-CLUTTER YOUR LIFE

Is your apartment approaching hoarder-status? The more organized your living and work spaces are, the less stressed you’ll be and the less tired you’ll feel. Cluttered environments happen when people are “spinning plates” (trying to juggle a million things at once), an approach which isn’t always productive or efficient. Clean up your space and prioritize your workloads—one at a time—instead of burning yourself out all at once.