For our Wellbeing special of In Good Company we decided to ask the Impact people to weigh in on what keeps them energised throughout the day and offer some top tips.
Sarah Le Page, Marketing Manager, Impact Americas
Go Nuts: healthy snacks made up of complex proteins and carbs (nuts, cheese, meats, fish) throughout the day metabolize slowly and give you sustained energy over time.
Move: stand up, do a backbend; the blood flow will make you feel reenergized, but inverting from your normal hunched over position will open your lungs so you can take in more oxygen and stimulate your adrenal glands, giving you an extra charge.
Hydrate: water is the essence of life – hydration is equally as important as the food we eat. Water keeps your blood at the right consistency and volume allowing your muscles to work more efficiently, steady your heart rate and distribute your hormones for overall energy maintenance.
Jo Appleby, Head of Community Partnerships, Impact UK
How do I keep energised - I do stuff that matters as much as I can...
Work: Today I’m collating data in order to write our United Nations Global Compact Report, I’ve met with colleagues to discuss a client meeting and how we can design a Community Action Learning (CAL) session into their graduate programme and I’ve been on the phone reviewing a recent CAL programme with community partners in Mumbai.
Exercise: Running –– when I run (most lunchtimes) I often acknowledge how my legs, arms, heart, stomach feels…often I actually talk (internally) to my body to thank it for working so hard or listen when it’s struggling, promising water and good food…I think our bodies deserve attention, it’s not there to just support my head.
Drink: Hot water with lemon and ginger (fresh). And loads of it! Ditching caffeine as a first drink in the morning was such a good thing to do, it took me years and years to realise it wasn’t what my body needs in the morning. Come 11.30 though, coffee is my friend and provides the right energy for a run at lunchtime.
Eat: I think about what my body needs, not my head…And yes sometimes my body needs sugar, biscuits, cake, chocolate, but mostly it responds best to simple foods which are easy to digest. In return my body provides me with energy and focus (my tummy smiles).
Sleep: If I am struggling to sleep I get in a spaceship* (it’s quite a modest, basic one); I leave the world of bright lights, noise, buildings, clutter and find space in space. During the journey I allow thoughts to come in and I acknowledge them and let them go so by the time I actually get into space I am able to breathe deeply with a calm, uncluttered mind…I’m always asleep before I reach 10 breaths…
*I don’t really get into a spaceship
Hannah Northey, Head of Programme Management, Impact UK
Keeping hydrated: drinking plenty of water throughout the day. I find keeping a bottle on my desk encourages me to keep drinking. It’s also a good way to monitor how much I have drunk throughout the day.
Reclaiming my lunch break: I always know when I haven’t had a lunch break – I’m tired, distracted, reach for the sugary snacks and not productive. Getting out for some exercise or going out for lunch with friends helps to de-stress and get some fresh air.
Stopping and taking a regular break: taking a few minutes away from the computer and walking around the office or having a stretch helps to clear my head and give my body a change of position.
Connor Gildert, Programme Administrator, Impact UK
Exercise: It's a great way to maintain energy levels in so many ways. Try getting yourself to the gym or out for a run in the evening. Science says that aerobic exercise helps you fall asleep faster at bedtime. You also spend more time in a deep sleep and wake up less during the night. As well as getting you more Z’s at night, exercising can act like a stimulant, working out in the morning or the afternoon can give you a massive boost, proven to make you more productive during the day.
Eating-drinking: Three small meals and light snacks throughout the day will regulate blood sugar and energy levels. Only eating one large meal at lunch demands more energy to digest, which can leave you feeling lethargic. Snacking on foods with healthy fats, oils and protein such as fish, nuts and olives will leave you feeling less hungry throughout that day and make you less tempted to put your hand in the treat jar later.
Put on some bangers! Listening to music is such a great way to change a mood and increase energy. Studies have shown that runners listening to music run faster than those running in silence. It’s the same in the workplace. Drowning out any background noise can help you focus more on work and prevent distraction; research suggests that music can distract you from feeling fatigue. Create a playlist of your favourite songs and listen anytime you need a boost!
Reid Templeton, Consultant, Impact Americas
Here are my top tips for when I’m on the road:
1. I plan 20 minutes in my morning to stretch and practice some mindfulness breathing or I run, preferably outside. This helps me clear my mind and focus on the day ahead.
2. I turn my phone off or put it in airplane mode when I am with a client so I do not have any distractions and my energy stays with the client.
3. I snack between meals to help match my metabolism.
And when I’m at home:
1. I run, bike, or ski 3-5 times a week. This helps me unwind and allows my mind to think about whatever comes up!
2. After work, I leave my phone on the charger in a separate room away from my family so I can be with them and have playtime with my twin daughters.
3. I play my guitar at different times during the day for 10-15 minutes. This helps me release any tension and gives me a creative outlet if needed. I’m more energized when I go back to work.
4. I walk around as much as possible when I am on calls.
David Cooper, Senior Consultant, Impact Americas
Prompted focus and movement: Spire (It’s a wearable) or other mechanism to generate movement, breath, and focus - I program it to alert me when I’ve been sedentary, when I’m tense, and when I haven’t taken a deep breath in a while.
A break from routine: I keep creative/fun things nearby. For me it’s usually my guitar. Throughout the day I’ll grab it and play for 10 minutes and then jump back into work.
Meal grazing and hydration: I avoid the after lunch slump by eating smaller meals throughout the day. I also target drinking 3 litres of water during the work day. I find this gives me more energy and focus throughout.