By: Sebastian Leung
Staying energized throughout the day can be a huge difficulty for students. Juggling the responsibilities of school, work, extracurriculars, and other things can take a toll and not give students enough time to rest. So how can we have enough energy to get through the day? Hint: Bathing in coffee is not on the list.
Starting the day off right
Rrrrringg! Our alarm goes off in the morning and we instantly reach for the snooze button. “A few more minutes,” we think to ourselves. We’re convinced that a bit more sleep is what we need to get ourselves ready for the day. But did you know that this will actually make you more tired? Without going into too much science, sleeping later each day will mess up your sleep cycles and can make you feel more fatigued. When your alarm goes off, wake up and try to get 30 minutes of sunlight. Taking a walk outside or sitting by an open window can help. If it’s still dark outside, turn on the lights inside. This tells your body’s “master clock” that it’s time to get up and going.
Eating less carbs
Although carbohydrates are a source of energy, eating too many can be hard for our bodies to digest and make us more tired trying to do so. Try to limit carbs to about 150 grams a day, and eat some healthy protein instead. You’ll feel much more energized by doing so.
Getting more physical activity
“I don’t have an hour each day to go to the gym!” This is a very common excuse we use. But we actually don’t need to get that much exercise to stay energized. Instead of going for a power nap, taking a ten-minute walk can help keep our bodies alert and feeling refreshed for the rest of the day. Walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator can help too. Even though it may be painful at first, the results will begin to show as you feel more and more energized each day.
Ending the day on a ‘bright’ note
The best way to end our day on a bright note is to avoid bright screens. By having bright light or using our phones and computers at night, we’re pretty much tricking our bodies into thinking it’s still daytime and increasing brain activity. Try to get off the computer an hour before bed and read a book instead. Falling asleep will be easier and will allow you to wake up feeling more energized.
Interested in writing a blog for the Career Development blog? It’s open to Macaulay students and alums. If you would like to contribute or have any questions, feel free to email Jamie.Ruden@mhc.cuny.edu.