Battling Burnout: Keep Your Energy Levels High

Physician's Money Digest, February 2007, Volume 14, Issue 2

Does your energy start to decrease at the same time each day? By the time you see your afternoon patients are you dragging? Follow the steps listed below and you’ll experience an immediate improvement in your energy levels.

To prevent the early morning energy crash:

  • Get into bed around 10:00 PM at night to take advantage of optimal sleep times. If you go to sleep before 10:00 PM and wake up around 6:00 AM, you'll fall asleep with greater ease, and you won't feel like a zombie when you wake up.
  • Upon waking, drink two large glasses of water. As a reminder, place a 16-ounce water bottle on your bedside table before going to sleep.

To prevent the mid-morning energy crash:

  • Go outside around 10:00 AM and breathe fresh air for 3 to 5 minutes. This is especially effective if you work inside a stuffy building with fluorescent lighting.
  • If you can't get outside, bring a bottle of peppermint essential oil with you to your practice. Put a few drops on your palms, rub your hands together, and breathe deeply into your palms for an invigorating wake-up call.

To prevent the mid-afternoon energy crash:

  • Eat half of your lunch around 12:00 PM, but wait to eat the second half until around 2:00 PM. This "split lunch" approach will keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady all afternoon.
  • Take a 5-minute power walk outside around 3:00 PM to wake up your body. The more you move throughout the day, the more energy your body will generate.
  • Use a 5-minute "fun fix"” to boost your energy by inserting some pleasure into your busy afternoon. Call your kids to say hello, read two pages in your favorite book, or put on headphones and listen to an inspiring song.

Christi Lehner-Collins is a certified holistic health counselor based in Boston, Mass. She specializes in helping busy professionals all over the world practice stress-free healthy eating and guilt-free self-care. She welcomes questions or comments at christi@bostonhealth coach.com. For more information and free resources, visit www.bostonhealthcoach.com.