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Blog > 9 Habits for Leaders to Gain More Energy in 2024

9 Habits for Leaders to Gain More Energy in 2024

Boost vitality and prevent burnout
Woman doing morning routine

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Whether your New Year’s resolution relates to your job, health, or relationships, there’s one thing that’s certain: you won’t be able to successfully achieve your resolutions if you’re exhausted. When your energy levels are low, your overall health and well-being will suffer, as does your cognitive performance and mental health. In other words, running on empty can be detrimental.

To start the new year with renewed energy and focus, it’s essential to identify what activities and habits within your life drain or deplete your energy versus activities that increase it. Today, we’re providing nine actionable habits to keep your energy levels high and avoid burnout.

How Burnout Stands in the Way of Living a Healthy Life

Before discussing the various habits you can adopt to keep your energy levels high and avoid burnout, it’s important to realize just how detrimental burnout can be.

Burnout is on the rise, so if you’re experiencing it, you’re not alone. Studies have found that more than 40% of employees across the United States and the United Kingdom report they’re “burnt out,” meaning they feel unengaged at work, experience energy depletion, and are more susceptible to negative habits than average. Causes of burnout include recent world events, the economy, and stress at work.

Unfortunately, burnout has negative impacts on more than just one’s job. Studies have found that burnout can be connected to health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, insomnia, and depression.

Luckily, the American Heart Association notes that many habits, including those listed below, can help reduce burnout and increase energy levels.

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9 Habits for Leaders to Enhance Their Energy

To enhance your energy levels in the new year and reduce burnout, cultivate these nine healthy habits.

1. Prioritize Sleep

Sleep deficiency can affect your energy, mental performance, and overall health. Good-quality sleep, meanwhile, can increase your energy, immune function, metabolism, heart health and overall health.

It’s important to note the stigma around sleeping “too much.” The thinking is that you must work long hours without breaks in order to be successful. While you should never shy away from hard work and using stress as a motivator, getting adequate sleep is crucial for long-term health and productivity.

You should strive to improve your sleep quality by optimizing your sleep surroundings and having a consistent sleep schedule.

2. Stay Hydrated

Adequate hydration is key to maintaining high energy levels, as dehydration causes fatigue and weakness.

To assess hydration, you should start keeping tabs on how much water you drink each day (our habit-tracking app can help with this), and if you’re not getting enough water (half your body weight in ounces), set a goal to increase your intake.

3. Embrace Physical Activity

When you’re tired, the last thing you want to do is exercise. But even just a small amount of low-intensity exercise can decrease fatigue. A University of Georgia study found that “sedentary people who regularly complain of fatigue can increase their energy levels by 20% and decrease their fatigue by 65% by engaging in regular, low-intensity exercise.”

We recommend that you find a low-intensity exercise that you enjoy (it can be as simple as going on a walk with a friend, attending a yoga class near the office, or using an under-desk treadmill) and then aim to get in a little movement each day.

4. Practice Mindful Eating Habits

Some food makes for better fuel than others. That’s why you might feel more equipped to take on the day after a healthful, well-rounded breakfast than grabbing a doughnut on the way out the door.

Mindfully choose energy-boosting foods such as fruits, lean meats, dark leafy greens, and whole grains. Another vital factor is to consider eating your meals in the correct order to avoid glucose spikes that can make you feel sluggish. Biochemists recommend eating vegetables first, then protein, then carbs. Keep this in mind next time you map out your lunch and dinner plans.

5. Spend Time Outdoors

Spending time outside has been shown to come with a myriad of health benefits, including increased energy, better sleep, and better immunity. Even though it’s colder this time of year, aim to spend more time outside. It’s best to switch it up by taking walks in your neighborhood rather than on the treadmill, having your morning coffee on the porch rather than at your desk, or working outside for a few hours if you work from home. There’s nothing like fresh air to boost your energy.

6. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

A little meditation goes a long way. A study has found that as little as 25 minutes of mindful meditation can “significantly” improve brain function and energy levels. Try incorporating meditation into your nighttime routine or practice as soon as you get up. You can also do some desk meditation during your workday.

7. Reduce Negative Habits

Negative habits are the main cause of decreased energy. Habits such as drinking alcohol, skipping your daily workout, scrolling on your phone, etc., can not only zap your energy but are not the best ways to spend your time.

If you can identify the negative habits in your life that make you feel worse overall, take small steps to reduce them. Use a habit-tracking app, for example, to reduce the number of drinks you have per week, track the number of days you work out, or reduce the number of hours you spend on your phone. Many smartphones have notification features that tell you when you’ve reached your maximum screen time. These small but helpful tools and reminders can make all the difference in reducing negative habits.

8. Seek Inspiration and Passion

Engaging in inspiring activities and pursuing your passions often gets overlooked but can significantly help reduce the monotony of your daily life. Waking up to something that gets you excited can be a major energy boost. If you’re unsure where to start, explore new hobbies, read a self-help book, attend an educational workshop, or try to meet new people you might not usually. The key is to get outside of your comfort zone!

9. Establish a Morning Ritual

Lastly, create a morning ritual that sets the tone for the day. Doing so will help you start your workday filled with energy and manage stress throughout the day. Enjoy a morning meditation, do some yoga, and eat a healthy breakfast. Try to do these things in the morning without first checking your phone or reading emails.

As Debbie Chueh, ICF-Certified Coach, Program Manager, and Chief Energy Officer at Arootah, says, “Picture your energy as a brilliant sun rising within you, casting clarity and drive into every corner of your day. High energy is the powerhouse that turns ambitions into achievements. To keep my inner sun shining, I infuse my schedule with pockets of joy, like walking my dog down a tree-lined street that recharges my spirit.” 

The Bottom Line

No matter what you want to accomplish this year, you’ll need plenty of energy to reach your goals. Take proactive steps to increase your energy and you’ll find that avoiding burnout becomes easier, as your overall health and wellness increases, too.

Need more help? If you’re looking for more ways to recharge this year, join us next month for a powerful conversation on Energy as a source of health and vitality. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more details and announcements.

Disclaimer: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be and should not be taken as professional medical, psychological, legal, investment, financial, accounting, or tax advice. Arootah does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or suitability of its content for a particular purpose. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read in our newsletter, blog or anywhere else on our website.

Tags:  Energy | Wellness
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Debbie Chueh
Debbie Chueh
5 months ago

Exploring inspiration through educational classes can be expansive to the mind and uplifting for the soul. – Debbie Chueh, Chief Energy Officer at Arootah