Here’s How to Mentally Recharge When You’re Feeling Drained

Feeling fatigued or emotionally tapped out at work? These in-the-moment Microsteps can help.

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It’s only natural for our energy levels to dip during the day. But if you constantly find yourself feeling drained, you can take small steps to recharge. As the science shows, small steps can be incredibly effective at helping us course-correct and approach our day — and our work — with more energy and passion.

Here are four simple Microsteps to help you mentally recharge when you feel drained:

Switch up your environment

Sometimes a change of scenery is just what we need to reset when our energy is low. If you’ve been taking calls at your desk or working in a windowless room all day, consider taking a break and walking outside. If you work from home, spend a few hours working from a different part of your home, or take your laptop to a nearby coffee shop for a new view. 

Set a stretching reminder

Science tells us that sitting all day without taking time to stretch our muscles or move our body can leave us feeling fatigued. So if you’re feeling low-energy and it’s been a while since you’ve gotten up, take a quick stretch break to help your body and mind reset. Even better, try setting an hourly stretch reminder on your phone to remind you to straighten your posture, stretch your shoulders, or stand up and touch your toes. Even just a little bit of movement can reignite your drive.

Share a laugh with your team

There’s nothing like a good laugh to give us a burst of positive energy during a day that feels draining or challenging. Researchers have even found that laughter can help us relieve stress and boost our mood. The next time you need to reset and recharge, watch a funny video clip with a co-worker or share a meme with your team to make everyone laugh. You’ll be surprised how much your mood and energy can improve from a quick humor break.

Take a moment to thank others

Research shows that practicing gratitude at work boosts our resilience and strengthens our connections with our co-workers — and most important, gratitude can also help us feel energized when we’re stuck in a slump. After completing a project, write an email to your team expressing your gratitude, or compliment one person you worked with on how helpful they were throughout the process. It’s easy to forget the power of a simple “thank you” during a busy workday, but it goes a long way in spreading positivity and good energy, both for the person being thanked and the person doing the thanking.

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