Your 24-hour plan to get more energy

Monique Marias shares a constructive 24-hour plan to get more energy every day.

The modern era requires you to move at the speed of light, to get things done and meet your targets. This is exciting but can also be exhausting. To do your best, you need to be the best versions of yourself to prevent burnout, fatigue and despair.

Your energy levels need to be sustained throughout the day. Energy drinks might give you an immediate lift, but it will soon wear off, leaving you feeling sluggish and drained. How do you then maintain your energy levels? By implementing a 24-hour plan that will boost your energy levels and keep you motivated throughout the day.

Increase your energy levels on a daily basis

  1. Sleep well

Good quality sleep is critical for good health and overall quality of life. It’s important to get enough sleep as well as quality sleep. By getting enough sleep and prioritising good sleep habits, you can support your immune system and reduce your risk of infections and illnesses, such as cardiovascular problems and diabetes.

Monitor your sleeping habits; get to bed at roughly the same time each night, as well as waking up around the same time each morning. You need to train your body and mind to slow down; do specific things before getting to bed that will let your mind and body know its time to settle in. This can include listening to relaxing music, turning the lights off, reading, or drinking a warm drink to help you relax.

  1. Stay hydrated

One of the symptoms of dehydration is fatigue. Make a point of staying hydrated during the day (this excludes the cups of coffee you’re drinking). The amount of water you need varies based on factors like your body weight, activity level, and climate. However, a general guideline is to aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, and more if you are physically active or in a hot climate.

Find a rhythm that works for you, whether that is having one large bottle that you need to finish by the end of the day or having multiple glasses of water throughout the day. You can also add different fruits to change the flavour, if this helps you drink more water. Healthy options include lemon, ginger, cucumber, mint and different forms of berries.

By staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water and other fluids, you can support your immune system and reduce your risk of infections and illnesses.

  1. Eat balanced meals

Eating a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. A balanced diet provides the body with the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that it needs to function properly which improves your immune system and aids in maintaining healthy blood glucose levels.

This means including foods from multiple food groups: whole grains, lean protein, fibre-rich fruits and vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat dairy. Choose foods with a low glycaemic index (where sugar content is broken down by your body at a slow rate), such as whole grains, nuts, bananas, grapes, apples, peaches, beans, peas, and leafy greens.

  1. Get moving

Regular exercise can help to reduce stress levels and support immune function. In addition to these immune-boosting benefits, regular exercise has many other health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes, and improving mental health and mood.

Not everyone has time in their schedule for daily exercise sessions, but it’s important to keep moving. This is especially important if you have a job that is mostly desk-bound. Make a conscious effort to stand up regularly, walk around and do stretches. If you have access to a smart watch or an app on your phone to track your steps, set your daily target for 8000 steps per day. Having a visible reminder will help with motivation and keep you focused to meet your daily goal.

If you have a water dispenser at work, combine your walking with drinking water, get up every hour and walk to the dispenser and refill your glass. If your daily routine allows for exercise, all the better.

  1. Control your stress

Stress can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of infections and illnesses. Chronic stress can also have long-term effects on the immune system, increasing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.

The first step is to identify aspects in your daily life that cause you stress and the second step is to find ways to reduce it or control the situation. Break it down to stress at work and stress in your private life, then look at what you can control and what is out of your control; focus on the aspects that are within your control.

Learn to delegate tasks at work and to say no and prioritise tasks that need to be completed urgently and what can wait until the next day. Find ways that reduce your stress, such as exercise, hobbies, meditating or spending quality time with friends and family.

We all experience times that are more stressful than others, but if you know how to identify your triggers, and you have implemented ways to deal with it in your daily routine, it becomes easier to fall back on those techniques that will help you relax.

  1. Do something fun

Do something you enjoy, every day! Know what makes you happy and make a conscious effort to do small things each day that leaves you feeling happy and energized at the end of the day. This can include cooking a hearty meal, exercising, checking in with a friend or family member, buying yourself flowers, learning something new or listening to a podcast. This doesn’t have to be a long activity, 10-15min is enough to give you that mental boost.

  1. Use caffeine sensibly

Many people rely on their morning cup of coffee to get them started, whereas others rely more heavily on their caffeine boost to get them through the day. It’s wise to remember; the more you drink coffee, the more you need to give you the same level of stimulation. Studies have also shown a negative impact on anxiety levels when used in excess. It can also adversely affect your mood and increase insomnia, and these all impact on your ability to maintain healthy lifestyle choices that will increase your energy levels.

Caffeine in itself isn’t harmful and can definitely give you that much needed boost but use it in moderation. Try to not exceed three cups a day, don’t drink coffee late in the afternoon and try to alternate the time of day that you drink coffee so that your body doesn’t become dependent on that “kick” the same time every day.

  1. Light up your life

Daylight queues the brain that it’s time to get up, time to be active and get things done. The more natural light you are exposed to, the easier your brain adjusts to the routine. Where possible, ensure that natural light enters your workspace as much as possible.

Studies have also shown that blue-enriched white light improves alertness, positive mood, work performance, concentration, and irritability. If you have a desk lamp at the office, switch the globe to blue-enriched white light bulbs. If your office space doesn’t allow for you to alter the light-type, go outside at least three times per day for short periods. Not only will you be exposed to some helpful vitamin D, but you will also get moving.

  1. Be mindful

This aspect should form part of all the above steps you take on a daily basis. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and accepting your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help to reduce stress and promote feelings of calm and relaxation. The more you are aware of your surroundings, your stressors, what brings you joy and what your dreams are, the easier it’s to manage the days that are more stressful and appreciate the good days even more.

Although there are many ways that you can boost energy levels, you need to find a rhythm that works for you; pick sustainable tasks and make it a habit. Some days might be easier to sustain your energy levels, other times might be more challenging, and that is when you need to fall back on healthy habits to sustain you. Once these habits form part of your healthy lifestyle, it will be more sustainable, and you will see better results.


An Official American Thoracic Society Statement: The Importance of Healthy Sleep. Recommendations and Future Priorities | American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (


The Relationship of Caffeine Intake with Depression, Anxiety, Stress, and Sleep in Korean Adolescents – PMC (

The Effect of Coffee and Caffeine on Mood, Sleep, and Health-Related Quality of Life | Journal of Caffeine Research (

Blue-enriched white light in the workplace improves self-reported alertness, performance and sleep quality on JSTOR

Monique Marais is a registered social worker at Care@Midstream sub-acute, specialising in physical rehabilitation for the past 11 years. She has a passion for the medical field and assisting people to understand and manage their diagnoses and the impact on their bio-psychosocial well-being.


Monique Marais is a registered social worker at Care@Midstream sub-acute, specialising in physical rehabilitation for the past 11 years. She has a passion for the medical field and assisting people to understand and manage their diagnoses and the impact on their bio-psychosocial well-being.

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