6 Unconventional Tricks for Keeping Your Energy Levels Up

tired nurseRather than accepting being tired as a reality, we’ve rounded up a few unconventional tips for helping you keep your energy levels up during those 12-hour shifts.

Change Your Clothes

Who doesn’t feel a surge of energy when they put on a fresh set of clothes? Bring an extra pair of scrubs with you to work and when you’re feeling low on energy change it up! In addition to making you feel freshened up, you’ll have a good excuse to take that much needed break from being on the floor. If you prefer not to switch up your entire outfit, put a spring in your step by putting on some fresh, clean socks.

Deep Breathing 

Deep, focused breathing is one of the quickest ways to re-oxygenate your blood and brain, leaving you feeling energized and able to focus on those patients again. Start with focused breathing, in through your nose, out through your mouth. If you’re ready for some more advanced breathing techniques try the rapid breath of fire.

Wake Up Well

We all know that getting plenty of sleep is necessary, but how are you about waking up? Do you feel groggy, sluggish and constantly reminded that waking up is hard to do? According to Medium.com writer, Kevin Roose and his article, Waking Up Is Hard to Do, there is an art to waking up well. Among his suggestions is the Philips Wake-Up Light which simulates a sunrise. It’s clinically proven to make wakeup easier. A great option for nurses who are waking up before dawn for the day-shift or at sunset for the night-shift!


Chew on peppermint gum, suck on peppermint candy, breathe in peppermint essential oils, put on peppermint lotion. Peppermint invigorates your senses and is proven to fight fatigue and boost your mood. There are a few internet myths flying around that peppermint will make you smarter, too. But hey, who isn’t smarter when they’re more awake?


Nothing is more fatiguing than a bad attitude. Instead of focusing on and talking about how tired you are, smile. Choose to think and speak about those things in which you are thankful. Not only will your positive attitude lift your spirits, but it will lift those of your colleagues and patients, too! Just smile. And if you have to… fake it until you make it!


Food is powerful. It has the ability to energize you as well as make your energy levels crash. When you’re working a long shift, it’s extra important to avoid the energy draining foods. EmpoweRN is a pro when it comes to packing Energizing Lunch & Snacks for Nurses. She packs everything she needs for the entire week and does a great job portioning each item out, so it’s easy to snack on the run.

Are there any unconventional ways that you keep yourself energized during those 12-hour shifts? We’d love to hear in the comments!