If you’re like me… being tired = becoming cranky (or is it ‘hangry?’) and low energy = low ideas. Avoid being tired and low energy with the collection of practical and realistic ways to help restore and maintain your energy level.
Before Going to Work
Wake to Music: Replace your jolting beep-style alarm clock with a radio alarm clock. Tune to a station with morning programming that gets you going. Or be your own DJ and get an alarm clock for your iPod or that plays CDs. Create your own list of music – starting softly at first and building in volume and pep. Try movie or TV soundtracks… waking up to “Gonna Fly Now (Rocky Theme),” “The ‘A’ Team,” “Mission: Impossible,” or “The Magnificent Seven (Main Theme)” will make you feel you can take on the world.
Breakfast: We know ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ but we still don’t have time to make/eat something. Protein and fiber are secrets to morning energy… (not a coffee and donut). If your mornings are rushed, have a protein shake or smoothie. Worse case, make it the night before and shake it up in the morning!
At the Office
Rearrange Your Space: Recharge your senses by rearranging your space. Seeing the stuff at your desk arranged in new spots will awaken the brain – and your creativity. If possible, change the orientation of how you sit at your computer… if it’s to the one side of your desk, move it to the other. Change your computer’s desktop pattern/wallpaper. Decorate your desk with the color amber. Color therapists say amber beats fatigue. Our bodies get a charge out of newness.
Arrive Early for Meetings: Instead of checking that last email or adding a few more bullets to your presentation, arrive at your next meeting three to five minutes early. Use the time to gather yourself, relax, make or review notes. These few minutes will reduce the pace and stress of your day.
Schedule Buffer Time: Leave room in your daily calendar for the unexpected… schedule “buffer time.” When unexpected personal or work emergencies arise you’ll have the time and energy to deal with them. As an added bonus, on days when you don’t need that buffer time, you’ll have personal time to be more productive.
In The Afternoon
Brush Your Teeth: Get that morning-fresh feel by brushing your teeth in the afternoon. Ahhhh… clean teeth. Your dentist recommends it. Your meeting-mates will thank you (especially after that spicy lunch). Use minty toothpaste. As an added bonus – brush your tongue to wake your taste buds and acupressure meridians.
10 Minute Recess: When your energy sinks in the afternoon, instead of taking a candy bar break, take a walk. Research has found that a brisk 10-minute walk relieves fatigue for up to two hours. The activity increases the flow of oxygen in your bloodstream and causes the brain to release invigorating chemicals such as norepinephrine. You will be perkier AND will be burning calories!
Keep healthy snacks handy when you start feeling that afternoon lull. Avoid snacks with refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and high fat – they are bad for your waistline as well as your energy levels. Good choices include dried fruit, beef and turkey jerky. Low-fat yogurt and dried soy nuts also provide tyrosine that converts into the feel-good chemicals dopamine and adrenaline and can energize as quickly as a cup of coffee.
Go Bananas – The natural fruit sugar from a ripe banana last up to two hours. Additional bonus: the banana peel may be used for the classic slip-and-fall gag!
Pumpkin Seeds – Our bodies use magnesium to create ATP – the molecule that provides energy to our cells. While found in vegetables and whole-grains, pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of magnesium. Research has reported that 2.5 oz. or 71 grams a day of pumpkin seeds will give you a much more energy.
Drink Water: The more water in your system, the more oxygen circulates in your bloodstream. Dehydration can make you feel tired. Be sure to get plenty of water.
(There is a debate going on whether eight glasses a day is enough or too much. Additionally, there is debate whether or not the water in soda, tea and coffee count toward fulfilling your water needs).
In addition to these, find more energy boosters in the book “365 Energy Boosters” by Susannah Seton and Sondra Kornblatt.