You know that feeling that sets in every day at about 3:00 p.m.? The groggy, let’s shuffle through the rest of the workday feeling? Turns out you don’t need a third cup of coffee or diet soda to nix it; just check out these four energy boosters.
Your Comfy Desk Chair
The Reason: Ever wondered why sitting in your car then transitioning to sitting down in your office chair can feel so utterly exhausting? Sitting for long periods of time puts your body into idle mode. Your lack of movement makes circulation sluggish and lowers the amount of oxygen flowing to your brain. Cue the onslaught of yawns.
The Solution: Go for a walk. Studies show getting up and moving can boost energy for up to two hours. Walking is the simplest, most natural form of exercise. Taking brisk, 10-minute walks a day helps increase circulation, lower blood pressure, and instantly perk you up. Getting out in the sunlight also boosts your serotonin levels so you come back to your work refreshed, more productive and even more creative.
Your Messy Desk Space
The Reason: The reason you feel too zapped to clean up your cluttered desk or office home? The mess itself. Not only is there literally less space to do your work, create your art, make a magical spreadsheet, etc., but all the stuff is staring at you, reminding you of the hundred other things you have to do. Your clouded brain isn’t able to be fully present to the work at hand. Looking for your notes from that one meeting or your favorite pen wastes time and tires you out before you’ve even started.
The Solution: You’ve heard that the bedroom should be reserved for two activities: sleep and sex. Well, your desk should be reserved for current work projects and the tools that facilitate that. This means your computer, materials relating to your current project, a few writing utensils, and a small amount of office supplies like a notepad, a stapler, scissors, tape and paper clips (unless you have room for those in a desk drawer) can stay. Everything else is having a judgment day.
The Reason: This meal can make or break your energy reserve for the rest of the day. If it’s way too large (like Sunday-brunch status) you’ll be left feeling sluggish, and if you forget to eat it in the first place, your metabolism will never get that wake-up call.
The Solution: For a winning breakfast to fuel your energy, follow the 1, 2, 3 rule. The breakfast must have:
- Whole grains, which provide high-quality carbs for the brain during the morning hours.
- A little protein to keep you satiated and maintain your blood sugar level throughout the morning.
- One or two colorful fruits and vegetables.
Try a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk and a handful of berries on top with a side of sliced watermelon, or make a smoothie with fruit, soymilk and wheat germ.
The Reason: You may not feel like you’re walking through the Sahara, but there’s a good chance you’re mildly dehydrated right now, and even mild dehydration makes you feel sleepy and sluggish. Many of us walk around dehydrated without realizing it. Dehydrated bodies trap toxins and encourage water retention — a natural defense against the chronic drought. Remember, your body is about 60 percent water, and there’s no way it can function at its optimal level during a drought.
The Solution: Next time you’re feeling drowsy, chug a glass of cold water for an instant fix. Then, take a look at how much water you’ve been drinking. You should aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. If you weigh 150 pounds, that’s 75 ounces of water (about 9 cups). If you want something more pleasing to your palate, snack on watermelon, which is about 91 percent water.