Beat the Afternoon Slump
Take Deep Breaths
If stress is the source of your brain drain, try taking a few deep inhalations. Focused breathing helps lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol while increasing energizing endorphins. MRI scans have shown that deep breathing also quiets the “white noise” in the brain, improving concentration.
Break the Fast
Though you may not realize it, your body burns a fair number of calories while you’re sleeping, leaving your muscles and brain running on empty when you first wake up in the morning. Set an energetic tone for the day by fueling up with a well-balanced breakfast like a veggie omelet with whole wheat toast. This combo of complex carbs and protein will help you power through the morning.
Sit Up Straight
Slouching may be the choice position for those working behind a desk all day, but according to the International Chiropractors Association, a poor posture forces your muscles to work harder to support your frame, expending your energy reserves. For a picture-perfect pose, keep your back lightly resting on the back of your office chair, suck in your stomach to engage your core muscles which help support your spine.
Blood circulation is an essential ingredient in the recipe for energy optimization. To get your blood flowing, get moving! Stuck in the car on a long drive? Pull over at a rest stop and walk around the parking lot. Spend your day tied to your chair? Get up and do a lap around the office every 30 to 60 minutes, stand up while on the speaking on the phone and stretch your limbs in free moments.
Turn Up the Jams
When feeling fatigued or drowsy, plug in your headphones and rock out to your favorite fast-tempo tunes. The uplifting beats triggers the release of endorphins, the same feel-good chemicals you get when exercising, raising your mood and increasing your mental endurance.
When reaching for your mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, bypass the temptation to cram down some carbs and pick a protein-packed snack instead. Whereas simple carbs like those found in chips or a candy bar will send your blood sugar crashing, protein takes longer to digest, giving you a long-lasting pick-me-up. Try a handful of nuts, a half-cup of two percent cottage cheese or one ounce of low-sodium beef jerky.
Catch Some Rays
If the office walls seem to be closing in on you, make a break for the outside. Take a walk around the block, enjoy lunch on a park bench or simply soak in the sun for a few moments. The fresh air and natural light will help clear your head and wake up your mind and body by increasing mood-boosting serotonin levels and triggering the release of energizing endorphins.
Get More Zzzs
Getting a full seven to eight hours of sleep a night is not a luxury — it’s a necessity for all-day energy, not to mention good health! According to the National Sleep Foundation, lack of sleep is the one of most common causes of daytime drowsiness. Too little shuteye can inhibit your productivity and ability to remember information and can also lead to serious health consequences like depression, heart problems and obesity. If you struggle to get to bed on time, start your nighttime rituals like washing your face 30 to 60 minutes before you should be going to sleep to help you wind down.