Put down that can of coke! There’s no need to drink crazy concoctions or gallons of coffee to get through the day without a 3pm energy slump. Here are 10 tips to top-up your energy levels—no unpronounceable chemicals required.
1. Work out at lunch-time.
If you have time, hit the gym at lunchtime and eat your lunch afterward. Studies suggest working out can actually increase productivity enough to counteract that time away from the desk/work-space.
2. Power nap.
Take a quick lunchtime power nap instead. Studies show the optimal amount of sleep is 10 to 20 minutes to get through the day without throwing off your night sleep pattern.
3. Drink a little coffee.
We can say from experience that 6 back-to-back cups of coffee is a recipe for an energy crash or the jitters. But one cup is usually just right. One study found that a single cup of coffee was enough to keep sleepy drivers on a long haul more alert at the wheel.
4. Go outside.
Head into the great outdoors—even if you don’t have some idyllic woods nearby, a green park will do. Just 20 minutes outdoors is enough to feel more alive. How’s that for an energy boost?
5. Eat regularly.
The body needs fuel to function, and without it our energy and mood can spiral downward. However regular, healthy meals and snacks can improve cognitive function. But keep in mind not getting enough sleep can also cause us to eat when we’re not actually hungry, so check in with that stomach before choosing to eat a snack.
6. Take a few deep breaths.
No, it’s not just the key to resisting the urge to scream at your colleague. Deep yoga breathing from the diaphragm gets blood pumping, which also may boost energy all day long.
Whether at the gym or just dealing with the daily grind, it can be hard to remember to drink enough water. But even mild dehydration can cause sleepiness, so try chugging a glass or two when fatigue strikes. Or, better yet, stay hydrated all day long!
Laughter’s a proven stress-buster, but studies suggest laughing can boost energy levels, too. (Feel free to use this as permission to surf silly clips on YouTube for the next 20 minutes…..)
9. Leave the desk.
Eating lunch in front of the computer makes overeating even more likely. But getting away from the desk at lunchtime could help re-energize and refocus, too. Whether it’s a quick walk or a long lunch, take some time to wake up away from the glowing screen. Those emails can wait a few minutes. Really. (Guilty hand up here…!).
10. Turn up the volume.
Don’t just turn on to tunes to chill out. Listening to music and tapping those toes significantly increased college students’ alertness in one study. Choose some dance music or a good rock anthem. Sing along if you can, but be aware of those around you who might not appreciate your finest rendition of Highway to Hell….