Give Yourself a Lift With These 27 Effective Power Tips
“And what is a man without energy? Nothing – nothing at all.”
- Mark Twain
No longer have any energy? Feeling a bit under the weather lately? Livin’ la vida loca just doesn’t have the same appeal? There are times when getting through the day is hard to do. You’re not thinking clearly, your head is getting heavy, and you keep looking at the clock to see how soon you can go home. Here are 27 ways to beat the slump and give yourself a lift.
1. Use your muscles.
Burning energy makes energy – doesn’t sound right, does it? But being active does make you feel more energetic. And laziness only begets more laziness. How can you be more active when you feel like slouching on the couch all day? This takes a bit of willpower and lots of persuasion. Go on regular walks with your dog or a friend, and visit the gym for a good 45-minute workout on a regular basis. Make this a habit, and you’ll always be known as the “Speedy Gonzalez” of the neighborhood.
2. A quick fix.
Cheap and readily available in coffee, soft drinks and pill form, caffeine has been the drug of choice for college students and truck drivers alike. Be careful, though, caffeine is a double-edged sword and too much of it can cause you to become jittery and can dehydrate you. As an alternative, try a power drink or a sports drink with added electrolytes.
3. Breakfast like a king.
They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing. A sensible breakfast will give you the boost you need each morning to last you through the whole day. Hey, if you don’t put gas in your car, it won’t run. Same goes for healthy meals in the morning. To stay full longer, try oats. Oats are full of fiber and low on the glycemic index which means that the sugar is released into your bloodstream slowly, keeping your energy levels constant. Oats are also packed with B vitamins, which lower stress and help convert carbohydrates into energy.
4. Avoid quick-fix foods.
Candy, chocolate, hamburgers, chicken wings, french fries, etc., all these foods are high in sugar or fat and can do a huge number on your energy levels. A quick fact: sugar puts you to sleep. It does not, as most people think, give you more energy. So cut out all those candies and chocolates, and start eating more fruits and vegetables.
5. Tea for me.
Drinking tea regularly every day has been found to increase one’s stamina. However, the type of tea you drink is very important. You should stay away from tea that comes in tea bags, because chances are these contain high levels of caffeine. Instead, buy some dried herbs from your local supermarket and boil some water with them. Natural herbal teas are healthier than the bagged ones. A combination of Siberian Ginseng extract, peppermint, and green tea is a great choice.
6. Supplement your body.
Energy is generated in each and every cell in the body through a chemical reaction, which combines fuel from food and oxygen. The catalysts that make these reactions happen are the vitamins and minerals in out diet. Supplementing our diet can boost energy levels and make up for any deficiencies. The most effective energy boosting nutrients include B complex vitamins and Co-enzyme Q10. Chromium supplements also help stabilize blood sugar levels.
7. Head for a bar.
No, not the type that serves beer, I’m talking about energy bars. Jam-packed with carbs, these bars are designed to provide fuel for a short-term energy boost. Just make sure you read the nutritional breakdown on the label, some of them can contain more fat and sugar than a regular chocolate bar.
8. Drink more water.
Again, sounds obvious, but we’re not drinking enough fluids. This helps you stay hydrated, curbs your desire for an unhealthy snack and keeps you from getting drowsy. If you’re stuck in a boring meeting and you feel yourself nodding off, a sip of water will help you regain your focus.
9. Eat lunch every day.
Too many of us think we’re too busy to stop for lunch and don’t recognize that the resultant midday slump will impact our productivity and attention span. It’s always important to supply your body with a regular input of nutrients. You don’t need to have a heavy meat and potatoes meal at noon every day, but make sure you eat something. And avoid eating while you work at your desk; take a break for lunch even if it’s only 20 minutes.
10. Snack more often.
And avoid big meals. Eating a lot in one sitting causes the blood to divert from your brain and to your digestive system. This can make you feel lethargic. Instead, try eating four or five smaller meals each day. An apple or yogurt are good choices for a quick pick-me-up. Steer clear of chocolate bars or sugary donuts. Although they create a quick boost in energy, your blood sugar levels will drop even faster afterward, and you’ll feel more tired than ever.
11. Take a breather.
With each breath, cells are replenished with oxygen and the energy to perform all kinds of essential functions. You don’t need to be taught to breathe, right? Wrong. Most people use only a fraction of their lung capacity, which means they are only taking in one third of oxygen needed. Spend a few minutes each day working on your breathing. Make sure you are sitting comfortably, clear you mind and make sure to breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth in order to maximize your oxygen intake and carbon dioxide expenditure.
12. Sitting comfortably.
You wouldn’t expect a sedentary activity like sitting down to wear you out, would you? Actually, a bad sitting position puts the body under enormous stress and can leave us exhausted by the end of the day. Most people sitting at a desk slump forward. Apart from causing physical imbalance and discomfort, this also interferes with the natural working of the respiratory system and can starve the body of vital oxygen. So choose seating that supports healthy posture. Good posture helps to keep the natural curves of the spine relaxed and ready to absorb and distribute stress encountered during rest and activity.
13. Get some laughter.
There may be more to the song “Put on a Happy Face” than just a catchy tune – putting on a happy face is actually good for you, and those around you. If you really need to cheer up and increase your energy, then watch a sitcom for half an hour, or better yet, get tickets to your favorite comedy club. Laughter has been proven time and again to be the best therapy for depression and lack of energy.
14. Splash your face with cold water.
Just like your morning shower wakes you up, washing your face will refresh you. Try splashing a little cold water on your face and you might banish your lethargy. Often, just washing your hands will make you feel less sleepy.
15. Take a short break.
Did you know that a simple thing like getting up from your chair and going to the bathroom can work miracles for your productivity? Stand up and stretch. It doesn’t have to be big and showy, accompanied by a loud yawn. Just get up and turn around, shake your feet unobtrusively and flex your fingers. If you can’t leave the office, sit back and breathe deeply to relax yourself and increase your oxygen intake. Stretching will get the kinks out of your neck and shoulders and increase your blood circulation.
16. Move and get your blood flowing.
Go for a walk in the park, take the stairs or hand-deliver a memo to another department. Get the blood flowing in your body; it will increase your metabolic rate and decrease your drowsiness.
17. Catch some rays.
Optimize the amount of light you’re exposed to during the day. Walk around outside instead of using the elevator from the parking garage. Try to reposition your work surface so you can see out a window. Fluorescent lighting is draining as it gives off too much color (usually yellow) and does not mimic the color spectrum of natural daylight. It also lacks the ultraviolet light of sunlight, which helps the body to produce vitamin D, essential for body growth and repair.
Aromatherapy has been used for centuries as a therapeutic aid for weakness, sleep deprivation, depression, and other psychological ailments. Don’t dismiss nice-smelling things as too feminine or pointless: truck drivers have always used the scent of oranges to stay awake during long drives. Seems there’s something in the zesty scent that keeps you mentally alert.
19. Work on a different task.
If your routine is getting to you, work on something else that allows you to be more creative for a little while, pick a totally random piece of a larger project, and complete it. Often, just challenging your brain will ward off the midday slump.
20. Learn to power nap.
About 85% of mammals get their quota of sleep as an accumulation of naps during the day and night. Ok, so your boss isn’t going to appreciate you nodding off wherever you please, but a well-timed nap can do wonders for your energy levels and productivity. A good time to get some shut-eye is after lunch when most of us experience a bit of a downturn in the energy stakes. Take off your shoes and put your calls on hold. The trick here is to avoid napping for too long. Fifteen minutes is all you need.
21. Interact with coworkers.
Strike up a conversation at the photocopy machine, go to someone’s desk instead of sending an e-mail or throw a stress ball to each other if your work area allows it. A friendly conversation can make the day go faster, and having a few laughs together can improve everyone’s mood.
22. Think positive.
Attitude can have a powerful influence on how dynamic we feel. There’s nothing quite like dreading a particular task to make us feel tired and unmotivated. Fortunately there’s a neat little mental trick we can play on ourselves to help us over negative hurdles. Instead of focusing on the potential horror of the task, concentrate on the feeling of satisfaction you will enjoy when you have finished that task.
23. Invest in an ionizer.
It‘s a well know that people generally feel better and more energetic when they are by the sea. A major cause of this feel good factor is an abundance of negative ions in the sea air. Negative ions improve clear headedness and energy are formed whenever there is flowing water. This is perhaps why showers can be more invigorating than baths. At home and in the office negative ions tend to be in short supply. An ionizer, which pumps out negative ions is no substitute for a fortnight in the Costa del Sol, but it can actually reduce fatigue and improve mental clarity at the same time.
24. Turn down the heat.
Working in a cooler environment keeps you alert. Warm surroundings evoke the physical sensations and mental images of sleep. However, if your coworkers start shivering, keep your hands off the thermostat and take a good look at your wardrobe choices. Remove your jacket after lunch and avoid wearing a sweater, turtleneck or heavy polo shirt.
25. Focus on your plans after work.
Write down your remaining tasks so that you can clearly see at what time you’ll be leaving. Take a moment to think of what you’ll be doing in the evening so you have something positive to think about. This could be picking up your spouse to go see a movie or simply getting together with buddies for a few beers. Whatever it is, it’ll help you get out of the rut. In return, knowing that you have to leave work at a certain time will likely help you be more productive.
26. Get to bed earlier.
Chronic insomnia could be a symptom of a bigger problem and will cause you to drag in the early afternoon. Too much partying can have the same effect. Try to get the amount of sleep your body needs and you’ll be better able to stay alert all day.
27. Reduce your stress.
Your constant exhaustion might result from dissatisfaction with your job, your home life or yourself. It could also be a sign of depression. And while short-term stress produces adrenalin in your body, making you more alert, long-term stress, longer than a few hours, will wear away at your body’s natural defences and leave you feeling over-tired. Be honest with yourself and take some action to reduce the stressors in your life so that you feel better all day, every day.
You have to make a choice and be proactive in achieving higher energy levels. Try some of these tips and I’m sure you’ll see a marked improvement in your energy. Most importantly, have fun with your body and give it the energy and nutrients it requires.
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