Here is part two of energizing your life. How to boost your energy levels in the afternoons is always a challenge, as we all experience highs and lows throughout the day, whether at the office or at home.
Here are some great ways to boost the highs and lessen the lows and thus make it easier for you to get your work done.
How To Boost Your Energy Levels Throughout The Day
Be Aware Of Signs Of Fatigue
For many of us, signs of reduced attentiveness appear about every half hour or so during the day. As soon as you feel those feelings of increased tension, tiredness, distraction or anxiety, that is your cue that it is time for a break.
Short breaks will speed up your work and increase energy. When you take a short break, you will achieve more throughout your day, believe it or not. You will also feel less distress and fatigue.
A simple two to five minute break will reset your pace, allowing you to experience natural, powerful waves of energy that continue for up to three hours.
Reevaluate The Task At Hand
Your energy will be at its highest when you are doing something that is exciting and meaningful to you. How to boost your energy levels is easy when you are having fun. On the other hand, whenever the work is boring or monotonous, your energy and alertness will face.
During your mini breaks, ask yourself ‘why am I doing this? How can I make it better? Can I shift my focus?
Don’t Let Those Deadlines Kill You
The pressure of working under a deadline can make you tense your muscles and hold your breath, often unknowingly. To combat this fatigue causing combination, think about breathing normally, then close your eyes and imagine yourself in a tranquil setting.
Our bodies are programmed to gear down in the afternoon, turning down metabolism and body temperature and causing the dreaded mid afternoon slump. You can wipe this slump out very quickly with a quick 20 to 30 minute nap.
Here is something else you can try if you feel fatigued after staring at the computer all day.
Put your arms behind your back and intertwine your fingers. Straighten your arms and raise them until you feel the stretch in your chest. Hold for 30 seconds.
Now while seated intertwine your fingers and raise your arms straight overhead. Press your hands upward. Lean to one side and then the other for 10 seconds each.
Look After Your Eyes
The accumulated eyestrain from staring at a computer screen can cause headache, fatigue, and related tension in your neck and shoulders. To combat eyestrain, look away from your screen or the reports your’re reading, or anything else you’re staring at every half hour or so.
If you wear contact lenses, you need to look up from your work more frequently than someone who doesn’t wear contacts. You blink less when you concentrate, so your eyes can get very dry at work, and without constant re moisturizing your contacts will start to irritate your corneas.
When your eyes get tired at work pat some eye gell even over your makeup to refresh them.
Watch That Posture
A hunched=-over posture can reduce your lung capacity by 30% or more. That means that you have to work harder to breath and even when you try to capture more air, your lungs probably don’t fill all the way.
With diminished air intake, less oxygen reaches your brain and senses, and you feel increased fatigue.
To avoid placing undue stress on your neck, shoulders and spine while you are sitting at a desk, your head must be poised in a comfortable centered position. Here are some tips to make yourself more aware of the most comfortable position possible:
- Sit comfortable in an arm less chair or on a bench, with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your eyes open while you read these instructions, but after you get used to this exercise try it with your eyes closed. Breathe naturally and comfortably.
- Lengthen your neck, and let your head move up. As you raise your head, bring your chin slightly in. broaden your shoulders and flatten out your lower back.
- Gently lean your head to the left, then to the right. Return your head to the most central, balance position directly over your body where you can balance it without feeling any muscle strain.
- Move your head slightly forward then backwards. Then find the precise center once again.
- Visualize yourself carrying a weight on top of your head. Your task is to push up against that weight, holding it in position so it won’t fall off. If you keep in mind this image of a weight, you’ll give your senses instant valuable signals that will help balance and stabilize your head and neck.
Now try to use this awareness exercise whenever you sit down, when you’re waiting in line, and when you are about to start a chore.
Using these movements and this imagery enables you to relax your neck. You’ll quickly and consciously choose where to hold your head with the least strain and less fatigue.
If you sit at a desk for hours every day, you may be creating your own aches and pains, as well as fatigue. If you are guilty of the following, it is time to make a change:
- Cradling the phone between your shoulder and your ear.
- Reaching for the enter or control keys by bending your wrist sideways rather than moving the whole hand.
- Not using the backrest of the chair.
- Pulling yourself from place to place on a chair by grasping the table edges, as this will lead to back strain.
- Bending your wrists backwards when working on your keyboard.
- Taking your head back to look at a computer screen though bifocals.
Feeling Peckish – Have A Drink
Sometimes you feel hungry, when in fact you are actually thirsty. So when the munchies hit, instead of immediately grabbing some food, drink a big glass of ice water. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes, and then if you are still hungry, go ahead and eat a light healthy snack like a low fat cookie or muffin or even a small salad. Rye crackers with fruit preserve also work well as a light snack.
Remember that it is fine to eat often. In fact snacking on low fat high fiber foods throughout the day has considerable energy producing advantage. When you have moderate size meals plus small between meal snacks, you increase your levels of energy and alertness, lower your blood cholesterol levels, and reduce your body fat.
According to leading nutritional scientists, there’s compelling evidence to support the power of food over mind and mood. Just a few bits of healthy high protein food can contribute to increased energy.
After eating some high protein food you may notice that you can pay greater attention to detail and also that you’re more alert for hours afterward.
Here are some great options:
- chicken breast or turkey breast sandwich
- bean or lentil soup
- non fat yogurt or some cottage cheese
- non fat cream cheese with some fruit.
- thin slice of cheese on a cracker
- small handful of almonds, raisins or figs
Avoid Coffee In The Late Afternoon
Try not to drink coffee late in the afternoon. Not only does the caffeine disrupt your night’s sleep, it also depletes B vitamins and disrupts the absorption of iron and nutrients your body needs to produce energy.
In fact limit your coffee consumption to 300mg a day which is the amount in two 8-oz cups of coffee.
Take A Walk
Research has shown that a ten-minute walk, even during the mid to lat afternoon hours when your energy has fallen can actually raise your energy levels to those of your high energy periods such as mid-morning. That burst of energy can then last you two to three hours.
After lunch a walk is an excellent idea as digesting a meal increases blood and oxygen flow to the stomach and intestine, thus drawing energy away from the muscles and the brain.
By taking a walk after eating will keep blood and oxygen circulating evenly throughout the day. Experts recommend doing some physical activity when you feel a slump like climbing some stairs or a quick jog on the spot, as these short bursts of exercise will release untapped energy reserves.
Another way to get some exercise quickly is to keep a skipping rope on hand. Did you know that jumping for 15 minutes can burn 200 calories. If you are really crunched for time three five minute sessions during your lunch hour or while on a break will really get that heart pumping.
Some people swear by doing some yoga during their lunch break to get their energy levels up.
Get Out Into Nature
Make sure to go outside during the day. The sunshine and fresh air will do more to boost your energy than any amount of coffee could. Try eating your lunch outside sitting on the grass looking up at the sky.
Bring nature inside with you. A picture of your favorite vacation spot or some natural scenery can be really rejuvenating.
Try hanging some pictures of waterfalls, forests, mountains or meadows and flowers on your wall. When people view pictures of bright beautiful scenes of nature, they report much higher levels of energy and friendliness and reductions in fear and anxiety.
Please comment below if you have any ideas of your own on how to boost your energy levels.