Let me guess….everyday around 2 pm the only thing in the world you want is five minutes to put your head on your desk and take a little cat nap. Your eyelids are heavy, your mind is struggling to think clearly and you’re sighing heavily just thinking about how much there is left on your to-do list. But, since getting a little shut-eye won’t go over well with your boss you take quick trip to the office kitchen or the coffee shop downstairs and do one of the following:
1) Grab a giant cup of coffee
2) Pick up a sweet pastry (or substitute the office candy bowl here)
Unfortunately, these are only short-term solutions for the long-term energy crisis you are experiencing. Using caffeine and sugary treats to get you through rest of your day is like creating a bonfire using newspaper. Sure, it will get big and hot….but for a very short period of time before all you have is a pile of ash. Your body blood sugar will surge very quickly giving you that boost of energy but it will drop quickly leaving you hungry, tired, foggy brained and moody.
Instead of being reacting to your afternoon energy crisis by mainlining a cup of Joe, become proactive so you don’t experience it in the first place. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Get Hydrated: This is the FIRST thing I have my clients focus on. Water can help curb cravings, help you think more clearly and give you a little energy boost. Be sure to drink at least half your weight in ounces and keep a water bottle on you at all times.
- Eat Breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – no doubt about it. Taking 15 minutes to eat breakfast will improve your whole day, help you focus and keep your blood sugar and energy stable. Try and have about 15-20 grams of protein (that’s 3 eggs, ½ cup cottage cheese or ½ cup of beans)
- Fruit and Fat: Fruits like apples, pears, bananas and berries are a great snack. They’re portable and don’t need utensils to be enjoyed. However, they fruit is best when eaten with some sort of fat like nut butter or cheese. This prevents a blood sugar spike, keeps you satisfied longer and makes important fat-soluble vitamins available for your body to utilize.
- Get Social: Are the only people you interact with during lunch on Facebook or in your inbox? Step away from your desk and eat with others. Eating should be a communal experience – not a solitary one. It will get you away from your computer screen so you can rest your eyes and real life engagement is incredibly energizing!
- 7th Inning Stretch: During your days’ “half-time” make sure to get up and do some stretching. This will help increase blood flow to your extremities and your brain giving you a nice little energy boost. Get up, reach for the ceiling with a deep breath, and exhale while bending over to reach for your toes. Do this 3-5 times and you’ll have all the energy and focus you need to finish that grueling report.
Tanya McCausland, N.E. is a holistic health and lifestyle coach and founder of Home Cooked Healing. She has made it her mission to help individuals and organizations successfully make positive changes that will have a huge impact on their health, happiness and bottom line.
This article is from our March 20, 2012 newsletter. Click here to view all our newsletter articles and features.