Whether it is at 10:00 am or right after lunch, most workers will hit a wall at some point in their day. Now, if we lived somewhere outside the U.S., we may be granted a daily siesta to get our mojo back, but we don't. We live in America, the hardest working country in the industrialized world. We have deadlines, we can't afford to be tired. So what do we do when our eyes start to cross or our head starts to nod like a bobble head doll? Check out these 10 emergency energy boosters. Each tip takes less than five minutes, can be done wherever you work and is guaranteed to immediately help you stay awake while working.
1. Run Up and Down the Stairs
For me, this is has proven to be 100% effective. Because I work from home, when I feel the fatigue coming, I go outside to my back deck and run up and down the stairs until I feel like I need some gatorade. I am certain my neighbors think I am a nut job, but a work-at-home mom has got to do what she's got to do. Obviously the goal is taking a few minutes for some physical exercise. In a popular study published by Robert Thayer, PhD, it compared the energizing effects of people who either ate a candy bar or walked briskly for 10 minutes. Walking increased energy for two hours. The candy bar initially boosted energy, but after an hour, those studied felt more tired and had less energy.
2. Eat a Snack
Getting a snack always tends to boost moral. However, if you don't want to revisit your energy slump shortly after you eat, avoid sugary snacks. Go for something with protein. WebMD Health expert, Dr. Christine Gerbstadt states, "A combination of protein and a complex carbohydrate (digested more slowly than simple carbs) increases your blood glucose in a sustained way, it boosts energy longer than if you eat gumdrops, for instance." Obviously, in an energy crisis, you may just need to grab whatever is available to you. But where possible, try peanut butter crackers, a spoonful of peanut butter with celery or some cheese.
3. Blast Your Favorite Upbeat Song and Dance or Jog It Out:Doing this in private would probably be best, and even if you are alone you still may feel a bit ridiculous. But, if it is immediate energy you seek, this is a great way to get it.
4. Grab a Cool DrinkDehydration can result in fatigue. According to the medical profession, if you consistently drink less than six to eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day, you may be lacking energy all the time. Grabbing a cool glass of something (ideally water) may perk you up. If you are really struggling, try something with carbonation. The effervescence can give you an extra perk.
5. Take a Breather
Trying to muscle through an energy slump can be detrimental to your level of productivity and concentration. Sometimes it is just better to take a short breather from your work and then return. In a study conducted at Louisiana State University and published in Computers and Industrial Engineering, the researchers found that "workers who took four breaks per hour, usually just 30 seconds each, followed by a 14-minute break after two hours of sitting at the computer, reported higher performance and worked faster and more accurately than their co-workers."
6. Open Your BlindsAccording to WebMD, "research confirms that just a few minutes of walking outside on a warm, clear day enhances mood, memory, and the ability to absorb new information." So go stand outside for a few minutes and soak in some rays or open up your blinds and let the light in.
7. Call a Friend For a Catch Up SessionNothing promises an energy snap like a good catch up session with an old friend.
8. Keep Some Peppermint Handy
According to many alternative health professionals, peppermint oil is a natural stimulant which can increase your ability to concentrate during times of fatigue or stress. In some studies, it has been determined that inhaling the aroma of peppermint oil can help boost energy levels. If you don't have oil on hand, chew some mint gum or grab some mint toothpaste and brush your teeth.
9. Stand, Breath and StretchStand up, take some deep breaths and hold them while lifting your arms high above your head. Do this a number of times and you should feel back in the "zone" within a minute or less. How is this possible? WebMD states, "Breathing deeply and slowly will relax you, while instantly sending powerful doses of oxygen to the brain and every single cell of the body. The stretching releases the physical form of stress that is stored in your muscles."
10. Go Change Your Clothes
Working from home gives you the opportunity to wear whatever you please. However, if you have gotten into the habit of schlepping around in your comfy sweats and old Smurfs t-shirt, you may be getting too comfy and cozy for your own good. Run back to your closet and put on some work clothes. This movement will get your blood flowing and the proper work attire says you mean business.