We have all been there: having a super-productive morning, sending all the emails and checking all the boxes in our to-do list, then rolls around 2 pm and we are all drained. The afternoon slump is an office job hallmark and it is the worst!
With only a few more hours before work’s over, you might feel like giving up mentally. Here are a few things to fight that afternoon slump.
We asked health experts to help compile this list of the energy boosters. These are 12 ways to boost energy for you. Try one, two, or all 12, and you’re bound to see your energy levels soar.
Increase your magnesium intake
Yum! Eating can increase your energy level. You might think that sweet sugary foods are the way to go, but in fact, giving yourself a snack with high magnesium is much more beneficial. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 300 milligrams for women and 350 milligrams for men. Some magnesium snacks you want to try are:
- A handful of almonds, hazelnuts or cashews.
- Whole grains, particularly bran cereal.
- Fish, especially halibut.
Get out of your chair and take 15 minutes going around the office to chit chat. It’s alright to spend 15 minutes not working if the next 45 minutes you can be super-productive. Forcing yourself to be active (or as active as possible) can actually combat fatigue:
- When you exercise, your heart pumps faster and bring more oxygen to your body parts. That means your cells receive more oxygen to produce energy.
- A 30 minute walk in the morning before work, or a short jog can give you an adrenaline rush to kick start the day.
Don’t skip breakfast – or any other meal
You might skip breakfast in a rush to get to work. But remember this, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Make 10 minutes to make yourself a simple meal. This could include some of these nutritious options:
- 28,35 gram of skim milk or soy milk
- A bit of fruit, add in some ice and throw them in the blender to make yourself a smoothie
- Fiber and a little healthy fat with one or two tablespoons of wheat germ or ground flax seed
Drink more water
Dehydration can lead to an inefficient delivery of oxygen to muscles, causing fatigue and a lack of energy. Therefore you should:
- Drink 2-3 liters of fluids such as water, coconut water, fresh smoothies and fresh juices. Remember to choose healthy fresh juices and smoothies that do not contain added sugars.
Eat naturally energizing food
- Fruit snacks. Fruits contain natural sugar, which can give a little push me up when you feel sluggish.
- Fruits have high fiber content, which stable level blood sugar.
- Mix fruits with ice cubes to make a delicious smoothie packed with vitamins and mineral.
- Make a fruits and milk blend with some blueberries, strawberries, half a frozen banana, 1/4 cup of pineapple and 1/2 cup of dairy-free milk.
Take a break, let your tasks and deadlines find their way to the corner of your mind. This can reduce stress and prevent you from becoming fatigued and tired.
- A short 5-minute break can bring clarity to your work as it is a chance that you can reflect and come up with better ideas. If you don’t have any snack at hand, a quick break is a good way to clear your head.
Many smokers vouch that they feel much more energetic when they give up smoking.
- Within 2 to 12 weeks of stopping smoking, blood circulation in your body get better, allowing you to perform more physical activity such as swimming, walking and running with ease.
- Not to mention, quitting smoking is extremely beneficial to your health, such as increased life span, improved fertility, younger looking skin, whiter teeth and better breathing.
Reduce stress and deal with anger
Stress can bring your energy level down extremely fast. Stress can come from work, family life or personal problems. It can leave you mentally and physically exhausted – even if you’ve spent the day in bed.
We can fight stress by having more relaxation activities in our days.
To many people, exercise is the best way to kill stress. However, if you don’t feel lie moving too much, here are a few other options:
- Listening to music, reading a steamy romance novel, or even just talking on the phone.
- Laughing can make you feel better. During your lunch break, read a comic or watch your favorite Youtube show.
Aromatherapy has been more and more popular due to its calming effects. Some of the most favorite scents are peppermint, lime, and grapefruit – come in the form of essential oils and bath bombs.
- Take 10 minutes to close your eyes and breathe in the scent from the bottle. Or use a spray to spritz the room.
- Check with your co-workers before you start scenting up the place.
Do a crossword
If you feel burned out from the job, focusing on a different type of mental task can boost your energy.
- Doing puzzles or crossword can stimulate your mind and kick the sluggish out of you.
- Online free crosswords have many difficulties that you can finish in less than 10 minutes.
Get some sunshine
Most of the time, sluggishness and burned out are caused by a lower level of hormones. A type of hormones that is closely related to your energy level is called serotonin. This hormone can be increased by spending time under the sun.
Not getting enough sunlight can cause symptoms of depression (you might notice your feelings are more subdue on rainy days). Sun is vital for energy, growth and development.
Sunlight also aids in the production of vitamin D, a highly important vitamin, which helps strengthen bones, the immune system and controls hormonal function.
- Try to get 5 minutes in the sunshine every day.
- If you plan on staying in the sun for an extended period of time, be sure to wear proper protective clothing and/or sunscreen.
Other ways to boost energy
Still feel groggy? If these tips don’t work for you, here are a few small changes you want to try.
- Take the stairs. If your office is just 2 -3 flights of stair, take the stair instead of squeezing into the elevator to boost energy.
- Try guided imagery. Picture a holiday to a warm beach while sitting at your desk This could give you a few minutes to break away from reality.
- Read a poem. Reading is a great way to get a quick break from your humdrum day. Read one or two and mull them over during your 10-minute break.
- Use cold water. You can get a quick energy boost by just splashing cold water on your face in the bathroom.
- Consider a supplement. There are lots of energy-boosting herbal stimulants out there. Check with a doctor before you start using a supplement – especially if you have a health condition or take any daily medications.
- Breathe deeply. Deep breathing can relieve stress when you’re feeling burned out. Hold your breath while you count to seven. Then exhale deeply through the mouth, counting to eight. Repeat the cycle.
Of course, some of these suggestions might seem obvious. But the point here is not so much which energy-boosting method you try, but that you try it deliberately as a way to revive yourself. Don’t waste a 10-minute break passively. Use it actively. When taking your 10-minute break, the key is your intention. It’s what makes the difference between another 10 minutes wasted in procrastination and 10 minutes that leave you recharged and ready to face the rest of the day.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: April 6, 2017 | Last Modified: April 6, 2017
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10 Energy Booster. http://www.webmd.com/women/features/10-energy-boosters#2. Accessed Mar 23 2017.
21 Ways to Boost Energy. http://www.webmd.com/women/features/21-ways-to-boost-energy#1. Accessed Mar 23 2017.