If you have a job that requires a creative mind, you can't afford that midday fade. Getting enough sleep and eating well go a long way toward helping you maintain energy levels throughout the work day, but everyone needs a little extra boost on occasion, even the most health-conscious among us. For those times when it feels like you just can't make it through to the end of the day, the following tricks are simple, easy to try and might help:
- Practice Being Mindful
Learning to be mindful yields all sorts of benefits, according to the American Psychological Association. Among them are improved memory, stress reduction, increased focus and a nice little boost in brain power. Being mindful brings you into the moment and makes you more aware of your surroundings. Mindfulness is achieved through a type of simple meditation that anyone can do. It requires no special equipment or training other than the commitment to set aside a little time each day. Simply seek out a comfortable place, sit quietly and practice being in the moment. Refrain from worrying about the future and dwelling on the past, and instead open yourself to the immediacy of your experience, your senses and their response to your surroundings. Over time you'll learn to train your thoughts and your mind to stay present, which can lead to a decrease in depression and negative thoughts.
- Grab a Quick Nap
Grabbing a quick nap when you're feeling depleted is another way to increase alertness. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that a quick 20- to 30-minute nap when you're at your lowest works wonders for your concentration, your alertness and even your mood. Utilize the inside of your car on your lunch break on those days when you need a little extra help focusing.
- Eat Some Protein
Protein is another miracle cure for the blahs. According to Huffington Post, these foods are better than others for supplying a quick jolt of energy:
- Alaskan Salmon
- Green Tea
Snacking on foods such as these throughout the day will keep you alert and functioning at prime levels.
A little exercise goes a long way toward waking up your mind and body during a long, dull day, according to WebMD. Something as simple as a daily 10-minute walk helps to get oxygen pumping throughout your circulatory system. This can result in better brain functioning and even an increase in physical strength and stamina, as other muscles throughout your body benefit too.
- Practice Aromatherapy
According to studies cited at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, aromatherapy can contribute to alertness as well. The herb rosemary has proven to increase brain function in the frontal area of the brain — the area responsible for alertness. Participants in the study also proved to be faster and more accurate in answering math questions after a mere three minutes of rosemary aromatherapy. So the next time you find yourself fading long before you can afford the luxury of downtime, veer away from those quick sugar and caffeine fixes that can lead to crashes and focus on these easy techniques instead. They are both beneficial and long-lasting and can even be habit-forming. They boost the performance of both mind and body and cost little to nothing to try.