Afternoon fatigue is something I used to struggle with often, and still do once in a while. We all know the feeling – when the day seems to drag on, and you catch yourself nearly dozing off at your desk (or wherever you are). I knew there had to be helpful ways to reduce this problem and even solve it.
In an effort to help myself beat this frustrating obstacle (I once literally fell asleep with a cup of coffee in my hand! Oops!), I dove in to research and try out a few science-backed solutions. Thankfully, I found a few surprisingly easy tips that really work to help me regain my energy and get back on track. Plus, they have the added bonus of lifting my mood too!
Since I know so many struggle with this same challenge, I wanted to share 3 of my favorite quick ways to boost energy and reclaim your day. These are super simple – elementary, actually – but they really work and are great habits to create. Each can be done anywhere and in under a minute if you need to (key when you’re having a busy day). Ready? Let’s dive in…
1. Power Up with Some Deep Breathing
Many times our energy levels fall low because without even realizing it, we’ve been depriving our brain and cells of vital nutrients and fresh oxygen they need to stay energized. We have a tendency to breathe shallow and even infrequently when we’re focused on projects. After a few hours of this, it can really zap our energy. A quick fix that really works is to get up, move around a bit and shake yourself out, and take 3 to 5 deep breaths, holding each for 5 seconds before exhaling.
This gets your blood flowing and helps to replenish what your body needs to function at higher levels. I do this every morning, mid-day, and any time I feel like I need a boost. Plus, deep breathing has the added benefit of helping to regain focus and reduce stress – win! I sometimes like to set an intention for the rest of the day after doing this, which helps me focus on my goals and raises my emotional energy too…a nice plus.
2. Stay Hydrated
Hydration is absolutely key to maintaining high energy levels throughout the day. Numerous studies have highlighted the importance of hydration in combating fatigue and increasing energy levels. One 2012 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that even mild dehydration, equivalent to about 1.5% loss of body weight, can lead to decreased mood, increased perception of task difficulty, and reduced concentration, all of which contribute to feeling exhausted.
So, when you start to feel that rough, sucky level of tired kicking in, reach for a big glass of water. The benefits will show up pretty quickly. Throughout the day, aim for practicing good hydration habits, such as a glass of water when you first wake up, keeping a water bottle with you, and making water part of all breaks and meals.
3. Move It
This one is also obvious, but actually paying attention to it and doing it is another thing. Physical activity is a highly-effective way to boost your energy levels, banish brain fog, and increase your overall vitality. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym to benefit – even a short one or two minute burst of movement can do wonders for your energy, muscles, and circulation.
Take a couple of breaks a day to stretch, walk, or do a quick 2-minute workout or solo dance party to a great tune. Like deep breathing, physical movement increases blood flow and oxygenates your body. If you have a few extra minutes, try a short power walk or a few sets of bodyweight exercises. These mini-workouts can re-energize you and really improve your focus.
For an super boost, try combining all three of these tips above together into a short break in your afternoon. Stacked, they’re even more effective.
It’s also important to remember, like with all things that benefit our life, it’s really about taking action. These are positive habits to create, just like brushing your teeth or taking beneficial supplements. Speaking of…I take a superfoods supplement (1/2 the recommended dose) daily, along with a raw B-Complex. I can actually notice a difference in my energy when I forget to do this (especially the B-Complex, which for me has been amazing).
Boosting your energy doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. Remember, it’s all about taking small, effective steps to create big changes in your energy levels and overall vitality. I love the analogy Brendon Burchard shares about this, that a power plant doesn’t “have” energy, it GENERATES energy – and it’s up to us to do the same!
Here’s to more energetic, vibrant days ahead!