Energy Boosters

By Katie, 1:14 pm

It’s just an average day.

You’re plugging along, slowly but surely chipping away at your lengthy (as always) to-do list. But your shoulders have slumped. Your brains feels a little fuzzy. You have to rub your eyes because for a second there you thought that book on your desk was actually a big, fluffy pillow. You just feel drained.

You glance at your watch, not that you really need to. When you start seeing mirages, you know exactly what’s going on here: the dreaded 3 p.m. slump.

Or perhaps yours is a 10:30 a.m. slump. Or perhaps you feel like you’re living your life in a constant state of slumpdom.

Sometimes we all need a simple, fast pick-me-up.

I came across this fun little post from Zen Habits called “55 Ways to Get More Energy.”  Some of the suggestions are lifestyle changes that can make you feel more energetic overall. Others are quick little energy boosters that can help you push through the dreaded slump. Feel free to check out the list in its entirety, but I’ll share some of my favorites.

Energy Boosters

Have an afternoon power snack.

If you read my “What I Ate” posts, you know that I almost always have an afternoon snack. Having a small snack that incorporates some healthy carbs plus protein can provide a boost of energy (and prevent you from feeling ravenous come dinner time). Some of my go-to snacks are yogurt, nuts/dried fruit mixtures, and fresh fruits and veggies with hummus or nut butters.

Drink lots of water.

I admit, this is an area where I could definitely use some work. I just don’t feel thirsty the way other people do, so I really have to force myself to stay hydrated (although I’m noticing my thirst increasing as my workouts get more challenging, so I guess my body knows what it’s doing!). The post says that “dehydration is a sinister cause of fatigue because it slowly creeps up on you.” So grab that (reusable) water bottle and get drinking! :-)


Play to Relax.

When our ability to concentrate starts to falter, sometimes a short, fun distraction can be just what our brains need to re-gain focus. The idea is to play a quick game that takes your mind away from the day’s stress while still keeping your mental juices flowing. Now I’m not suggesting you organize a daily afternoon round of poker with your co-workers (although is that such a bad idea? ;-) ), but a quick game of Solitaire on the computer might be worthwhile.

Stand up, stretch, and take a couple of deep breaths.

Basically, give yourself a mini-break. I find that simply standing up can make a big difference. It gets my blood flowing a little bit.  I also do a little exercise where I inhale for five seconds, exhale for seven, and repeat five times. It takes no time at all and no one knows I’m doing it, but I feel instantly rejuvenated.

Listen to music.

The post claims that “our brains’ pleasure centers light up when we hear music.” I believe it. There’s nothing like an upbeat tune to boost my energy (and my mood!). A little dancing doesn’t hurt either. ;-)

Exercise in the morning.

I realize that this can be a scheduling nightmare, but exercising in the morning instead of the afternoon or evening can give you energy throughout the day. Plus, if you’re really fatigued in the afternoon/evening, your workouts will surely suffer. Of course, everyone’s energy cycles are different; I’m probably biased on this one because I’m naturally a morning person. But if you find your energy lagging throughout the day, it might be worth at least trying to fit in an a.m. sweat session.

Dress up.

The post’s author claims that when we feel better about ourselves and the way we look, we seem to magically have more energy. So true, right? When I was in undergrad, I found it much more difficult to concentrate during a lecture when I wore sweat pants to class than when I took the time to get a little more spruced up. So much for wearing pajamas in public. :roll:

Take a walk outside.

Movement + The Great Outdoors = Instant Energy! Take five to ten minutes to step away from the fluorescent lighting and into some natural sunlight. As the post so rightly states, “seeing the sun is a signal to your body that it’s not bedtime yet.”

Have a laugh.

There’s nothing like a good chuckle for brightening your mood and boosting your energy. Perhaps you could even use a laugh right this second. Let me help you out with that!

What do you call a pig that does karate?
A pork chop.

What happens when frogs park illegally?
They get toad.

Why were the teacher’s eyes crossed?
She couldn’t control her pupils.

Ok, ok, I’ll stop. But I bet you’re smiling right now, if not at the jokes themselves then at my lame attempts to make you laugh! :-D

What do you do when you need a little boost of energy?

One Response to “Energy Boosters”

  1. Dave says:

    What do you call a short buffalo?

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