We’re all well acquainted with the feeling: too much to do and not enough energy to do it. Some people rely on coffee to rouse them from sleep in the mornings. Others reach for their stash of energy drinks whenever they hit their midday energy drag. We all have our methods for combating depleted energy stores. But, with the need for a quick fix, we don’t always make the most health-conscious choices. Caffeine and sugar are common energy boosters, but they are addictive and often lead to energy crashes later on.
Fortunately, there are other ways to give yourself an energy boost without any negative side effects on your health.
Eat an apple
You can never go wrong eating an apple. Apples are stocked with Vitamin C, fiber and good carbs, all of which give you quick energy. Bananas and oranges are good energy boosters, as well. For those of you who suffer midday energy drags, it’s a good idea to include fruit in your lunches.
Get up and move
When you’re drained of energy, the last thing you want to do is get up and move around. But getting those blood cells moving again is one of the best ways to perk yourself back up. So when you’re nodding at your desk or having difficulty keeping your eyes open when you’re supposed to be supervising toddlers, get up and do a few exercises. Usually a quick walk will do it, but if you’re feeling ambitious, go into another room and do some jumping jacks, push-ups or planks. Even on the worst days, a few minutes of physical activity guarantees at least 30 minutes of alertness.
Take a power nap
Sometimes, even after you’ve done all you can to stay alert, your body just doesn’t respond to your quick energy fixes. On days like these, the best course of action is to just give in and shut your eyes. Do what you have to for a few minutes of quiet — shut your office door, put in a movie for your kids or sit in your car — just don’t let it go on for longer than 15 to 20 minutes. Power naps can be a life saver for sleep-deprived parents, students, and employees.
Turn on some music
It’s hard to feel sluggish when there’s a good beat to tap your foot. Upbeat music makes the menial tasks like dishes and laundry a lot more fun. Put together a couple of playlists that you can turn on when you need an instant perk-me-up.
Do something else
If you’ve been doing the same thing for an hour, it may be time to switch to something else. Most people have relatively short attention spans and can’t dedicate their full attention to one task for more than 90 minutes. Switching tasks periodically will ensure that you’re devoting the optimal amount of focus and energy to the task at hand.