Some days just seem to drag on forever. You’re chugging along, being productive and then BAM. You run out of steam. Your battery runs out of juice. You hit a wall. You…well you get the point. The truth is this is completely natural.
Your body requires an adequate amount of rest, which is why napping can be beneficial. Naps have been proven to increase brain functions such as memory, focus and creativity. But if you’re like most of the working world, naps are not always an option. So, what can you do? There are several ways to keep you out of the afternoon slump and stay energized throughout the day.
Open the curtains: Whether it’s artificial or natural light, working in a well-lit area helps align your body clock and stay awake. If there is no natural light around you, using LED lights with “blue or cool light” temperatures can help increase concentration and reduce sleepiness.
Watch what you eat and drink: While drinking an extra cup of coffee or reaching for an energy drink can lead to short-term energy boosts, caffeine consumption can lead you down a cycle of reliance or, in harsher terms, addiction. Consuming sugar can also provide short-term energy boosts but also leads to a crash shortly after. Instead, try eating foods that give you a prolonged sense of energy naturally. Foods that will help provide long-term energy boosts include almonds, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, bananas, and oatmeal. These foods are rich in protein which is known to help regulate your energy levels to boost concentration.
Give your eyes a break: People tend to stare at screens a lot throughout the day. This can put an immense amount of strain on your eyes and result in blurred vision, difficulty keeping your eyes open and headaches. To give your eyes a break and allow them to relax, try the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from a screen for 20 seconds and focus on something roughly 20 feet away. Do this every 20 minutes you’re working on a screen.
Take a walk: If you’re having trouble keeping your eyes open, getting up and walking around can reduce fatigue and also help improve fitness, cardiac health, mood and circulation.
Whether you’re able to fit in a nap during the day or not, following these simple steps can keep you alert and refreshed all day. Your body and mind will thank you, and so will your boss for being less sleepy and a bit more productive!