Here are some tips on how to keep your energy flowing throughout the day. This is Part 2/4, The Day Has Begun.
1. Change channels. Author Jim Loehr, Ed.D., a co-founder of the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, FL, advises changing your routine every 90 minutes for peak productivity. “Changing channels physically, emotionally, or mentally every 90 minutes pays extraordinary dividends in terms of productivity, well-being and energy,” he says.
2. Cut The Chit-Chat . Don’t waste your prime time wasting your energy in idle conversation. Forget about Facebook for a few hours and stear clear of Chatty Cathy and PTA Pam. You can be nice and take your power back in an uncomfortable situation with an energy and time draining conversationalist. Robin Abrahams, an etiquette columnist for the Boston Globe, suggests saying something like, “I’d much rather be talking to you than filling out those TPS reports/permission slips. Oops! Speaking of…I’d better go. I need to finish them by lunch.”
3. Gas Up On the Coffee. “Coffee is very effective at boosting energy and concentration,” says Karen Ansel R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “Coffee has an unfairly deserved evil reputation.” Just remember to gas up before noon, since coffee stays in your system for 6 hours. That afternoon cup might make it harder for you to get to sleep and all of these suggestions hinge on a good night sleep. (On rare occasions if you really need a jolt of energy and nothing else is doing the trick, you can try my secret remedy of a can of Pepsi and a cup of coffee within a minute of each other. It does something chemically when combined.)
4. Breathe Deeply. Your brain needs lots of oxygen to fire on all cylinders. Your lungs are superbly designed for this task, but a modern office job sitting in front of a computer restricts the diaphragm and engenders shallow breathing. Take time during the day to become conscious of your breathing: relax your shoulders, place your hands on your belly and enjoy the sensation of your belly expanding as you inhale. Breathe deeply. In our schedule intensive, productivity driven workplaces you can also remind yourself to take a breath every time you check a clock, suggests Margaret Chesney, Ph.D., a professor or medicine at the University of California.
5. The Reward System. The pleasure center of the brain releases gobs of revitalizing neurotransmitters when you solve fun brain teasers. One app I love is the Cup O’ Joe brain training app for the iPhone. Complete with memory games and reaction time tests, it’s a truly entertaining way to pass a few minutes and to get those neurotransmitters going. Best of all, it only costs $1 at the iTunes store. (Some of my other old favorites from the 80s are Pac-Man, Centipede, Joust and with equal simplicity the new kid on the block Angry Birds.)
6. Eat A Light Lunch. “The process of digestion is tiring, so if you have a lot of calories at one time, your body will be working hard to digest it all, and you’ll feel sluggish,” says Ryba Matty, a registered dietitian in Scarsdale, NY. Your friends are potein, fiber and complex carbs. Your enemies are refined sugar and saturated fats. If your a sandwich kind-a-person, try whole grain bread with turkey or chicken, pesto and sliced tomato. If soup is your thing, try vegetarian or turkey chili or another bean based soup like split pea or lentil. If salad is your alpha and omega, try spinach or arugula with salmon, avocado, basil, parsley and ginger dressing. (Ginger is a bonus as it aids in digestion, says Los Angeles, CA based clinical nutritionist Kim Walls.) or romaine lettuce with vegetables, cannellini beans and olives.
7. Looking Forward. Having something to look forward to can trigger a blast of rejuvenating and energizing dopamine in your brain. Why not spend a few minutes during your lunch break browsing the web for paraphernalia to aid in your favorite hobby, or even planning about your next vacation? The excitement and anticipation will get the dopamine going and you will be ready to take on the afternoon with the swagger of a college kid.
Speaking of energizing and rejuvenating dopamine, one of my favorite ways to feel good is to watch animals and babies playing. I have complied 3 minutes of absolute animal and baby cuteness for the new Parents With Angst video Mac & Cheese. Put a smile on your face and release some dopamine! (best viewed while eating a fattening bowl of mac & cheese…lol Until next time, may happiness and abundance be yours. xo Amelia & Harold