It happens to everyone at one time or another. It’s that feeling of dragging or being run-down during the middle of the day. Daytime tiredness can be caused by lack of good sleep the night before, increased stress or even a bad diet. Unfortunately, it can happen when we have to be at our peak either physically or mentally.
For those times when a quick pick-me-up is needed, try one or more of the following proven tips.
1. Move. Take a quick, but brisk 5-minute walk. Movement causes your body to release epinephrine in to the system, which in turn leads to increased mental alertness.
2. Stretch your muscles. Getting in a good stretch increases circulation, which in effect increases the flow of oxygen throughout the body. Increased oxygen helps the body feel more refreshed.
3. Work your muscles. Do five minutes of pushups, lunges or sit-ups. Muscle building activities not only help increase blood circulation, but will also release epinephrine into the body. It’s a two for one kind of deal.
4. Drink some ice cold water. The first sign of dehydration is usually fatigue, so it’s quite possible that midday slump may really mean you’re thirsty. But - instead of just drinking tepid water, make it ice cold. The iciness will speed up the metabolism because the body has to work harder to bring the icy cold to body temperature.
5. Take a quick nap. It may seem counter-productive, but a quick 15-20 minute nap will actually make you feel more refreshed for the rest of the day. Just don’t sleep longer than 20 minutes or you will be groggy.
6. Snack. Don’t head for the cookies though! Look for nutrient-dense foods that are low in sugar. Look for fresh vegetables, which have a high fiber content, whole grains, which are full of magnesium, nuts, which are high in protein, and seeds, such as sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, which are high in B-Vitamins. These nutrients provide fuel for the brain, which provides an increased level of alertness that can last for hours.
7. Drink some coffee. Caffeine is a great way to regain energy, but stick to one cup. Any more than that could leave you jittery or even have an inconsistent effect and make you more tired.
8. Breathe. Taking long, deep and rapid breaths will increase the level of oxygen in the body, which will then increase the heart rate, effectively making you feel more revitalized and energized.
9. Listen to a song. Pick one you like that has a good, fast tempo and you’ll find yourself not only tapping your toes, but even possibly joining in. The tiredness will be gone in an instant as the music jump-starts the brain.
10. Take a laughter break. Engaging in fun social activities that involve lots of laughter will increase the body’s pulse rate and circulation. In addition, it also stabilizes hormonal and cortisone levels in the body, which can help keep our emotions from getting depressed.