You’ve got a crazy, busy day ahead—lots of meetings, errands, or deadlines that require your total concentration and superhuman energy reserves. In other words, you can’t afford to mess up.
So, you need your mind and body to perform at their best, even as your stomach churns from the stress. Here are some tips on how to stay energetic and alert the whole day.
Get the right amount of nutrients
You can’t expect your car to run without putting in gas, right? And you can’t expect to think or run around when you’ve had nothing but coffee and a donut the whole day. Resist the temptation to skip meals because you’re too busy, and definitely don’t skip breakfast (studies show that kids who don’t eat breakfast make more mistakes on exams and get distracted during classroom discussions—and that applies to adults too!).
And forget those fancy fad diets. Many weight-loss regimens cause fatigue because they have too little calories and nutrients. You need protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. If you want to lose weight without losing your concentration and energy, you need to exercise and control calories under the guidance of a dietician or nutritionist.
Eat brain-boosting foods
Studies show that omega-3 fats (found in fatty fish), nuts, and choline (found in eggs) can improve your brain functions. Here’s a sample stress-proof menu: an egg for breakfast, a grilled salmon for lunch, a peanut butter sandwich for a snack, and sushi for dinner. And keep drinking lots of water in between: fatigue is often an early symptom of dehydration.
Take a breather
We tend to take shorter, shallow breaths when we’re stressed or agitated. So every so often, stop and try a deep-breathing exercise: slowly inhaling and filling your lungs, then exhaling. Pair this with a meditation and you have a multi-tasking stress-buster: you increase oxygen flow to the brain and de-stressing, release negative thoughts and tension, and refocus on your goal (rather than the fear of not meeting it).
Control the coffee
Coffee can help a lot (it causes the brain to release dopamine, which helps your body become more alert –and a lot of surprising health benefits, too).. To maximize its benefits, remember that it is works for about 45 minutes—so mix yourself a cup before a presentation or test. And, if you take it before a power nap of 20 minutes, you actually wake up feeling alert. However, don’t take too much—you may not be able to sleep later on, and prolonged insomnia can lower your energy levels for the rest of the week.
Start the day right
Read our article on how to start the day in a good mood. Little things can help you face the work day with a smile — which you need now, more than ever.
Photo from dwellingintheword.wordpress.com