We all know the feeling. 4pm. Still need to finish up work for the day, go to the gym, run to the grocery store, cook dinner, stop by kids baseball games, etc. But you’re tired! You’ve been cranking all day and now you’re expected to be the energizer bunny and keep going all night?! It can be a tough task. Luckily, here are five tips to help get your energy up and leveled out!
1- TAKE A BREAK!
Yes, take a break. Now you may have to wait until it’s an appropriate time and safe (um NOT while driving!) but taking a moment to yourself is not only extremely calming, but re-energizing.
For example, when you get to your car after work, instead of speeding away rushing to your next task, what if you took 5 minutes (dare I say 10?!) to close your eyes, shut everything down, and just recharge. Set a timer so you don’t freak out about dozing off. You can keep it quiet, put on soft music, whatever you’d like. But don’t worry or think about a thing. 5 full minutes of just relaxing and sitting quietly. The grocery store will still be there, the games will still be going on. You can afford 5 minutes for your sanity!
If you take a train or bus, this is the perfect time to take a break. You can put in headphones to cancel out the chaos (even if you don’t have anything playing shhh nobody has to know!), play a guided meditation or again soft music, set a timer if it helps you relax, and just drift off to your happy place! You will be amazed at how great and refreshed you feel after unplugging from the day for just a few minutes.
2- TAKE A NAP!
A nap?! Who has time for that?! Well, considering how good they are for you, you might just reconsider that schedule and try to squeeze one in!
The National Sleep Foundation states that “ a short nap of 20–30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness and performance… Napping has psychological benefits. A nap can be a pleasant luxury, a mini-vacation. It can provide an easy way to get some relaxation and rejuvenation.”
Everyone’s lives are different and maybe not equally as busy. BUT trying to squeeze in an extra 20 minutes can be doable. What other items in your day can maybe be rescheduled to allow more “you-time”? (aka NAPTIME!) Can you consolidate errands to free up other days? Can you use up some of your lunch time? Is there a brief period before the family gets home where there’s a few minutes of quiet?
It may seem impossible to squeeze in a nap when our endless to-do lists are nagging at our brains. But you must take care of yourself before you can take care of anything else or anyone else. It will be worth it!
3- FRESH AIR!
Ahhh the smell when you first walk outside after being cooped up all day. The sun is shining, there is a slight breeze, and you swear the air smells sweeter.
Ok well maybe it’s not always so over-the-top perfect, BUT stepping out for a few minutes of fresh air can be very energizing. Getting out of your routine and shaking it up for a few moments also helps. The smell of the air, the feel of the air, the fresh oxygen entering your body, all have lasting effects. Your energy increases, your mood boosts, and your thinking becomes clearer!
4- GET MOVING!
Right before my afternoon coaching calls, I need a little pep put into my step. So, what do I do? I get UP and move AROUND! Jogging in place, jumping jacks, running in circles, power stance, anything that gets the blood pumping. You will instantly feel an increase in energy.
No, it doesn’t fade away the second you sit back down. The American Council on Exercise finds that low intensity exercise actually helps combat fatigue. You’ll notice that you feel great, and ready to tackle your next task!
5- JAM OUT!
You know that song that is perfect for driving with the windows down, and gives you the feeling of absolutely no care in the world? Yep, that one. Put it on. Listen, feel, smile, close your eyes and imagine driving with the wind in your hair. Have fun at all of your favorite parts of the song. Bonus points if you actually get to sing along out loud (the louder the better!). The American Music Therapy Association reports that music can help to manage stress, enhance memory, and increase energy.
Whichever way you to choose to energize yourself, remember that it is important.
Things like naps may seem like luxuries, but our thinking about that needs to change.
It should not seem luxurious to take care of ourselves.
The happier we are, the happier we can make others!