This is a guest post from Dan Scalco. Want to write your own post for the site? Reach out here.
We all have those days when our minds and bodies feel completely exhausted, yet we’re still required to power through the day. Whether you need to make it through a long day at work or you have other tasks on your plate that need tackling, everyone can relate to the utter frustration that can occur when you’re worn out.
To help you get out of this low-energy slump, we’re sharing five ways to keep your brain energized even when you’re feeling exhausted. These tips will help you boost your concentration, increase energy levels, and help you avoid an afternoon crash.
1. Skip Sugar
It’s no secret that the refined sugar you find in many treats isn’t the best for you to consume. However, it doesn’t stop people from seeking a sugar fix when their energy levels are running low.
What’s problematic about consuming too much sugar is that it can lead to a crash in just a few hours’ time. While you’ll notice a spike in energy initially right after you indulge in that sweet treat, that will wear off and leave you possibly feeling worse than you did before.
Instead, you want to focus on something that’s going to provide your body with long-term, sustained energy. Fresh fruit, nuts, and Greek yogurt are all great options that can even be combined to create a tasty yogurt bowl. You can even blend up a smoothie that’s loaded with fresh fruits and veggies for a mind and body boost. The key is to find meals that are vitamin and protein rich, which will give you the energy needed to stay focused for longer periods of time.
2. Don’t Go Crazy With Caffeinated Drinks
When you’re feeling tired, what’s one thing you often do to wake yourself up? You probably drink coffee or tea. Many people turn to an extra one or two cups of coffee to make it through their days. However, it’s not as smart of a move as you might think.
Drinking too much coffee can lead to you feeling jittery. Not only that, but it may even decrease your focus, which is not what you want if you have a full day ahead of you. Instead of repeatedly hitting the kitchen for more coffee, have no more than four cups of joe per day. You’ll also want to make sure you space them out throughout the day to avoid negative side effects.
Another great tip is to have a snack when you drink a cup of coffee. This actually slows the release of caffeine into your body. Then, don’t forget to also keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water after you’re done with your coffee.
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3. Get in a Little Exercise
While exercise is great for getting our bodies into shape, it can also just as effectively help improve our mental health. In fact, it’s been shown to be a highly potent way to improve concentration.
Researchers from the Frontiers of Aging Neuroscience at the University of Illinois shared some information that confirmed this. They claimed that walking at your own pace for 40 minutes just three times per week can help brain function. It does this by enhancing the connectivity of brain circuits and can combat any declines in brain function that are related to aging. Walking has also been shown to help increase our performance on cognitive tasks.
4. Try Supplementing
Another option is to try incorporating nootropic supplements into your daily routine. These supplements are tailor-made to help boost brain function. Taking them when needed can help enhance your memory, improve your focus and attention, and even improve your mood.
The key here is to do your research and choose the nootropic that’s right for you. There are so many options on the market today, so you want to make a smart choice. Know what kind of cognitive benefits you’d like to receive from nootropics, understand the different ingredients included in each, then pick which would work best based on your needs.
5. Take a Nature Break
What’s so effective about getting out in nature, you ask? Research from the University of Melbourne has shown that looking at grassy rooftops reduced errors and helped improve concentration. This allows you to just take a break as you step away from your work and whatever may be causing stress in your life.
When you do finally return to your desk or whatever you’re doing, you’ll feel refreshed, energized, and ready to go. You may even notice it’s easier to focus after you’ve spent a little time soaking up the greenery. Whether you take your lunch break outside or you fit an outdoor walk into your schedule, either one should provide relaxing, refreshing and even meditative benefits.
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