In the frantic rhythm of a nine to five workday at the office, with hours spent in front of a computer, feeling drowsy and sluggish throughout the day is pretty commonplace. An afternoon nap at your desk won’t leave you in a good place with your boss, and a fifth cup of coffee can make you even more tired. So what’s the answer to staying alert and focused at the office? Check out these ten simple ways to combating fatigue and boosting your energy levels.
- Keep moving
Physical activity improves blood flow, brings oxygen to your muscles, and increases energy levels. You don’t have to run a marathon to get in some healthy doses of exercise. Five minutes away from the desk every few hours will work your muscles, clear your head, and give you the chance to regain some productivity. Try taking the stairs a few times or take a short walk around your office building.
- Take a walk in the park
Scientists demonstrated that moving in the midst of nature improves attention levels and memory by activating the so-called “involuntary attention”. If your brain is able to notice objects without having to focus on them, it will stay more alert and fight fatigue. Take your lunch break to the park, where you can sit against a tree or on a park bench and enjoy your natural surroundings. Your mind will feel more at ease once you’re back at the office.
- Think about your pet
According to a study conducted by the University of Missouri, interacting with animals increases the levels of oxytocin, a hormone that inhibits stress and helps to concentrate. So it may sound silly to some, but just thinking about your pets will increase your energy levels and positive emotions. If you’re lucky enough to work in an office that allows pets, brings your dog or cat whenever you can! They’ll no doubt become the center of attention, and the whole office atmosphere will have better morale and productivity.
- Have coffee at the right time
Even though your energy levels are dropping, the coffee you drink right after lunch might compromise your sleep.To fight this afternoon fatigue, switch to decaf, green tea, or a carbonated water. You’ll be thanking yourself the next morning after a good night’s sleep!
- Use brain boosters
Nootropics, also called cognitive enhancers, are a type of supplement that improves memory, creativity, and motivation. Including a wide range of natural and artificial substances, most nootropics have vitamins from the B complex, ginseng, and Ginkgo Biloba, all of which are known to stimulate the brain without interfering with your circadian rhythm.
- Chew gum
An easy and tasty way to fight fatigue at the office is by chewing some gum. Chewing activates the parts of the brain that are related to memory and also can give you a small kick of energy by stimulate another sense.
- Listen to your favorite music
For decades now, scientists have stated that listening to music helps to fight fatigue. According to a study conducted by the University of Miami, the quality of the work and amount of concentration improve when listening to music. Since we all have different definitions of good music, the best thing is to listen to your favorite songs to boost the energy.
- Don’t skip lunch
When working, there is always the temptation to skip your lunch break and go home early. However, no midday meal can leave you feeling sleepy and lethargic. If you don’t have the time to eat a proper lunch, at least try to grab a snack of protein and carbohydrates like toast with peanut butter or a Greek yogurt with fruit.
- Avoid heavy lunches
Not skipping lunch doesn’t mean you have to eat too much for lunch instead. The digestion process causes drowsiness that is hard to combat in the afternoon. Choose a salad full of fruits and veggies and avoid large portions and fried foods.
- Sleep sufficiently
An essential part of any healthy routine is getting enough sleep at night. Although it’s a luxury for many, the consequences of too little sleep don’t just include sluggishness but potentially increased anxiety and depression. A lack of sleep also accentuates the afternoon feeling of fatigue because it dumps the circadian rhythm. Put in place a nighttime routine where you go to bed at the same time every night. Avoid screen time an hour before hitting the sack, and enjoy a cup of chamomile tea as you wind down.