I don’t know about you but despite following all these great tips I’ve found for getting a restful sleep and waking up happy and full of energy, I still find myself in a midday slump sometimes. I think it has to do with the nature of my work. I’m a social media/community manager, a blogger, and a virtual assistant and that all adds up to a lot of sitting in front of a computer. Many many hours sitting in front of a computer every day. (They say that sitting is the new smoking. When I heard that, I have to say – I got a little nervous.)
There have often been days when I’ve started working at 7 am, sitting there at my computer and suddenly looked at the clock, realizing that it was now 3 pm and I hadn’t budged from that spot all day long. That’s not good folks! So, I’m making an effort to change that and it’s not only helping maintain my energy levels throughout the day (and avoid that midday energy slump) but it’s also great for my mind and my spirit.
Here’s what I’m doing:
- Getting outside! If possible, I’m heading out for a short walk mid-afternoon. With my back/hip issues, I can’t walk much but even 10 minutes can be really refreshing.
- I’m taking my vitamins at lunch time instead of in the morning. First thing in the morning I have an energy boost coming from that cortisol that my body has been building up all night long. By lunch time (which is usually a late lunch in my case), those cortisol levels are waning a bit and the vitamins can help.
- I don’t eat a big lunch – I don’t want that “big meal coma feeling” to set in. Instead, I eat something small and then have healthy snack later on. I do better when I eat mini-meals more frequently than larger more spread out meals. I make sure to include some fruit and vegetables, protein, and carbs to give me both a quick burst of energy and some of the more long lasting “slow release” energy to tide me through the rest of my day. (A trick I learned due to my daughter’s hypoglycemia).
- I’m a firm believer in the power of deep breathing. I think most people.have a tendency to breathe too shallowly, myself included. I know that after practising deep breathing exercises, I feel more energized and yet more relaxed all at the same time. I try to stop for a few moments every couple of hours and do some deep breathing – 4-4-8s are my usual go-to during the day. For 4-4-8s, you inhale for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 4, and then exhale for a count of 8. Even just a few rounds of this breathing can make a big difference.
- Every couple of hours, I also do some stretches at my desk. Even simple things such as shoulder lifts, bending your ear towards your shoulder, turning your head from side to side, turning from the waist towards one direction and then the other, and raising your hands up high over your head can help.
- I’m drinking lots of water! This is great for a couple of reasons. For one thing, I think staying hydrated is as important for your body as deep breathing and for the same reasons.. For another thing, it forces me to get up from my desk on a regular basis – either to refill my water bottle or to go to the bathroom. Either way, I’m getting more movement in and even that brief little walk into the bathroom and kitchen helps keep my muscles from tensing up and going into spasm.
- Music, music, music! If you’re been reading my last few posts, you must think I’m obsessed with music – and maybe in a way I am. But I think that music can carry great power in it – to make you feel energetic or relaxed, happy or sad. I’ve made up some playlists on Youtube with my favourite songs and have sorted them into different moods. Another great resources is Songza. It’s an app I have on my iPad and all I have to do is open the app and it will provided suggested playlists for different times of day, different tasks that you might be engaged in, and different moods. LOVE this app!
- I’m taking a 20-30 minute rest and relaxation break. A Harvard study indicates that a 20 minute rest during the day strengthens the immune system, improves the way we metabolize energy, and regulates blood sugar. I’m not very good at power napping – takes me too long to fall asleep in the first place – but just lying down and closing my eyes for a while can really recharge my batteries and take the stress off my muscles and joints.