In today’s information age, when we can practically browse the entire world in a matter of few clicks; there are so many things we want to buy, so many places we want to visit, so many things we want to try with just not enough time and money.
Not all of us have sky-high aspirations, but we all carry our own bucket list in our heads. Unfortunately, for most of us, the process of getting the life we want starts with working on things we are not exactly keen on. Most days we are never really going to “feel” like doing things we are supposed to do. You have to fake it till you make it. To tackle the responsibility of the drabbest jobs and the most mundane errands, you have to ensure productivity by constantly keeping your energy levels up and steady, which, sometimes, can be quite a challenge for even the best of us.
Here are a few measures you can take to boost yourself through some of your busiest days.
1. Banish darkness, let there be light!
Circadian rhythm – our body’s internal clock that regulates our twenty hour sleep / wake pattern and takes care of several other physiological processes is heavily influenced by light. The more natural light or bright lights are there at your workplace, the easier it would be for your body to set you on ‘work’ mode.
2. Don’t slack, leap right out of bed to tackle the day
If you keep on hitting the snooze button every ten minutes to steal another half an hour’s sleep; then don’t. You are wasting time and not really getting any additional rest.
If getting up the moment the alarm rings a painful struggle on a daily basis; then it just goes to show that you are not getting enough sleep. Hit the bed earlier. Dim the lights and grab a book or magazine by the lamp side to lull yourself to sleep. Ensure absolute darkness for quality slumber.
The light and noise from phones, tablets, laptops and televisions, on the other hand, discourages timely closure for bedtime and leaves you cranky and sluggish the following day.
A little bit of yoga is another great way to switch on a positive power mode early in the morning. If you already workout in the morning, that is a great start. But even a short, mild workout can rev you up for the day.
For instance, try and hold each of the stretches in the picture given below for five deep breaths. The stretches need not necessarily be as deep as demonstrated and anytime a pose feels uncomfortable, stand straight up, before attempting it again.
3. Too many caffeine punches will knock you out!
A cup of coffee in the morning and another in the afternoon are fine. But, if you like your coffee with lots of cream, sugar and chocolate or grab a cup of black coffee every time you find yourself losing interest in your work; you are setting yourself up for a series of sleep deprived nights, sluggish days and eventual weight gain!
4. Fuel your body to fight through the day
Even if you are not hungry a nourishing breakfast loaded with fiber and antioxidants goes a long way in setting off an affirmative momentum. Green tea or green smoothies are nutrition dense. Substitute ready to eat cereals with fiber rich porridge supplemented with fruits like apples, pears, guava, berries etc. Add to that a couple of egg whites and you have an unbeatably invigorating kick-start.
5. Break the monotony with a quick scenario change
We have limited attention to spare. Stuck in a humdrum routine can sap our energy.
Change your mood with a short ten minute walk outside while listening to your favorite song. You can also play a quick game online or solve a crossword puzzle.
Another quick way to revive is by sharing a hearty laugh. Keep your good friends just a speed dial away, with your funniest friends on top of the list. Don’t forget to return the favor by cracking a joke or two of your own but avoid letting the conversation turn into a long gossip session.
If you are particularly desk-bound for long hours, then initiate every break with the series of following stretches to release pent up tension in your body.
6. Just breathe – deeply!
Especially in times of great stress or anxiety we do not realize how shallow our breathing gets. Mastering a few breathing exercises will give you a stimulant free shot of energy to stay on top of your game during crunch time.
To start, every time you feel a little overwhelmed, find yourself a quiet corner and try slow, controlled breathing making each inhale and exhale last at least for 4 seconds each. Those prone to anxiety will be surprised to know, how hard it can be, but practice as much as you can and often. Take at least ten deep breaths in one session.
Once you are comfortable, you can master the advanced form of yogic breathing exercises like ‘alternate nostril breathing’ and ‘kapalabhati,’ which are known to wake up the brain better than the strongest cup of coffee!