So, I thought as I woke up to another pitch-black New England morning that gradually lightened to a dingy gray. This is what they mean by the dead of winter.
The lack of sunlight affects my motivation, my mood, and my energy levels. I'm on mega doses of several vitamins now -- a "let's see if this helps" effort stemming from that cancer concern from late last year -- which helps a bit but, even so, it's hard to get going, some days.
Like today, for instance.
So, what do you do when your to-do list is a mile long and your energy seems to be tapped out after you've exerted yourself getting dressed in the morning? I mean after I've -- I mean you've -- knocked back those three cups a coffee?
Over at The 36-Hour Day, I'm asking (and offering) for ways to get my energy levels up to where I need them to be. I've touched on this once before (check it out here), but these simple tips work equally well!
1.) Treat yourself. This morning, I reset my mood by meeting an old friend for a late breakfast on my way in to work. It felt great to reconnect with someone who knew me as a kid, and that happiness carried through the rest of my day. What makes you happy? Can you indulge a tiny bit and boost your energy levels by boosting your mood?
2.) Exercise. It seems counterintuitive -- at least, it does to me -- but many studies show that even a brisk, 15-minute walk can do wonders to boost your energy levels. I know I feel better after I've fenced for an hour, but if you don't have an hour to spare, try stretching at your desk for a few minutes or walking up and down a stairwell at work or even parking your car at the far end of the lot and power walking to the office door (Click here for more suggestions from Work It, Mom! members).
3.) Apply some pressure. Accupressure, that is. According to a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, students who were taught to self-administer certain acupressure treatments were more alert and less fatigued. (Here's one trick to try: Press down hard or rub the muscle between your thumb and your forefinger for three to five minutes.)
4.) Drink more water. Dehydration leads to fatigue, and it's the sugar in those energy drinks that provide the power -- and lead to the crash hours later. (The energy "shots"? Have about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. They might clear your head, but they don't actually do much for your energy levels.) Also: A quick trip to the water cooler to refill your water bottle can also give your mind a small chance to unwind.
5.) Engage your other senses. Wearing brighter colors, freshening up in the middle of the day, flirting, or even smelling a strong citrus scent can lift the spirits and recharge your batteries, according to the folks at Zenhabits.
What do you do to keep your energy levels up?