Inadequate sleep patterns, demanding schedules and high-stress jobs can take a toll on your energy levels. If you’re like many people, you fight these energy slumps with quick fixes such as caffeine and sugary snacks – but these solutions can do more harm than good. They’re also relatively ineffective, as they often lead to an even bigger energy crash later on.
The key to avoiding energy slumps and maintaining your energy levels throughout the day is to implement quick energy boosters into your daily routine. These quick boosters can be done in less than 10 minutes and have been proven effective in offering noticeable (and long lasting) surges in energy.
Calm Your Mind
You don’t need to sit quietly in a darkened room for 30 minutes to reap the benefits of meditation. Studies have shown that even a quick 10 minute meditation session is all you need to calm down, replenish yourself and increase your energy levels.
To reap the rewards of a mini-meditation session, try this: Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths while you focus on relaxing the muscles in your body. Acknowledge thoughts as they come, but let them drift by like clouds in the sky. Many people also find it helpful to visualize a calming scene, such as a morning sunrise, tropical beach or favorite vacation spot. You can do this mini-meditation session while lying down or seated – whatever feels most comfortable to you.
Exercise is a great stress reducer and energy booster. Make it a point to get up from your desk at lunchtime for a brisk walk around the block or a jog. Other effective 10-minute exercises include walking up stairs, skipping, jumping rope, plyometric lunges or jumping jacks. Creating a quick circuit combining two or three of these activities, or including strength-training exercises such as pushups or deadlifts, are also great options.
Strike a (Yoga) Pose
There are literally hundreds of different yoga postures, each with its own set of health benefits. And while a regular yoga practice will do wonders for your overall energy level, there are specific postures that are associated with increased energy. If you’re feeling fatigued, try one of the following postures. They are both relatively basic and easy to learn. Best of all, it only takes a few minutes of performing each posture to reap the energy-boosting benefits:
Modified Downward Dog Split – Move into a traditional downward facing dog, take five deep breaths and raise your right heel upwards toward the ceiling. Hold this pose for five to seven breaths, or as long as you can maintain comfortably. If you’re having trouble holding the pose, lower your left forearm to the floor for support. Return to downward facing dog and repeat the pose on the opposite leg.
Tree: Stand in mountain pose, with your feet firmly planted on the ground and your weight evenly distributed. Inhale deeply and shift your weight onto your left foot. Exhale and place your right foot as high as you can on the inside of your left leg with your toes facing downward. Inhale and stretch your arms out to your sides. Exhale and bring your hands into prayer position. Raise your hands (still in prayer position) above your head as you inhale. Hold the pose for three to five breaths, or as long as you’re able.
Soak Up the Sun
There is nothing like the feeling of warm sunshine on your face for an instant energy boost. If the sun is shining, make it a point to get outside for five to 10 minutes during the middle of the day to soak up some Vitamin D and increase both your energy and mood levels. This can be particularly helpful in the midafternoon, when energy slumps commonly occur.