In these trying times, finding ways to keep ourselves uplifted and energized isn’t easy, but it’s more important than ever for our work and our mindset. A few easy energizers:*
Stretch slowly: Moving even just a little more than usual will make you much happier, researchers from Britain’s University of Cambridge have found. Even simple, gentle movements like stretching release mood-boosting endorphins. To get the most benefit from a quick joy jolt, push yourself to stretch farther than you normally would. Lift each knee to your chest, for example or twisting your upper body from side to side. Stretching also enlarges the part of your brain that activates your memory. In one study, women who stretched regularly but didn’t change anything else in their daily routines found that their scores on memory tests soared.
Dance around: You’ve probably heard that song, “Dance like no one is watching.” It’s not just fun, it’s a great way to give yourself a brain boost. Dancing by yourself or with others is proven to slash stress and boost your happiness IQ. Just the simple act of remembering dance steps as you move and groove supercharges your neurons and exercises your brain.
Enjoy nature: While many of us are still sheltering at home, we can still reap the benefits of nature by spending just 20 minutes a day outside near trees, grass, and flowers – whether in a park, on a neighborhood stroll, or in a garden. In a recent study by the University of Rochester, people who sent more time outside near nature reported feeling not just more energetic physically, but more sharper mentally. Being around nature triggers activity in your brain that boosts focus and alertness, and banishes fatigue. If you can’t get outside, just visually a pleasant scene in a park or on the shore can also relax and recharge you.
Pick proteins: If your energy tends to nosedive in the afternoon, a sugary snack can actually make you feel more tired. On the other hand, there’s plenty of proof that eating a protein-rich snack like hummus or a hard-boiled egg will help pick up your pep by stimulating brain cells that make you feel more alert. Protein-rich foods also release brain-boosting chemicals that contribute to mental stamina.
Snack smart: If you’re feeling sluggish and need a quick boost, here are a few easy fixes: Snack on walnuts, one of nature’s “super foods.” Walnuts have the highest levels of omega-3 of any nut – a key to boosting energy. Edamame is another snack which quickly helps refuel you. Check out dried edamame seasoned with sea salt. If you’re on the go, fill a small bag with bran cereal and yogurt chips for a quick pick-me-up.
When we’re we’re energized and more alert, our “little gray cells” are primed to give us all the ideas and creative thoughts we need as we all write on!
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*These energizing tips come to us via Woman’s World magazine.