Improving Energy Levels for Longer Drawing Sessions

Have you ever found yourself slouched over your desk by 2PM with barely enough strength to keep your eyes open, much less accomplish anything?

The afternoon slump is an issue for a lot of people. Sleep deprivation, poor food choices, sedentary lifestyles, and high levels of stress all contribute to feeling so tired you can barely make it through the day.

Unfortunately, many of the ways we self-medicate to power through our afternoons, including upping our caffeine and sugar intakes, only make the issue worse. If you want to solve your fatigue instead of just masking the symptoms, you need some new strategies.

Here’s how you can really improve your energy levels to power through the day.

Start Your Day with a Workout

Starting your day off with a good workout can increase your blood circulation and lead to improved energy levels throughout the day. Morning yoga routines are some of the best AM routines, and depending on which one you choose, you may even be able to do it without breaking a sweat.

Your goal with a morning workout should be to warm up your muscles and get your blood flowing, letting your body know that you need it to work at maximum capacity for the day. What you don’t want to do in the morning is pump up your heart rate and overwork your body, which can lead to muscle fatigue and actually over-tire your body for the rest of the day.

Improve Your Diet

One of the biggest causes of afternoon fatigue is a poor diet. Specifically, diets high in carbohydrates, sugars, caffeine, and processed foods can lead you to feel worn out. Those foods trick your body into feeling full and energetic right after you eat them, which is why a lot of people load up on sugary caffeinated beverages, donuts, and muffins in the morning. Unfortunately, those energy rushes don’t last, and you crash and burn in the afternoon.

So, what should you be eating to improve your energy levels? In general, think whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, proteins, and complex carbohydrates.  Specifically, some of the best foods to improve your energy levels throughout the day include:

  • Bananas
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Quinoa
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Hummus
  • Avocados
  • Oranges
  • Green Tea

To start your day right, try an oatmeal with banana slices and nuts mixed in, or eggs with a whole wheat muffin and a glass of orange juice. That will give you the Calories and nutrients to fuel your day. But to keep your energy levels up, you need to keep fueling your body. That means eating smaller meals to make room in your diet for hearty snacks. In a perfect world, you’d be eating 6-8 times per day, fueling your body continuously with foods that make it feel good.

Stay Moving

You know what’s even better for your than a dedicated 30-minute workout at the end of a long day? Just staying active and moving all day long. Those of us with office jobs may find that hard to do, but with a few smart changes to your routine, you can get activity in all day long.

A great way to stay moving is to create an office culture that promotes walking meetings and interacting with people face to face. Going to a coworkers office to chat instead of picking up the phone and calling them or shooting them a quick IM can get you up and moving during a time you’d otherwise be sitting. And the more you can move throughout the day, the more likely you are to have high energy levels.

Get Good Sleep

Of course, none of these energy promoting tips will keep you from feeling tired if you’re not getting enough high-quality sleep at night. To promote good sleep, stop drinking caffeine after noon and turn all screens off at least half an hour before you plan to go to bed. Also, set yourself an actual bedtime and stick to it. Your body thrives on routine and will start to unwind before bed if it knows when bedtime is.

An afternoon slump doesn’t have to be just a fact of life. Making quick, easy changes to your lifestyle can increase your energy levels, helping you to be happier and more productive throughout the day.


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