Feeling sluggish these days? You’re not alone. According to researchers, about 38 percent of working adults experience times of fatigue. While the oncoming winter can sometimes be blamed as the cluprit, studies have shown that some of the things you do in your everyday life can also contribute to your afternoon yawn-fest.
Are you dragging your huge gym bag with you to the office, or to the gym? You aren’t sure what you will feel like doing when you get there, so you are going prepared for anything? What about that huge purse, or, like me, diaper bag. The amazing mom, can pull just what you need out of her bag of tricks at anytime, right? Well, that ginormous bag (for whatever purpose) is throwing off your alignment and posture which, as studies show, can make it much harder to draw in a full breath. If you’re struggling to breathe, it will increase your heart rate and make you ready for some ZZZ’s. If you can decrease the size of your bag, or at least the amount you’re lugging along with you, you will be doing your body some good.
How about your habits at home? Are you like most people and spend the last hour before you go to bed checking social media sites, email and looking for new text messages? It seems like this is the only chance we have sometimes to catch up with the outside world. But, the light from your mobile device or computer might be keeping you from falling asleep by stimulating brain activity and decreasing melatonin (necessary to make you feel sleepy). Make your bed a “no gadgets” zone to help your body get back into your old bedtime routine.
Do you have an area of your home that is cluttered and drives you nuts? I know I do. Did you know that all that clutter can be overstimulating your brain and, in turn, sucking your energy dry? Keeping your life as clutter-free as possible can help to keep your energy high. If you don’t have to think about what goes where when you are putting things away, it takes less energy to clean things up. So, make sure things have a place, and label them if you need to. And, as I tell my kids, if you don’t have time to put things away as you go, take a few minutes at the end of the day to tidy up. So much better for you well-being if you wake up (or go into work) to a tidy environment.
Afternoons can be hard at the office. What’s more, your office environment might be contributing to your sleepiness. Not only can clutter be taking it’s toll, but if you’re office or cubicle is too cold, it can decrease body temperature and send your body and brain into hibernation mode. To make matters worse, there is a good chance you are slouching in your chair which can make it harder to breathe and also contribute to your tired feelings. If you don’t have control over the office thermostat, make sure you keep a sweater or jacket nearby to keep you warm in the afternoons. Also make sure your work area is set up to contribute to good posture. Keep your feet flat on the floor or on a footrest while sitting at your computer (which should be about 18-24 inches away from you and at a good height for you to see the entire screen).
One last thing…visiting the grocery store. If you’re like me, you’re trying to make healthy choices for you and your family. But, with over 38,000 choices at your favorite store, and all the different labels (i.e. “Fat Free”, “All Natural”, “Low Fat”, “Less Sugar”), a trip to pick up a few things can end up making your head spin and lead to exhaustion. It’s best to make a list before you go and stick to it. Making the list as detailed as you can (preferred brands, amount needed) can make your trip less time consuming. And, it’s best to always look for the most natural brands (the ones with less ingredients, and ingredients you can actually pronounce are a great place to start). There are also apps like, “Fooducate” that you can download to you mobile device that helps take the guess work out of choosing food by grading brands and helping you choose the healthiest options.
It seems that life is going by in the blink of an eye these days. Don’t miss out on something because you’re too tired to participate.