Busy days and long to-do lists can make anyone tired, but you don't have to live your life in a perpetual state of fatigue. True, life is busy and you must meet your obligations and get your daily tasks done, but that doesn't mean you have to do them in a fog of tiredness.
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There are many ways you can give your mind and body a wake up so that your days hold meaning and you still get everything done. Use the handy five-minute routine here for instant energy anytime you need it the most.
1. Increase Oxygen Flow
Your body and brain get tired and sluggish when there isn't enough oxygen coursing through your bloodstream. Your first goal for increasing alertness and that wide awake feeling is to get the oxygen flowing again.
There are several things you can do to jump start the process. Start by blowing your nose, which clears out your nasal passages, allowing more air to flow to your brain and body. Next, spritz a toner on your face to wake up your skin and eyes.
The quick hit of coolness you experience from such a product will instantly wake you up and make you refreshed. Now, sit down somewhere comfortable, place your hands on your knees and breathe deeply.
Do this for a full minute as you block out the world and focus on your breathing and your body. This works because tiny breaths slow the oxygen flow through your body, so taking a few minutes to breathe deeply can really get it pumping, helping you wake up quickly.
You can start your five-minute routine with this quick step anytime you need a pick-me-up during the day and repeat it as necessary to keep your mind and body going.
2. Try Some Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the art of using scent to drive certain conditions in your body. Certain smells have the power to wake up your mind and body and help you feel recharged and ready to take on the rest of the day. If your sleepiness is interfering with your concentration, try sniffing grapefruit, rosemary or basil. If you're tired and feeling down, a whiff of lemon can really help.
Peppermint is also a great scent for inducing wakefulness and that bright-eyed and bushy-tailed feeling you wish you had. You can use these scents by placing a few drops of an essential oil on a tissue and holding it near your nose as you breathe deeply.
You might also use the oils in a diffuser that spreads the scent around the room. Body sprays and room sprays are other options that are ideal if the nearness of a tissue is too intense for you to handle.
Keep the oils or sprays on hand so that you can reach for them quickly when the need arises. This is an ideal choice for both home and work. Aromatherapy is great for kids too!
3. Massage Is A Powerful Tool
You might think of a massage as more of a way to help you relax and get sleepy, but research shows that a short self-massage is a great way to increase blood flow throughout your body and help you feel more awake.
You can do this at work or at home or just about anywhere. One easy way to do a self-massage is to use your arm to roll a small ball across a solid surface, such as your desk or the kitchen table.
You can do the same with your feet, which should make you more alert in just a few minutes. Use a roller ball on your back or legs too, if you prefer. As you massage your body, your levels of serotonin and dopamine go up, both of which are hormones that are associated with reducing stress and increasing alertness and concentration.
Getting a professional massage won't have the same benefits because it is designed more as a relaxation tool than a wake me up tool. Also, a professional massage can't be used anytime or anywhere.
4. Do Some Stretches
Stretching is another great way to increase the blood flow in your body, and engaging in them helps you wake up your muscles when they are dragging and all you want to do is go back to bed.
Stretching is an ideal way to wake up your body and mind in the morning, but also works effectively in the afternoon when the work day is wearing on and you're losing your steam and energy. There is a wide range of stretches that can wake up your body and mind.
If you do yoga, you are probably familiar with the Cat Cow Pose, which involves getting on all fours and alternately arching and rounding your back. Slow squats and calf raises are other ideal choices.
Reach up high, stretching your arms and back, and then clasp your hands and stretch them back behind you and then above your head. As you stretch, make sure you are opening up your chest and feeling a stretch throughout your body to get blood flowing everywhere. Stretches are ideal anytime you need them.
5. Now It's Time For A Snack
It's no secret that food plays a powerful role in how you feel. If you eat a heavy, fatty meal you probably won't feel that great and will likely just want to go take a nap and sleep it off. On the other hand, a healthy snack that contains the right nutrients can boost your energy and wake up your body and mind.
The trick, of course, is choosing the right snack. A good ratio of complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats is ideal.
A cup of Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and a bit of granola is a healthy choice. A handful of almonds with some string cheese is another great option. If you crave sugary snacks, enjoy some dark chocolate, which will satisfy your craving without making you feel tired and sluggish.
Stay away from vending machine snacks like chips or pretzels, soda, cookies or candy because they cause a spike in insulin that will cause your blood sugar to crash shortly after, leaving your feeling tired once again.
Being tired is a part of life and something that you can't entirely avoid. Knowing how to induce alertness and continue on with your day is a valuable tool to have.
This entire routine, from start to finish, should only take about five minutes, which makes it ideal for using anytime. If you prefer to mix up the order of the steps, you can certainly do that too. If you're really pressed for time, simply choose the step that works best for you and do that one.
If nothing seems to work and you remain feeling tired all the time, see your doctor to rule out a health condition that could be causing your fatigue.