Want to know how to boost your energy, when you have an energy dip? For me, my energy all seems to disappear around 4.30pm.
I’ve done a full day in the office and I get into the car to do the school run, and my entire body just goes… ugh. It would take very little for me to get in the back of the car for a snooze.
Sadly, that’s not acceptable behaviour on the school run. Instead, I reach for a bar of chocolate or a giant cup of coffee and plough through. It works to a degree, but I’m aware that caffeine makes me feel even MORE stressed during a busy day.
Since Flea started senior school, life has got more hectic. There’s work and school, of course. But it’s the stuff that you have to fit in around that, isn’t it? Hockey, climbing club, skateboard lessons, Scouts, Beaver Scouts (for me, not Flea), walking the dog. Oh, and housework, laundry, remembering to pay bills, and buy food each week.
Over the past month, I’ve been experimenting with different strategies to try and find out how to boost my energy levels. I’m especially focused on those times of day when I feel most tired – first thing, and late afternoon.
How to Boost your Energy in the Morning
I’ve switched from toast to porridge for breakfast. I don’t believe anybody wakes up and thinks, “Hurrah! Can’t wait to eat my porridge,” but you get used to it. Oats provide slow release energy, which is perfect for giving you energy throughout the day. They’re also high in fibre and can help control cholesterol levels, so you can feel suitably smug for the rest of the morning!
My preferred porridge is topped with mandarin slices, or banana or apple slices, with a drizzle of agave syrup for sweetness. It keeps me full until lunchtime so I’m less likely to start snacking on biscuits at 11am.
Along with a hearty breakfast, can I take a moment to sing the praises of the NEOM nourish and energise range? Their hand cream combines 16 essential oils that promote alertness and lift the spirits, and I have some on my desk to apply each morning.
How to Boost your Energy in the Mid Morning
As soon as I get into the office, it’s full on. Breakfast caffeine takes me so far, but I feel a bit of a dip around 11.30am, and sometimes I find myself looking for more caffeine.
I’ve found taking an hour to swim in the morning leaves me with more energy for the whole day. I use a swimming walkman, and I find it really helps me relax into the swim and forget about work/domestic/personal worries. My local YMCA has a fab pool halfway between Flea’s school and my office, so there’s really no excuse!
Getting active in the mornings will help you to keep good energy levels all day.
Getting an Energy Boost at Lunchtime
At lunchtime during the week, I usually buy lunch from a local sandwich shop and I often get a pot of soup. Rather than having a bread roll, I have found that switching out the bread for a packet of oat cakes, rice crackers or similar can make lunch lighter, and less likely to feel like I’m in a carbs coma.
I was recently sent some Nairn’s rough-milled oatcakes. They are perfect for the office because they come in handy portion-sized packets, so you can scoff a few, and the rest of the packet stays fresh.
How to Feel Less Tired in Late Afternoon
This is the time of day I’m most likely to struggle – I’ve finished work, but still need to do the school run, and maybe fit in grocery shopping, or some other activity.
We don’t eat dinner until 8pm, so it’s all too easy at 5pm to pick up a stack of biscuits or a giant cappuccino to keep me going. At this point, those Nairn’s oatcakes come into their own. Flea has taken to grabbing a handful of the cheese mini oatcakes when she comes home from school, with a handful of fruit.
Personally, I’ve found at this time of day, Greek Yoghurt with some almonds or granola, and fresh fruit is perfect as an afternoon snack when I get home. It’s a super healthy option with slow release energy from the granola, plus lots of protein from the yoghurt. Alternatively, Flea enjoys oat cakes or crackers topped with houmous or peanut butter.
As an added tip, I find what I drink at this time of day is easily as important as what I eat – chugging a glass of water with a snack definitely helps to keep me alert.
So those are my top tips for for how to boost your energy through the day – what are yours?