We have all experienced those days when the alarm goes off and all you want is to hide in bed and call in sick. Whether you have had a late night out or your racing thoughts just didn’t allow you to properly get the rest you needed – you have no choice but to show up and fake it. Don’t despair, there are some tools and tricks to get you through your day while functioning on a higher level than anticipated and power through work when exhausted.
1. Take a cold shower
My friend who was in the army would always say, “A shower is worth two hours sleep.” Coming from someone who knew a thing about sleep deprivation, it clearly makes sense. Once you take your shower, stay for another 90 seconds with cold water which will help with circulation and energy.
2. Skip the coffee
I know this suggestion sounds counterproductive since the caffeine would be helpful. Although the caffeine under this circumstance is good, you would be better off with Green Tea. Lack of sleep and a day of work pressure can create anxiety. Coffee can give you serious jitters if you are already off balance. Instead, dosing with Green Tea will provide caffeine although the nervous effects will be offset with the L-theanine in your cup. L-theanine is an amino acid that promotes calm and relaxation. You also don’t want to be running on so much coffee and once again unable to get a good night’s sleep when now you really need it!
3. Stay off sugar
It’s normal to crave carbs and sugar when you’ve slept poorly. It makes sense that you want these foods for your depressed seratonin levels – but don’t reach so fast for the bagels and donuts to start off the day. It will give you quick energy but leave you crashing harder and feeling worse than you already do. Instead opt for foods that have more protein and will stabilize your blood sugar levels. Eggs for breakfast, chicken over salad for lunch and wild salmon with vegetables and quinoa are all good meal suggestions.
4. Use nutraceuticals to restore energy
A few supplements can help you to power through work when exhausted without making you wired. Supplement with a morning B Complex, Vitamin C, as well as adaptogenic herbs that will help support energy levels like Ashwaganda, Astragalus ad Ginseng. Then before retiring, you can take magnesium to put the body in a more relaxed state for better sleep.
5. Get outside a few times
Sunshine and natural Vitamin D are healing and will instantly make you feel better. If you can walk around the block (preferably while the sun is still out) it can be done in conjunction with your lunch or bathroom breaks. Just moving around doing a simple activity will get circulation going. An activity like a five minute stroll can break up the day to make long stretches of focus more tolerable.
While you may not have the luxury of taking a nap comfortably at your desk, you can do a quickie meditation to help power through work when exhausted. It is possible to do without drawing too much attention to yourself. If you are not familiar with meditation you can always put in ear buds and connect to a version that is available online to guide you through. Many spiritual masters use meditation as a source of reviving energy. They are able to feel well with little sleep. Although this would require more than simply five minutes, even a short practice is more beneficial than nothing at all.