Ever have days where you feel like you can’t make it past 3p.m. without falling asleep at your desk? Even if you love your job, you don’t always have the energy you need to sail through the day. And there’s a ton of information out there on how to feel more energetic, but who’s got time to sort it all out and decide what’s best?
Career coach Ashley Stahl gets it and these are her do’s and don’ts to help you optimize your energy at work.
What to eat:
- Do eat proteins and complex carbs - Having a lunch filled with proteins and complex carbohydrates, like nuts, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese, will keep your blood sugar stable through the afternoon, so you’re less likely to want a nap.
- Do eat breakfast - Studies show eating breakfast helps keep you alert and satisfied all day. Skip the doughnuts and stick with proteins and whole grains and you’ll feel a difference.
- Do pack snacks - Keep some healthy options, like veggies and hummus, cheese sticks and nuts, on hand so don’t hit up the vending machine for a candy bar when you need a quick bite.
- Don’t eat simple sugars - Sugary drinks, candy and other treats with added sugar will spike your blood sugar, leading to a crash later in the day.
What to drink:
- Do drink more water - When your energy is low, you’re probably dehydrated. The Mayo Clinic reports that even mild dehydration can cause fatigue and drain your energy.
- Do optimize your coffee intake - Wait to drink your first cup between 9:30 and 11:30a.m. to get the most from your caffeine and drink your second cup when the afternoon slump hits.
- Don’t drink coffee after 3p.m. - Research shows that having caffeine six hours before bed can disrupt sleep, so play it safe and finish your last cup of coffee by 3p.m.
- Don’t look at screens before bed - You’ve heard it before, but it can disrupt sleep, so it’s a no-no.
- Don’t take naps longer than 30 minutes - When you need a midday snooze, limit it to a 10 to 30-minute power nap.