Students At Home

For Everyone Who Learns at Home

Feeling Tired? Try 9 Quick Energy Boosts!

I don’t know about you, but I get tired every afternoon! My energy level drops, I have trouble concentrating and I just want a nap. But my kids come home from school around 3 every day, and I have to be alert and focused! Usually, I grab a cup of coffee and a cookie, but I know this solution isn’t the healthiest option for me. After doing some research, I found these quick energy boosts.

Eat the right lunch. Ideally, it should be packed with fiber and protein. This combo keeps blood sugar levels – and energy – steady so you can stay focused all afternoon.

Take lots of short breaks. I have tight deadlines on my job, and I’m always tempted to work for long stretches without taking a break. However, several short breaks actually give your body and brain a chance to reboot. I’m going to set a timer and take a five-minute break every hour to stretch, fold laundry, text a friend, clear clutter off a counter or get dinner started.

Go for a walk. Fresh air boosts your concentration and mood. Sounds like a perfect excuse to walk to the mailbox, around the block or through the woods (below is a pic from my morning walk yesterday at Mt. Gretna)! Can’t get outside? Dance, jump rope or vacuum.

june 19 mt gretna

Change the way you snack. My coffee and chocolate snack tastes good and spikes my blood sugar so I feel more energetic right away. But it actually makes me feel more tired in the long run. A smarter snack is high in fiber and  protein like an apple or banana with peanut butter, a handful of nuts with fruit or whole-grain crackers with cheese.

Meditate. Spend five minutes meditating, and you’ll feel more awake and less stressed.

Drink water. When you’re dehydrated, the oxygen levels in your body drop. It’s time to get drinking! Make your water tasty and refreshing with fruit juice, crushed berries or lemon (my favorite water additive!), lime or cucumber slices. (photo courtesy VisitPlano)

water pitcher visitplano

Breathe deeply. A few deep breaths – in through your nose, out through your mouth – slow your heart rate, decrease your blood pressure, increase oxygen in your blood and relax tense muscles. Your brain needs this boost, so relax and breathe.

Brush your hair. Repetitive movements relieve tension and help you relax. Even better, stimulating your scalp boosts your energy and alertness!

Laugh. Your muscles relax and you feel more energized when you laugh. I like listening to comediennes on YouTube, or you can read through a joke book or recall a funny memory. (photo credit unknown)

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These tips boost energy and fight fatigue. What other tricks work for you to keep you alert when you’re tired?

 

 

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Sometimes You Have To Say No

A friend and I talked the other day about food, nutrition and dieting.  I mentioned my attempts to increase the amount of veggies I eat and decrease my ice cream consumption (after a solid week of eating Mint Moose Tracks after dinner–yum!)   She looked at me and said, “Every night?  That was fun, huh?”

I looked at her, speechless.  Yes, it was fun!  But I had never heard anyone describe eating as fun.  Food has always been the enemy, from chocolate brownies to blue cheese.  Like nearly every choice I make, I critique myself instead of embracing them.  I say, “I should not eat this, say that, etc.

I’ve been thinking about her comment this week.  Food isn’t the enemy:  God made it all, and it’s good, right?

These thoughts led me to wonder when it’s okay to say no.  By nature, I am a pessimist so I pressure myself to say yes as often as possible.  Yes, we can watch a movie after school.  Yes, we can eat popcorn for breakfast.  But sometimes, I have to say no.

It’s not okay to harm my body with junk food, even if it is mint ice cream.  It’s not okay to say hurtful words, even if I am legitimately angry.  It’s not okay to speed, even if I am late.  Saying no can be a good thing, bringing freedom and setting protective boundaries.

I vow to say no more often, for the health and wellbeing of my body, mental health and future.  Additionally, my students at home  need to hear me say no sometimes.  Boundaries keep them safe and teach them values, morals and healthy habits.

While I would prefer to be a “yes” parent, sometimes my job description requires me to say no.  That’s the loving thing to do. 

Sometimes, you just have to say no.

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“No Coffee” diet

As much as I hate to admit it, I’m an addict.  The thought of percolating coffee in the morning motivates me to leave my warm bed and race to the kitchen for my favorite mug.  After lunch, when school is over and my children are ready for their free time, I savor a mug of warm coffee mixed with plenty of milk.  Instead of pigging out on chocolate every night, I make myself a warm cup of decaf or herbal tea to prepare me for restful slumber.

So why in the world would I sign up to test a diet with a “no coffee” clause??

In short, $$$$, but cash does not accurately portray the entire motivation behind this seven-day venture.  I also struggle with my weight and thought that maybe this diet would give me the kick I need to eat better or eat less.  I did keep my new year’s resolutions to drink at least three glasses of water every day and dance for five minutes after lunch with my children, but my weight has not changed since last year when I started working as a freelance writer. 

Today, I finish day four of the diet trial.  I have eaten more vegetables in four days than I ate during the entire last week of February.  While I feel better and fuller after eat meal, I sometimes crave that warm cup in my hand. 

I don’t know if I will continue this diet after the week trial is over.  I hope I will continue to eat more veggies and exercise more, but I’m not sure my motivation will remain as high when I know I’m not getting paid.  

I know I definitely will not continue the coffee fast.  Face it, that warm mug of addiction wakes me up, calms me down and provides a comfort no vegetable can produce.

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