Relax… no one is suggesting you give up coffee or wine. Take a deep breath and pause. There now… your first natural skill to balance mood and calm yourself down.
It’s not news that we live in a chaotic world. We run so fast, have so many jobs to fulfill. We have become a society that accepts that coffee starts the day and a drink after work is a good way to unwind. And they can be just that. However, when you need more energizing, do you keep pounding the coffee? That doesn’t work well for many of us. Same with the after-work unwinding… too many drinks certainly have a negative effect on your evening, your sleep patterns and your morning after.
So, let’s broaden your horizons when it comes to ways to energize and calm yourself so when you need a bit more help you can choose solutions that will benefit your wellness and not degrade it.
Ways to Calm Down
Likely you’ve told someone or yourself to “take a deep breath and calm down.” This is not just some magic phrase or a reminder to make yourself change your behavior. Deep breathing is a physiological signal to your body that you are okay, that you are safe. Shallow breathing is part of our fight or flight response but as soon as a deep breath comes along, our nervous system reads that as a signal for rest and repose response. Rest and repose mode includes lower pulse, blood pressure, no stress hormones, energy to digestive organs… and that ahhhhh feeling.
Move-in Fresh Air
Taking a walk is always a good idea. Bring your mind into this moment and take a stroll outside. Get some fresh air and notice the beauty in the world around you.
Take a Meditative Moment
Often when we’re feeling anxious, you might be thinking about something that happened in the past or you’re worried about something in the future. Often if you pull your attention into this moment, you can remind yourself that at this moment, you ARE just fine. Likely you are fed, clothed, sheltered and safe. So, pause, take a breath, remind yourself that you’re fine then be grateful.
Most of us have that music that takes you to your happy place. Whether it’s Mozart or Marconi Union, keep some favorites on your playlist and use them when you need them.
As a society, we are more sedentary than ever. While some make time for healthy exercise, we still can feel slow and a bit sleepy in the afternoon. We’re not suggesting a run at lunchtime as much as hoping you’ll set the timer on your phone to remind you to move hourly. Even getting up and moving for 2 minutes every hour can make a huge difference in your energy level. Take a brisk walk down the hall, climb some stairs or find an open window and breathe some fresh air.
A balanced diet with whole foods and low simple carbs can help maintain stable blood sugars which help you maintain a steady energy level. Consider keeping energy-boosting snacks in your desk. An apple with a bit of nut/seed butter, trail mix, edamame, veggies and hummus, hard-boiled egg or maybe a bit of dark chocolate.
Breathing to energize? Yes! Active breathing practices are a great pick-me-up. There are many ways to do this but the key is to only breathe through the nose as you breathe deeply and rapidly. One yogic breathing practice as you hold hands at shoulder level with hands as a fist. Inhale deeply and quickly through the nose as your hands reach up to the sky, fingers extended. Then exhale rapidly as you pull your fingers back into fists as you bring hands back to shoulder level. Sometimes it’s helpful to have tissues handy. You might do this for 15 seconds to start and work up to 30 seconds. Thirty seconds should give you a healthy blast of energy and only a few odd looks from your office mates. Additionally, MONQ products like Vibrant can help all while simply breathing!
Crank up the music
Put on the headphones and choose some upbeat or fast dance music. If you can stand up and move a bit to the music, all the better for spirit and energy level. Dancing is actually very healthy for everyone, whether you think you’re good at it or not.
Rather than reaching for coffee, reach for your water bottle. Dehydration can cause fatigue and can lower oxygen levels in your bloodstream.
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Here are some ideas to get you started. Challenge yourself to broaden your choices when you need to step up the energy level or slow things down. Your body will thank you and you might be surprised at how effective the healthier options truly are.
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