Going back to work after a long weekend is never easy, but one thing that’s sure to make it even harder is having lost an hour during said weekend – and not in the fun, Tequila way. We know the clocks going back is to make room for more sunshine, but when British Summertime still seems a distant dream and we're heading back to work on a chilly April morning, we can’t help but feel a little hard done by.
Well get over it everyone. In a few months time, when the season of summer dresses and beer gardens is upon us, we’ll all be grateful for longer evenings. In the meantime, if you’re feeling the jet-lag effects of losing an hour we’ve got some tips to get you through this first day back at work day. Look alive folks….
Did you know that after lack of sleep, the number one cause of fatigue is dehydration? If you are feeling the effects of losing an hour, feeling thirsty can leave you feeling lethargic and unable to concentrate. Make sure you drink your two litres of water a day - and put a couple of ice cubes in your glass for an instant refreshing pick me up. As well as drinking water, steer free of caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee that may give you a quick energy boost but are diuretics that will ultimately leave you tired and dehydrated. Switch to green tea for the next day or two and enjoy a smaller caffeine boost that will increase stamina and improve your sense of well-being without causing you to crash later. Similarly, Ginseng increases energy levels, reduces stress and, best of all, won't keep you awake at night. We'll drink to that.
It’s something yoga teachers have been advocating for years; breathing deeply can do wonders for the mind, body and soul. Shallow breathing does not allow the body to get enough oxygen meaning it has to work harder to do the smallest things. Taking a few deep breaths using your diaphragm immediately slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, and increases circulation, all of which help to provide more energy. When you feel yourself becoming tired, losing concentration or feeling stressed, taking a minute to yourself and really concentrating on your breathing can be a great way to wake yourself up. To breathe with your diaphragm, make sure your stomach expands with every inhalation. Hold the breath a few seconds then breathe out and feel ready to take on the world.
If your Easter weekend was anything like ours, you’ll probably be steering clear of sweet stuff until Christmas. But if tiredness throughout the day still has you reaching for a sugary pick me up, hold it right there. When we feel tired our body craves high-sugar foods like sweets and chocolate for a quick energy fix. While these foods will provide a burst of energy, the effects are temporary and leave us feeling even more tired. Stick to natural energy-boosting snacks like apples, bananas, dried fruit, nuts or strips of fresh veg with hummus. These sensible snacks will not only fill you up, they'll fill you with energy and won't leave you napping at your desk half an hour later.
Or sit up rather. If you spend your day sitting at a desk with your arms in front of you, as the hours pass by you might find yourself slouching forward. Slouching is not only bad manners, but it affects breathing, decreasing the flow of oxygen to the brain making you feel tired and less able to concentrate. Sitting up straight will immediately open your chest, allowing you to take in more oxygen and providing it with an easier pathway to the brain.
In desperate times, standing up or walking around is even more effective. Moving your muscles encourages blood flow so when you find yourself really struggling get up and make yourself a cup of (green) tea.
We’re sure tap dancing has all kinds of energizing effects on the body, but we’re actually talking about a different kind of tapping here. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a practice often used in counselling which involves tapping different meridian points of the body to control or monitor emotions. The practice can also be used for an instant energy boost if focused on the thymus - the centre point at the top of your chest that lies just below your ribs. EFT practitioners believe this point is responsible for regulating energy flow in the body. When you’re feeling tired, take a minute to yourself breathe deeply and tap this point repeatedly for a minute. It might be an idea to do this away from your desk to avoid questions... and Tarzan comparisons.
I am the Assistant Site Editor and owner of one of the largest nail varnish collections in the UK. I love all things health and beauty especially trying out new products and treatments and telling the world all about them.See my profile »