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Power Trip

Shira Hart

Here are some small steps you can take around the clock for all-day energy boosts

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

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You’re on your fourth cup of coffee and you accidentally called your boss by your toddler’s name. Everyone wants something from you — and you just want to know what it feels like to not be sleepwalking


Yoga Your Mornings

About to hit snooze for the third time? Rouse yourself with invigorating yoga poses. Yoga teacher Devorah Shifrin, RYT 200, recommends the reclined butterfly pose to kickoff your day in a mindful state.

Begin on your back, soles of the feet together, and let the knees fall open wide toward the mattress. A pillow can be placed underneath each knee for additional support. Breathe deeply through the nose for 10 to 15 full breaths. Conclude by drawing the knees into your chest, wrapping your arms around your legs, and giving yourself a big hug.

10:00 a.m.
Embrace the Snack Attack

Breakfast has come and gone, but before the mid-morning slump hits, reach for a small snack. According to Iris Epstein, RDN CDE, small meals keep your blood sugar at an even keel and reduce fatigue. Try either one of these snacks:

-A satisfying protein — e.g. almonds or hummus with crackers.

-A vitamin-packed fruit or veggie, like an apple or a salad dressed with olive oil.

11:30 a.m.
Power of Positivity

Zissi Fried, LMSW of Silvercare Agency in Lakewood, New Jersey, shares a psychological tool she uses in her work for boosting energy level: WWWW—What Went Well, Why? This technique, developed by the BECK Institute, “floods ourselves with feel-good energy by patting ourselves on the back — verbally.”

Take credit for something that has already gone well. For instance, “I woke up feeling refreshed because I went to bed on time last night, yay me!” Or… “I woke up grumpy because I went to bed late, but at least I’m up and at ’em now — because I’m a responsible adult, yay me!”

WWWW—What Went Well, Why? This technique, developed by the BECK Institute, “floods ourselves with feel-good energy by patting ourselves on the back — verbally”

This is based on Martin Seligman’s Positive Psychology, which maintains that self-criticism only propels us into corrective behavior for short bursts; self-motivation from a place of positivity energizes us in the long-term and propels us toward goal achievement.

1:00 p.m.
Sun and Social

Sneak out of the office and eat lunch outdoors. Fifteen to twenty minutes of sunshine can elevate mood and alertness.

Double your energy boost by inviting a coworker or friend to join you. Areas of the world with low disease rates and a plethora of centenarians (100-year-olds) have one common factor: strong social support networks.

4:30 p.m.
Mindful Moment

Crunch time hits with school pickups, traffic, homework, dinner prep — feeling overloaded and under-energized? Try a mindfulness exercise, recommends Miriam Gewirtzman, LCSW, to reduce stress and reset your body to a calm state — no mats or equipment required!

Sit upright in your chair and rest against the back of a chair. A comfortable armchair is ideal, but the very uncomfortable seat in the doctor’s waiting room is fine too. Bring your attention to your feet and feel the ground supporting them. Move your attention up your legs, notice the seat of the chair supporting your thighs and the back of the chair supporting your back and your spine. Feel your spine supporting your neck and your neck supporting your head.

Now reverse direction, moving your attention from your head through your neck and downward through your arms. Focus on where your arms are resting; notice them being supported by the arms of the chair or perhaps your lap. Once again, notice the seat supporting your thighs. Bring your awareness down through your legs to your feet. Wiggle your toes and feel your shoes supporting your feet and the ground supporting your feet too.

Slowly, let your eyes scan the room and choose a color or object to focus on. Notice your breath going in and out for 10 to 20 seconds and when you feel ready you may get up. You should now feel more grounded and energized to face the next challenge of the day. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 582)

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