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8 Ways to Stay Awake After Lunch

8 Ways to Stay Awake After Lunch

The lunch-time hour is a glorious time of the day that I hope includes delicious food that nourishes your body and a much-needed break from the daily grind. If you’re like most people, the second half of the day seems to become so slow that time grinds to a halt. As soon as you clock back in after your lunch hour, you might find yourself in a coma-like state where keeping your eyes open requires intensely focused effort. Today I’d like to share 8 ways to stay awake after lunch to give you more pep in your step. Let’s do it!

Take a quick walk outside

Your body has a natural need for napping in the afternoon, so take a quick walk before you clock back in. You will burn some of those calories you just ate, loosen up your body—before chaining it back to your desk—and get some sunshine, which will give your body some much-needed Vitamin D. The last item on that list has the following benefits:

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  • Increases energy, immunity, mood, and alertness
  • Reduces stress, tension, body-aches, and pain
  • Provides healthier and more vibrant skin

Do some stretches at your desk

Sitting hunched over at your desk could produce chronic back pain and poor posture, and who wants that? Nobody, anywhere, ever, so do some quick light stretches to wake your body up and stretch out your kinks. Get up and do two or three simple stretches per hour to have a swagger that expresses confidence and stay awake after lunch.

Nourish your body with quality nutrition

If your lunch includes sugar-laden soda and processed carbs from a fast food restaurant down the block, don’t be surprised when your energy crashes within an hour. Instead, eat a meal that includes healthy fats and protein. Some positive options include things like:

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  • Grilled chicken or steak salad
  • Almonds, walnuts, and other tree nuts
  • Bananas, apples, oranges, berries, or any other delicious fruit your heart desires

You might want to consider preparing a healthy lunch the night before so it’s ready to go, and you can just pick it up and run out the door in the morning.

Splash some cold water on your face

Feeling super groggy? Excuse yourself to the restroom and jolt yourself awake with a splash of cold water to snap back into it.

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Chew gum

Bored out of your mind and unable to focus? Keep some gum at your desk and pop in a piece when times get tough. This will keep you alert by stimulating your facial muscles and increasing the blood flow to your head.

Laugh to your heart’s content

Before you clock back in, watch a funny video on YouTube or read your favorite comic strip and have a hearty laugh. This will boost your mood and help you stay wake. For bonus points, give one of your co-workers the opportunity to show you how hysterical they are by asking them to tell you one of their favorite jokes.

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Give your eyes a break

Staring relentlessly at a computer screen will strain your eyes and cause tiredness and fatigue. Every few minutes, focus your attention elsewhere for a brief moment. You could make this time more productive by grabbing a note-pad and making a quick list of the important tasks you need to accomplish before the day is over.

Be aware of the source of your ails

The other seven tips will give you a quick fix that will help you stay awake after lunch, but if you want to have a consistent energy boost to carry you through your days, you need to figure out why you are so tired in the first place. Are you getting 6-8 hours of sleep every night? Are you nourishing your body with healthy food that will provide you with the quality nutrition you deserve? Lifestyle changes might not be sexy, but they are your best bet if you want to feel more energetic and alert every single day. If you don’t get enough sleep, you might want to check out these eight ways to improve your sleep.

How do you stay awake after lunch?

If you have any tips to add to this list, please tell us all about it in the comments!

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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