Tired? Relief, for most parents, is not likely on the way. At least not anytime soon. Time constraints, social pressure, a lack of safety nets — parents have their hands full without a pandemic. But add that to the mix and it’s a recipe for getting run ragged. This means whatever little extra energy you can get, you’ll take. The good news is that there are small things anyone can do to get (at least some of) that energy back. So quit the fourth cup of coffee and try these daily energizing hacks instead.
1. Eat Bananas
Bananas are full of electrolytes like potassium that stabilize vital signs like blood pressure, and carbs that provide energy. In a study at the Human Performance Lab at Appalachian State University, researchers found that eating a banana before biking 75km was equivalent to drinking a carbohydrate-loaded sports drink in terms of the energy boost it provided (but minus the added sugar that can make you crash and burn.)
2. Give Electronics a Curfew
Your computer screen, tablet, and smartphone all emit a blue light that makes it easier to read stuff—but wreaks havoc on your sleep cycle. That’s because blue light sends a signal to your brain that it’s daytime, not bedtime, and this causes your body to stop producing melatonin, according to research, a natural chemical that helps put you to sleep at night. Turn off your phone an hour before bed and grab a book instead.
3. Practice the Cobra Pose
Everyone knows yoga calms you down, so it might seem counterintuitive that it also boosts your energy. But many of its moves, like the Cobra Pose, focus on expanding your chest area, allowing air to flow to and from your lungs more freely and carrying oxygen — the stuff that gives your muscles energy — into your bloodstream. To practice the Cobra, start by lying facedown on the floor. Bend elbows, place hands by your shoulders, and push up through your palms, straightening your arms and arching your face toward the ceiling. Breathe in and out five times, then release.
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4. Time Yourself
By nature, humans are deadline-driven. Our best and most efficient work tends to be done when the clock is ticking. This relates to your energy level in two ways: First, assigning every task you do a time limit naturally gets your adrenalin going, snapping you out of your sluggish state. Second, forcing yourself to complete your to-do’s in a set number of minutes keeps your day from spilling over into your night, and giving you back…