There are some days, oh, like today (!), when exhaustion slaps you in the face and you feel like you’re walking knee-deep in treacle into the eye of a force 10 storm.
Whether you’ve been kept awake by your children, a pressing to-do list, a night packing up orders or are just feeling ground down by the relentlessness of running your own business, it’s not a good place to be. That flatlining creative mojo and an urge to eat biscuits ALL day long, means productivity is going to be low.
So what can you do to give your senses a boost, hot wire your inspiration and reboot your flagging body? When going back to bed simply isn’t an option, we’ve come up with some ideas that will impart the feel-good factor of a virtual duvet. Think of it as ‘The Holly & Co Glow’, rather like those old-school Ready Brek ads, but less orange hued…
- Glow – having said that, we would recommend you wear something vibrant to perk up your senses. Dark colors like black, navy and brown stimulate the secretion of melatonin – the chemical that makes you sleepy – but there are many colors that keep you energised. White clothes suppress sleep-inducing melatonin and boost serotonin, the feel-good chemical in your brain. Red is good for energy and we don’t know about you, but we always feel feistier in red. Scarlet has also been shown to increase blood flow and stimulate adrenal glands. Sunshine yellow, meanwhile, has been proven to stimulate the brain, build self-confidence and encourage optimism.So ditch the black and dress as brightly as you’d like to feel!
- Glitter – just wear it! When looking to deal with your eye bags, wear it instead of concealer. If that’s slightly out of your comfort zone, you can always wear a pair of (my favourite) glitter trainers. Nothing makes you feel, more perky that looking down at your glistening feet. But, just generally, if you can wear a spot of sequins or glitter – you will feel sparkly! Guaranteed.
- Give yourself a break – you’re not at your best so try and have a quiet, easy day that’s not too strenuous mentally or physically. Chances are that you’re a workaholic (it’s hard not to be when you’re an Artisan who loves doing what they do!) but there’s no need for heavy toil today – instead do some research on the internet, tidy your desk or do some email admin.
- Download Pzizz – the app that describes itself as ‘the world’s most advanced power nap system’ – it guides you through a 20-minute chill out session – and gently brings you out of it at the end feeling refreshed. Go and find a quiet spot (on your commute, at home, in your workshop or office) put your headphones in and you should wake-up feeling recharged.
Naps fix everything print by Sarah & Bendrix
- Down tools – get yourself outside for a 15-minute stroll. Being in the sun can increase your vitamin D levels – the vitamin, along with B, that’s responsible for fighting fatigue. Plus the act of walking will get your blood circulating and release mood-boosting endorphins – a small step towards replenishing those batteries.
- Tea – never underestimate the power of a cup of tea and sympathy with a friend. A chin wag with a pal who can offer support and encouraging noises can’t fail but to leave your more energised.
‘After this drink I’ll be ready to conquer the world’ mug by Alfamarama
- Grazing – when we are ‘feeling it’ we tend to graze through the day, but try swapping HobNobs for posh popcorn – air-popped kernels have twice as many antioxidants as any fruit, plus twice as much fibre as prunes! Yup! Another mood-boosting snack option is munching on a few squares of dark chocolate (aim for 75% cocoa solids) which should give you a boost of antioxidants and energy, without the come-down of more sugary snacks.
- H2O – wash down those treats with lashings of water. Dehydration saps your concentration, so make sure you’re sipping water regularly when you’re tired. Although caffeine can supply a temporary boost of energy, try to go easy on the coffee: you’ll only crash otherwise.
- Take a brain shower – yes really, if you work from home a mid-afternoon shower can be a great pick-me-up when you’re tired. It freshens you up and wakes you up. If you’re in an office, splashing your face with cold water is a good alternative.
- Pressure – another good way to ward off the dreaded afternoon slump is tapping into the power of acupressure – traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that the body’s vital energy, or Qi, flows along invisible channels called ‘meridians’. Simply applying pressure to the right spot will release mood-boosting endorphins and ease insomnia and fatigue. One of the best points for doing at work (because it’s subtle and doesn’t involve getting undressed!) is the fleshy bit between the joint of the thumb and index finger. Press your other thumb into it and give it a good massage for about three minutes.
And, when you’ve got through the day (well done, by the way!), treat yourself to a hot bath with magnesium flakes in it (the mineral promotes healthy sleep) and don’t be embarrassed about going to bed at 8pm to ensure you catch up on your rest.
After all, tomorrow’s a new day, and odds are you’re not going to feel 10 years younger by ‘point 9’, so look after yourself.