We talk about routines a lot. How to start your day with bundles of energy, greeting the morning sunrise, and setting the best goals for the rest of your day. There’s also plenty of times we highlight the importance of ending your day right and making the most of your bedtime routine in order to get the best possible sleep. But what about the middle of your day? When your energy levels are running on empty, and you’ve still got hours of work ahead of you. The power of a midday routine should not be overlooked or underestimated. Below, we reveal how to maximise your midday break to get the most out of your afternoon and evening. Listen up, because this will transform your working week…
1. Step away
It’s not unusual to find your mind wandering just before lunch, but in order to regain your focus in time for the afternoon shift it really helps to physically step away from what you’re doing. Taking a few minutes to leave your screen and go outside gives your brain the chance to relax and focus on something easier. Exercise will also get the blood pumping, sending oxygen and productivity hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine to the brain. The first improves your mood, and the second also heightens your attention and boosts your learning skills.
2. Fuel your brain
Often we eat for energy, but if your job requires concentration then it’s well worth focusing on fueling your brain. Some great brain foods include avocado, nuts, blueberries, celery, and dark chocolate. Try this quinoa bowl recipe that’s rich in brain-boosting avocado and nuts. Did you know that dark chocolate helps increase blood flow to the brain, thus boosting your memory, increasing your attention span, and enhancing your problem-solving skills? Because we all needed another excuse to eat chocolate.
3. Refresh yourself
Sipping water prevents the onset of those sluggish, sleepy feelings. You can discover all the benefits of drinking water here. One study found that mild dehydration affected mood, made tasks seem harder, and lowered concentration. For an extra boost of refreshment, head to your fridge and pull out a cooling face spray (keep it stored inside the door). A quick burst of this, and a few deep breaths, will have you feeling refreshed in seconds.
4. Just breathe
There are many easy breathing techniques out there that’ll help you regain your energy and focus for the day, but one of our favourites is pranic breathing. Prana means ‘life force’ and with this form of breathing you will draw in a burst of much-needed midday energy. In this guided pranic breathing meditation, we use prana as fuel for the body and soul. It’s an incredibly easy practice that will lift your natural energy levels to new heights.
5. Strech it out
Spending hours sitting at your desk can take a toll on your back and posture, and even your productivity. Take moments to gently stretch your lower back, neck, and hamstrings. Incorporate some light neck and shoulder rolls and stretches into your breaks, lift the shoulders up to your ears like you’re shrugging and release to let go of tension. Take time to touch your toes and relieve any pain in your lower back by placing your palms above your waistband and gently leaning over backwards.
To really unwind, try our after-work yoga sequence here.
Incorporate these simple habits into your daily routine and you’ll no longer have to countdown the clock, praying for the workday to end, instead it’ll fly by in a whir of productivity and creativity.