If I eat something, maybe I’ll feel better.
Those words slip out so easily. When you’re tired, stressed, or physically ill, food is often the first thing that comes to mind.
Sometimes, you really do need food. If you’re tired because your body needs fuel, eating probably will make you feel better.
But having an energy drop doesn’t always mean it’s time to eat. Make sure that you can recognize the difference between your fuel needs and wanting an emotional fix.
Instead of immediately reaching toward food when you’re feeling tired, do something else first and see if it takes care of the problem. Here are a few ideas:
Move your body. Physical activity will usually revive you better than lying on the couch with chips and a soda. Also, drink more water or other fluids since being dehydrated can add to your fatigue.
Get some rest. Put your feet up, take a nap (a lost art), or take time for a few minutes of meditation or stretching. Start going to bed earlier. Force yourself to rest when you need it.
Distract yourself. Do something that will take your mind off how you feel. Mentally escape with a book or a shopping trip. When you keep busy, you may find your tiredness lifts without a food fix.
Be sure you choose a diversion that fills your mind, not empties it. Watching TV or playing computer games will often make you feel dull rather than revived.
1. Create an instant energy plan using specific types of fuel or activities that usually revive you.
Taking a walk, even for ten minutes, will almost always perk me back up. Leaving my office and going to a coffee shop helps too. Just getting a change of scenery and a little caffeine will usually fix my energy lag. I’ve trained myself to skip all the goodies at the coffee shop and just eat my protein bar along with a nice cup coffee or decaf.
2. Watch for times when you need to take breaks in order to prevent pushing yourself to exhaustion. Describe the most common ones.
When I’m in the middle of a big project such as writing or doing computer work, I sometimes forget to take a break until I’m way too tired and hungry.
3. Write a summary of your new energy plan and times you anticipate needing it.
I’ve learned to watch the clock and use it to tell me it’s time to eat or take a break of some kind. Also to take my walks even on days when I’m tired. It always helps, and it keeps me from reaching for food to get some energy.