Feeling Overloaded? Feed Your Brain
We’ve all heard of it, the 3PM slump where everyone in the office reaches for a snack, from a candy bar to another cup of coffee. Maybe you’ve felt it when working on a big project, or cleaning the whole house in one day. Eventually we run out of fuel and it leaves us feeling drained, overloaded, and maybe even stressed. If you’re feeling like this and still have a lot of work that needs to get done, you need to feed your brain.
By giving your brain energy you will recharge yourself, and get your focus and drive back. While it’s important to take regular breaks, besides those trips to the bathroom throughout the day, sometimes our workload doesn’t really allow for it. From college students needing a cram session, to working moms needing to finish the errands, there isn’t always time for a break to relax and recharge, but your brain will eventually demand it. Your brain can be fed in three ways: with glucose, with sleep, and with daydreaming (p. 13). No matter what your schedule or workload, these things are important and you must find a way to work them into your day and lifestyle.
Glucose is usually referred to as sugar, and is necessary for decision making in the brain. If you think it’s as easy as reaching for a candy bar or sugary treat for a boost, think again. Simple sugar may feel good going down but usually leads to blood sugar spikes which may help you in the short term, but will eventually result in another crash later in the day. Instead look to add complex carbohydrates into your diet. Complex carbohydrates are usually in things like whole grains, so adding something like brown rice, sweet potatoes, or extra servings of green veggies will help boost your brain and can do wonders for your waistline.
Sleep is when your brain rests and recovers from the day, so getting enough plays a huge role in your focus and energy for the next day. Sleep to feed your brain may come in the form of getting eight hours each night, or a 20 minute nap somewhere in the day. Both are great at helping your brain rest and recover, as well as letting your whole body recharge. Don’t count sleep out as something vital to your productivity. Often people skip sleep by staying up late or waking up extra early to get things done, but keep in mind sleep is also important when it comes to maintaining focus and productivity.
Another option for feeding your brain is daydreaming. Daydreaming increases glucose and decision making, which helps your brain recharge by taking the hyper focus away and allowing you to relax. Daydreaming can come in the form of meditation, prayer, or taking a walk around the block (p.14). It’s important to give your brain a break so it can recharge, and even as little as 15 minutes will help you rest and refocus.
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