Let’s face it, Monday’s are never the bees knees. You’re still tired from the weekend, full from the massive Sunday lunch with the family, and really, really need ‘just 5 more minutes’ of sleep.
Come 3pm, the sugar cravings hit and the carpet is suddenly impossible to look away from. Thanks to our friends at THR1VE we learnt you can steer yourself away from the slump and eat your way to a far more productive day that does not involve studying the office carpet.
1. Snack Right
You may or may not have noticed, but it’s really hard to concentrate when you’re hungry. No matter how many cups of tea, glasses of water and ‘I’ll eat in 10’ promises you make, the hunger lingers and your focus starts to lose a near impossible battle. Don’t ignore your stomachs *screams* for help – jump up and grab yourself a snack.
Steer clear of the biscuits and chocolate or the sugary treats, and reach for the protein. We’re talking fruits and nuts! Almonds and Hazelnuts both offer a needed hit of vitamin E, critical for cognitive health. Walnuts are also a nutritious option, thanks to their omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain health.
2. Get Fat
No, not fat-fat, good dietary fat. Your brain is nearly 60% fat and in order to function, it needs more fat! Contrary to what we’ve been taught in the past, low-fat diets are one of the worst choices you could make for your cognitive health. The two key fats required are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Think nuts, olive oil and the millennial favourite, avocado, salmon and tuna, walnuts and chia seeds!
Not the drinking you did on the weekend – although we do condone post work wines – we’re talking about drinking some of that H2O. Even very mild dehydration can impact your concentration, found two studies from the University of Connecticut. One showed that mild dehydration caused headaches, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating in women. Another University of Connecticut study in men found mild dehydration caused some difficulty with mental tasks, particularly in the areas of vigilance and working memory.
This can range from just taking the stairs or walking over to your colleague’s desk instead of sending an email to going for a walk on your lunch break or doing a gym class – it doesn’t matter what it is… just move. Getting up every hour and taking a five-minute walk has been proven to combat fatigue, increase attention span, and even reduce hunger. Further, scientists at Stanford suggest that taking a walk can boost creativity by up to 60%. Taking mid-morning and afternoon walks (instead of your usual cup of coffee) can help you to refocus and be more productive throughout the remainder of the day.
With these four tips there’s really no reason to have a bad day, except for the Monday part. Monday’s suck.