1) Go outside at least once. No, it doesn’t count if it’s those twenty steps between the car and the office. The amount of sunlight and fresh air that we pick up on a daily basis directly correlates with the way we assess our mood. It’s no coincidence that the shorter days and longer nights of fall and winter are oft met with low energy levels, anxiety, and depression. Whether it’s for a quick walk after lunch or dinner, a morning jog, or just a two minute mid-afternoon breather, take the time to let your senses appreciate the change in space. Catch as many different colors and depths as you can with your eyes, breathe deeply in the unfiltered air, and listen carefully for the variety of activity that continues regardless of who you are and what you are doing. The recalibration might help you charge up and find that sense of purpose again.
2) Snack Smart. Regardless of the diet you are following, your level of physical activity, or any genetic predisposition you might have, food has a tremendous effect on your mood. So much of how you feel depends upon how well-fueled you are at that very moment in time. Consequently, there’s no better way to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward than to keep your stomach and blood stream satiated with the energies it needs. That said, any old Snickers bar isn’t going to do it. Most high-sugar and carbohydrate pick-me-ups set you up for a nasty spill soon after, with you grouchier and nastier than ever. Opt for nutrient-filled snacks like nuts, fruit, or yogurt — those that contain well-balanced ratios of fats, carbs, and proteins. These satiating choices keep you from looking like the Jack Nicholson Shining version of yourself, as well as binging when meal time comes around.
3) Make Contact. It’s easy to get tunnel vision when you start digging deep into your to-dos. Sure, it’s good to have that kind of drive to get your work done. That kind of productivity is, after all, all you’re good for, right? Wrong. That’s the kind of thinking that leads to the worst lines of thought — that you’re only important as long as you keep producing – that your work could be done by anyone – that you’re replaceable. Take some time every few hours to dispel the magical glow of your computer screen and find someone to talk to. Anyone. Whoever it is, be it coworker, wife, or closest friend, listen to them with intention. Remind yourself that they have so much going on as well; their projects, their ideas, their anxieties, and their pressures. Doing so will not only bring you that much closer to them, it’ll bring you closer to yourself.
Best foot forward.