“Miss! Look this!” shouted at you by dozens of eager students several times a day, multiplied by re-teaching the same concept at least twice during the same period, plus managing nearly nonstop chattiness equals an exhausted teacher. The love of teaching usually outweighs these occupational “hazards”, but by the time they get home most educators fall out into a coma like nap.
It doesn’t help that many educators develop the bad habit of snacking or lunching on unhealthy foods such as chips, soda or sweets when hungry. Reaching for fast food instead of nutritious options adds to your low energy levels and waistline! Here are 5 effective, fast and safe ways to boost your energy levels:
Make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Depending on what time you have to get up, this might mean going to bed no later than 10pm. Develop “pre-sleep” rituals that ensure an uninterrupted and refreshing sleep: have your last meal at least an hour before sleep. No fewer than 30 minutes before bed, disconnect from distractors like the TV or social media and make sure your bedroom is comfortably cool, dark and silent.
Don’t skip breakfast! A fast and healthy breakfast option that will give you that much needed morning boost is a fruit smoothie prepared with a combination of frozen berries, bananas, greens (spinach has a mild taste that you won’t notice) and a handful of ground flaxseeds for fiber and blood sugar regulation. Blend with your choice of filtered water or non-dairy milk (almond, rice, etc.) and a bit of natural sweetener, honey or pure maple syrup, if you’d like.
Prepare healthy homemade lunches and snacks to take to school with you. The best lunch combination to boost your energy contains: green veggies, lean protein and whole grain. So for instance, a turkey sandwich on 100% whole grain bread topped with spinach and a smear of whole grain mustard is a good choice. Or, have a bowl of whole grain brown rice or quinoa with stir-fried broccoli and a sliced boiled egg. Season with curry, cayenne or other spices. Some excellent energy boosting snack choices are: bananas, nuts (especially almonds which are high in calcium), Greek yogurt or raw carrots with a natural dip like hummus.
Hang out with positive and entertaining people. People who will make you laugh and are optimistic. Their vibe will help elevate your mood and energy.
Move your body! It might seem contradictory to do if you’re tired, but even as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day can boost your energy level. Walk briskly around the mall, get on your elliptical machine or make good on your gym membership.
Choose any combination or all 5 of these options to improve your energy levels and increase your quality of life. Being an educator is a demanding job so you deserve to treat yourself well by maintaining your health and vibrancy.
By Aisha Shakti Hakim