How To Focus When You're Tired By Doing These 7 Really Simple Things
Whether it's because you stayed up late watching Netflix, or you decided to stay at the bar for that last round of drinks, or hey, you simply have trouble sleeping, it's safe to say you've probably been at work or school and felt really tired when you need to get some stuff done. Been there, my friends. Been there. Figuring out how to focus when you're tired seems impossible, but trust me, it's not. And if you aren't able to just say "screw it all" and go back to bed for the day, tips and tricks to keep you on point are oh-so-necessary.
To add to that, you know what's rather unfortunate, but maybe not so surprising? According to the National Safety Council, 43 percent of workers are sleep-deprived. That's a whole lot of us, y'all. While the goal will always be to consistently get a good night's rest — around seven to nine hours each night — the truth is that plenty of people seem to fall under the mark.
Until you can bank on all the right rest, if you're at work or studying for an exam right now, and feeling loopy levels of tired, give yourself a few moments to try some of these focus hacks to get you through the day until you can get back under the covers and sleep it off.
1. Splash Your Face With Cold Water
Anecdotally, this trick is often passed around, and it is a personal favorite of mine. Milana Perepyolkina, author of Gypsy Energy Secrets, is a proponent, too: "Pour some very cold water into a bucket, and step in it for a few seconds, or open the faucet with cold water and keep your hands under water for a few seconds. Splash some of that water on your face!"
After you're done, you'll feel refreshed, focused, and energized, she tells Elite Daily.
2. Use Some Adaptogens
According to Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com, when you’re feeling exhausted, fatigued or stressed, adaptogenic herbs, including things like ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil, licorice root, and ginseng, can help boost your energy levels.
"These healing plants balance and restore the body’s natural ability to handle stress by regulating the adrenal system, which is responsible for controlling the way hormones respond to stress," Dr. Axe tells Elite Daily. "Adaptogens don’t target a specific body part; instead, they help your entire body gently cope with stress, anxiety and, of course, fatigue."
Sounds like it's worth a shot, right?
3. Get Up And Move A Little
New York-based therapist Julia Colangelo, LCSW says a little movement can be great when you feel lethargic. "Movement will cause you to wake up different parts of your body," she tells Elite Daily. "This can be thought of as mindful movement when you're able to be in the present moment, notice the sensation of being tired, and focus on the activity at hand."
Even a quick jog around the block can do the trick to get your heart pumping, send some much-needed oxygen to the brain, and provide a rush of endorphins for a fast energy boost, according to Everyday Health. I know it may feel like the last thing you want to do, but seriously, it'll be worth it.
4. Stick With Some Of The The Easier Tasks On Your To-Do List
OK, so if you are super exhausted right now, try to stick with some of the more simple tasks you have to get done, like organizing your desk or answering emails. Maybe today isn't the day to tackle the most difficult parts of a project.
Remember, it's totally OK to let yourself go at a slower pace some days. "Acknowledge your sleepiness," Colangelo explains, "and don't shame yourself for feeling this way. Be proactive and say, 'I know I am tired, I'm not sure why, and I am going to wake myself up now with some deep breathing exercises.'"
5. Have A Good Laugh
Take a break for a second, my friend, and go find the funniest person around you, or even text your BFF real quick so you two can share a couple memes back and forth.
A good laugh and a quick break will undoubtedly put some pep back in your step. As Dr. Lee Berk, an associate professor at Loma Linda University in California, told TIME, laughing can have a positive "ripple" effect for both your brain and your body.
6. Go Outside For A Little Bit
Chris Brantner, a certified sleep science coach at SleepZoo.com, says that getting outside for a moment is key to waking yourself up.
"The sun is crucial for signaling your body that it's time to wake up and get moving," he tells Elite Daily. "And not only does the sun energize you, but it also helps regulate your circadian rhythm." The more you can expose yourself to sunlight, Brantner says, the more awake you'll feel, and you'll also have a better ability to reset your sleep cycle to guarantee a good snooze later on, which will hopefully stop your sleepy struggles from ruining your productivity in the long run.
7. Breathe It Out
Colangelo says breathing is always a surefire way to help you maintain your focus.
"Take profound, deep breaths," she explains. "Inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. Count to five or 10, and notice how this will relax you, but likely wake you up as your awareness to the breath shifts."
You've got this, girl.