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Fight Fatigue With Short Energy Breaks

Too pooped to pop? Avoid energy drains and use the tips to put the spring back in your step.

10-Minute Energy Breaks

The key can be 10-minute energy breaks during the day. Every 90 minutes to two hours is ideal:

  • Teitelbaum recommends ear lobe massages. Rub your ear, from lobe to top, with a gentle pressing motion. "Amazingly, your alertness will return," he promises.
  • Take some "self" time. Get up from the desk, leave the cell phone behind, and take a walk. "Fresh air! Sunshine!" enthuses Teitelbaum. "Something fun and easy." Gordon agrees. "Humans are not meant to sit in front of a computer 12 hours a day."

  • In fact, Gordon recommends a "thank you walk." "Flood your brain with positive neurotransmissions," he says. "Walk and think of things you are thankful for." The best time, he adds, is right after lunch -- walking doubles your metabolic processes.

  • If your mouth and lips feel dry, drink a glass of water. "I am not into counting glasses -- what an annoying way to spend your day," Teitelbaum says. "Just drink some water if you feel dry."

  • A cup of tea is a nice energy break. "It's so good for you," Teitelbaum says.

  • Eat a small snack. "If your body is telling you, 'Feed me now or I will kill you,'" Teitelbaum says, "it may not be kidding! This is the adrenals starting to fail -- they might kill you." He adds that he is not into groats and weird health food, but you should pick something healthy to nosh on (we all know what these things are, whether we admit it or not).

  • Take a silence break. Ten minutes of silence is a great energizer, Gordon says. "Buy a lock for your office door. This is a noisy world, and noise keeps the mind too active." Breathe in and out using diaphragmatic breathing techniques -- feel your lungs filling from the bottom, meaning your stomach pushes out on the inhalation (no one is looking, stick it out!). On the inhale, think the syllable "So," hold for three seconds, then exhale, thinking the syllable "Hum." So-hum, so-hum. (Golfers might focus on the word "Eagle," Gordon says with a laugh. Or you can think: "Energy in," then "Negativity out.") Repeat for 10 minutes.

Avoid Vampires and the Mafia

Energy vampires, according to Gordon, are people who suck away your energy. "Everyone knows them," he says. "The complainers, the gossips, the people who say things like, 'The other employees are getting this and we're not.'"

"I say, think of energy vampires as germs," Gordon says. "You can only be affected by them if your own energy level, akin to immunity, is low. "Focus on your own energy and they will stay away. Vampires don't like light."

Of course, if you are feeling stable and the energy vampire is a spouse or close person, you can try talking to them about it. "You might help them change," Gordon says. "We teach people how to treat us. We have to teach energy vampires."

The Mafia, according to both experts, are short-term fixes like a fourth cup of coffee, caffeine-filled soda or power drink, or a candy bar. "You can borrow quick energy, but when they (these Mafia fixes) come collecting, you will have to pay. These are like running on fumes rather than fuel," Gordon says.

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