So many of us are exhausted. The ongoing pandemic, new work challenges, labor shortages, personal challenges—they all contribute to burnout.
So how do you keep yourself focused and engaged throughout the work day?
Nora Tobin, performance enhancement and executive coach, nutrition specialist and CEO of Nora’s Naturals Coffee, lists her top five performance strategies to prolong focus and minimize burnout.
“During the work day, it’s easy to get caught up in meetings or tasks and forget to move around,” says Tobin. “Staying stagnant for too long can cause a lack of blood flow throughout your body and mind causing negative effects on both mental and physical health/wellbeing. It’s important to take moments to get away from your desk and perform simple and minimal activities such as stretching or taking a short walk. Movement throughout the day can enhance your performance within the workplace as well as contribute to improving mental and physical health.”
Tip #1: Beat Zoom Fatigue
The light emitted from screens can disrupt the circadian rhythm, the body’s 24-hour internal clock that releases specific hormones at different times of day. With prolonged artificial light, the body produces too much cortisol (stress hormone), while melatonin and serotonin can be hindered. Get out in the natural sunlight in the morning hours and at sunset, lower the brightness on screens, and shoot for one day per weekend with very limited exposure to screens.
Tip #2: Fuel The Brain
The brain is made up of 70% fat, and it needs the right nutrients to optimally perform. Healthy fats such as avocados, olives, olive oil, macadamia nuts, and wild-caught fish provide the brain with essential amino acids that accelerate cognitive function. Aim for at least two to three servings of healthy fat per day.
Tip #3: Set Up For Quality Sleep
While we sleep, the glymphatic system is active—sending cerebrospinal fluid through the brain to flush out plaque and toxins. In order to receive the full benefits from this cognitive cleaning, we need to shift into deep stages of sleep. Before bed, lie with your legs up the wall for a few minutes. This shifts the body into the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxed state). Additionally, cool the room, turn all bright lights (especially overhead lights down), and incorporate magnesium into tea. Getting out in the morning light will also
naturally release melatonin 10-14 hours later.
Tip #4: Boost the Benefit of Coffee
Enjoy the morning cups of coffee with an upgrade. Choose a single-origin, quality coffee (pure nutrients without pesticides or toxins that fog the brain), and add any superfood to it. For example, mct oil can activate ketone energy, which will not only help burn fat, but create sustained focus.
You can also add anti-aging spices to enhance immune strength.
Tip #5: Increase Pre and Probiotics
Serotonin is the “feel good” hormone that allows us to feel satisfied and increases happiness. About 70% of serotonin is created in the gut lining and then transported up by the vagus nerve to the brain. In order to fuel the gut to make sufficient serotonin, we want to increase our consumption of pre and probiotics-fermented foods (sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt), root vegetables, sweet potatoes, and plantains.