Never work before breakfast; if you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first. -Josh Billings
Stress, hunger and eating breakfast are big topics in stress management.Tired of your stomach growling mid-morning in meetings? Maybe you feel like you ran out of fuel and you’re struggling to stay awake at your desk. Did you eat breakfast? If not, your last meal might have been well over 12-16 hours ago and you’re now running on fumes. Missing breakfast can add to your negative stress load. You may then feel less prepared to deal with issues you encounter each morning.
Here are three tips to make sure you put good fuel in your body each morning to have less stress in the morning.
Eat breakfast. This seems like a simple suggestion but many people skip breakfast. Some folks say they have no appetite in the morning. Without breakfast though, blood sugar levels can fluctuate during the morning, playing havoc with your focus and energy. So, it seems logical to reach for caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or soda.
Solution: Get up 15 minutes earlier to eat breakfast. Pack snacks such as almonds, carrot or celery sticks for a mid morning snack. If you pack fruit, always have with a healthy fat, such as nuts. Keep hydrated, drinking water throughout the day. Feeling low on energy can also be due to needing to up your water intake.
Prepare your breakfast in advance. Fast food chains have made it far too easy to grab something to eat on the way to work. There are many articles on “healthy fast food” but these words in the same sentence truly cause me to scratch my head. Some fast food breakfasts include your entire daily intake of sodium and ½ of your calories.
Solution: Have vegetables, such as red peppers, onions and mushrooms pre-cut in containers to make breakfast quickly. Sauté the vegetables and add in eggs. This takes about five minutes to prepare. Add in any leftovers from the night before, such as diced chicken or steak. Smoothies can be a very quick breakfast and take little time to prepare.
Watch your caffeine intake. Even though coffee is considered a fruit, this fabulous drink is not enough to keep functioning until lunch. If you only have coffee until lunch, you have now gone a possible 18 hours without food. This is stressful on your body. The number of caffeine drinks you have each day can sneak up on you. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks can flip the stress reaction switch. A side effect is a jittery, wired feeling that most people have experienced after high-test coffee. Also, those yummy lattes and frappuccinos can begin to add up cost-wise, too.
Solution: Count how many caffeinated drinks you are having each day. This can actually contribute to feeling agitated and stressed. Add water to your day to keep your body alert. Look at your energy drink to check the caffeine sugar levels. Try not to take in caffeine past 3 pm since it may start to affect your sleep at night. Drink more water, too. Also, put that 5 plus dollars in a jar each day instead and see what kind of special treat you can have by the end of the month. Then you can plan to do something that will relieve your stress, such as a massage or toward a special weekend getaway.