What is a zombie? There are two different possible definitions for the word zombie:
1. an offensive term for a person considered to lack energy, enthusiasm, or the ability to think independently
2. voodoo spirit reviving a dead body: in voodoo, the spirit that supposedly brings a dead body back to life again.
At this time of the year, most people are interested in the last definition for the word, but I’d like to focus on the first definition. I found it interesting that this definition was included, then I got to thinking about it and realized that I’ve used the term “I feel like a zombie,” before when I don’t have any energy, and I’m sure many other people have too. Therefore, the focus of this article will be how to get rid of your inner zombie – in other words, how to get your blood flowing again when you feel really tired.
Do a short workout – One of the best ways I’ve found to get your energy going and keep my inner zombie at bay is to work out – the workout doesn’t have to be long, even just a few minutes of intense activity is better than nothing.
Eat a good breakfast – Many people skip breakfast, or they eat a breakfast that consists mostly of refined sugar and caffeine, such as coffee and a danish – yes,this may get rid of your inner zombie for a little while, but by lunchtime (or even before lunchtime) your energy will crash and your inner zombie will be back. To keep him away, eat a breakfast that consists of unrefined carbs and protein, with some healthy fat. A good example would be a scrambled egg in a whole grain tortilla, or oatmeal topped with nuts.
Don’t delay getting up – It’s so tempting to hit the snooze button, but the longer you delay getting up in the morning, the more likely it is that your inner zombie will hang around all day. One way to maximize the chances that you get up and stay up is to put your alarm clock across the room rather than on the nightstand next to you – that way when it goes off, you have to physically get up to go turn it off.
Let in some light – Whether you open the blinds or just turn a light on in your home, it will actually help your body’s wake-up process and drive your inner zombie away.
Ease into the day – Get up earlier than everyone else so you can get your shower first, before everyone else gets up and you’re met with demands from your spouse and children.
Work in chunks – Your body needs to move every so often so it can change channels and get the oxygen flowing. So maybe work for 90 minutes or so and then get up and move around a bit, or at least stand up. If you work in an office, go to a co-worker’s office to talk to them about something rather than emailing them.
Take a multivitamin at lunch – Eat a balanced meal at lunch, and include with a multi-vitamin, but don’t take it with a high-caffeine drink. You also might want to consider adding a B-complex vitamin for more energy.
Avoid rich, high fat foods – If you’ve ever felt like a zombie after lunch, it’s because you probably ate something very fattening, like a hamburger or cheeseburger. Avoid rich, high fat foods and go for a lunch with protein and complex carbs, and that zombie feeling won’t overtake your body.
Eat lunch outside – Rather than eating at your desk, if it’s a nice day eat lunch outside. Sunshine helps sustain levels of vitamin D, which has been found to help maintain energy so you can fight that zombie feeling.
Stretch – Every so often, get up and do some stretching – even doing arm circles will help your circulation and keep your energy up.
Eat snacks that are high in protein and fiber – These will help your energy boost last longer and keep that zombie feeling away.
Avoid getting burnt out in the evening – Melatonin levels start to rise in the evening, which will make you sleepier, bringing on that “zombie” feeling – but if you still have things to do, there are ways to keep your energy up in the evening, such as doing a short workout.
Find ways to transition from work to home – These could include things such as doing a workout before you go home, listening to music on your way home from work, or slipping into more comfortable clothes before dinner.
Avoid alcohol before bed – Do not drink alcohol within two hours before bed – It will make you restless, which will bring on that “zombie” feeling in the morning.
Limit the amount of time you spend watching television – Yes, watching TV can be entertaining and a good way to unwind after a long day, but it can also bring on that zombie feeling. Watch just one or two favorite shows, and get up and stretch during commercials if you feel sluggish, or if you’re watching a program or movie that has no commercials, pause it while you get up and stretch.
Understand late-night cravings – Late night cravings usually mean you’re sleepy, not hungry…that it’s time for the zombie to come out. When you do get a late night craving, go for something that’s easy to digest, like half a plain greek yogurt with berries, or hot chocolate made with almond milk and dark chocolate.
I hope this article has provided you with some ideas for getting rid of your inner zombie. If you use any of these methods, you should be able to keep your inner zombie away for a short time; if you use several of them throughout the day, you’ll be able to keep your inner zombie away all day.