Swearing, putting on red clothes and marmite proven ways to beat lockdown blues Leave a comment


From Zoom fatigue to homeschooling, Brits are seriously flagging due to lockdown.

Bad weather, darkness and the boredom of being trapped indoors for weeks on end have left millions feeling low and lacking energy.

And with no real end in sight, it’s a problem we need to tackle before it saps us even more.

But there could be some surprising ways to give your body and brain a boost.

From juicing to napping and even a concerted effort to go up and down the stairs, we can do it.

James Moore reveals how even marmite can help you fight the lag…

Stairway to heaven

Drinking too much coffee to try to perk yourself up amid the gloom? Try spending 10 minutes walking up the stairs in your home instead.

In a study, scientists at the University of Georgia in the US found that doing so could increase energy levels in subjects more than guzzling caffeinated drinks.

Other research shows just 20 minutes spent outdoors can make you as alert as a hot drink.

Clock your cuppa



Taking your daily coffee at the right time could really aid your lockdown blues

Another tip is to make sure you time your caffeine hit correctly.

Boffins have discovered that the best time to drink your coffee is around 10.30am. This is because of the way it interacts with the hormone cortisol, which boosts alertness.

Levels are high when you first wake up but drop later on in the morning.

American neuroscientists Steven Miller says the coffee will be more effective when cortisol isn’t at its peak.

Nap out of it



Good news – taking a nap is medically proven to help

Taking a short power nap in the day really can help you beat fatigue. A study of NASA employees found that alertness increased by 54 per cent after a short kip.

But snoozing for too long could disrupt sleep at night, with scientists saying that 10 to 20 minutes is the optimum nap length.

Researchers at the University of California say napping has been “shown to enhance not only alertness and attention, but also some forms of memory consolidation”.

Good point



Lockdown has dampened our spirits – and sapped a lot of our energy

A handy tip is to swap to using your weaker hand when you’re doing simple tasks.

Scientists claim it helps trick the brain into releasing neurotransmitters to make you more alert and also increases glucose levels in the body for extra energy.

Another trick is to simply splash cool water on your face, which really can help restore energy according to a study in the Journal Clinical Neurophysiology.

Scent success



Rosemary could be a secret remedy to the lockdown blues

Struggling to concentrate? Certain smells can make us more focused and alert.

Researchers at the University of Northumbria noticed this effect in subjects when the whiff of rosemary was in a room.

A minty smell could also help to boost memory and fight fatigue.

Juice the job

Swig a glass of orange juice with your breakfast if you want to stay alert in the afternoon. A study at Reading University concluded that it made people more alert six hours later.

It’s thought that flavonoids from the fruit help improve blood flow to the brain and connections in your grey matter.

Staying properly hydrated generally can help you stay alert too. Scientists at Tufts University in the US found that even mild dehydration was associated with tiredness.

Grin can bear it

Get your other half to tell you some jokes or watch a funny TV show.

In a US study, people who watched 12-minute comedy clips felt less stress and enjoyed an energy boost.

Another piece of research, from 2015, showed that watching cat videos on YouTube raised energy levels.

See red

Wear red clothes and get your partner to do so as well. You could even try writing in red ink.

Surprising research published in the journal Emotion found that being exposed to the colour could stimulate a burst of energy.

According to Andrew Elliot, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, this is because: “Red enhances our physical reactions, because it is seen as a danger cue.”

Yes chew can

Chewing gum has been associated with making people feel more energised, by helping to keep their brain active.

And in a study into almonds at Purdue University in America, people who chewed the nuts more were found to absorb more of their energy, and were given an extra boost of vitamin E.

Curse it

Feeling fed up? Go ahead, swear. Using a few profanities has been shown to help increase stamina and even increase your ­tolerance for pain.

And helpfully during lockdown, it can even boost feelings of morale while you are working, according to a study by the University of East Anglia, as it provides an outlet for stress.

Spread the love

Love it or hate it, Marmite can reduce anxiety and stress thanks to the B vitamins it contains, according to research in the Journal of Functional Foods.

In fact, B vitamins generally have a role in boosting energy in the body. Eggs and green leafy veg are other good sources.

Teatime treat



Different sorts of tea can really lift your mood

If you feel sluggish in the afternoon the best remedy may be to combine a few squares of dark chocolate with a cup of green tea.

Chocolate with a high cocoa content was found to increase alertness in research at Northern Arizona University, but it did increase blood pressure.

However, those who had green tea too, saw blood pressure stabilise thanks to the effects of amino acid L-theanine.

Tune into Joe

Doing a workout – like that session with Joe Wicks – might be best timed for the late afternoon to get the best energy boost.

More importantly, though, is ensuring you do some exercise during your working day.

A University of Bristol study found that it could improve sharpness and productivity, so make sure you get moving, even if it is just around your living room.





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