You are fine all day then you get to a point somewhere between lunch and dinner-time when you feel that you could just curl up into a ball and go to sleep. The desire to complete the tasks you were on fire with in the morning has just gone, and you really could just leave it all until tomorrow.
The day is beginning to drag on and you are counting the hours until you can leave work, eat dinner and put your feet up on the sofa. If only you could just grab a quick nap, or find somewhere to hide for the next couple of hours…
You are experiencing the mid-afternoon energy slump. It’s no wonder. You’ve been up for around 8 or so hours and you haven’t really stopped since.
You can’t just go to sleep now. You have another 7 or so hours in the day to go and so much more to fit in. Still you feel like you have suddenly shifted down a gear to ‘snail-pace’ and your on a downward spiral.
What do you do?
You reach for the quick-fix.
You eat chocolate, crisps, high-fat and refined sugar snacks, and wash them down with strong tea, coffee or cola – just to add the caffeine boost.
You have solved your problem for the next hour or so, and you hop round the office like the Easter Bunny. Life is back to it’s normal fast pace.
Then boom. It all wears off and you feel like poop. You are tired, irritable and grumpy. You crave more sugar and caffeine and nothing will stop you from getting it.
This habit continues each day at the same time.
In a short space of time you have gained weight, become more stressed and addicted to refined sugar and caffeine to keep you awake every afternoon.
The thing is, your ‘quick-fix’ energy boost solution is bringing you long-term health issues.
The sugar and caffeine that you are consuming late in the afternoon is having a detrimental affect on your blood sugar levels and also interferes with the quality of your sleep each night.
The solution that you think is working for you is actually reinforcing the energy slump problem.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could only break your current afternoon habit and swap it with a more healthier one – one that would actually help you in more ways than just helping the afternoon energy slump that you experience?
Well, read on and discover 5 simple healthier steps that you can do to lift you out of that slump.
Why Do Slumps in Energy Happen?
The main reasons why we have a mid-afternoon energy slump is down to 3 main things;
1. Not getting enough sleep
2. Eating the wrong foods
So, let’s look at 5 ways in which we can help resolve these issues, and keep your energy going until you naturally need to go to sleep at night.
Taking some daily exercise helps you to reduce your stress levels and also improve your ability to sleep.
You can incorporate some of this exercise into your day, by trying the following when you being to feel your energy flagging and your mind beginning to fog;
Take a short walk. Take a 5 – 10 minute break and go for a walk, even if it is just around your house/office.
Stretch. Gentle yoga stretches are great to relieve tension and stress. You don’t need a mat – just some simple neck circles, forward, back and side stretches will do the job nicely.
Do some isometric exercises. Starting with the calf muscles in your legs, clench for a count of 5 then release. Move on to your thighs, buttocks, stomach, biceps, shoulders then lastly, wrinkle your face.
2. Enjoy a Healthy Snack
Choose snacks made of complex carbohydrates, fibre and protein for the best results.
This means that you will have a slow and steady release of energy into your body without a experiencing a spike, and subsequent drop, in your blood sugars.
Try snacks such as whole grain crackers, carrot sticks and hummus, bananas, porridge with fruit.
3. Try Herbal / Fruit Tea
Consuming drinks containing caffeine in the afternoon can have an impact on your ability to sleep in the evening. This has a detrimental effect on your energy during the day and can contribute to your afternoon energy slump.
Try ginger, peppermint, liquorice, rosehip, gingseng, ginko biloba, and citrus based teas such as grapefruit.
There are so many energy boosting herbal blends in the shops, so enjoy trying them out to see which one works best for you.
4. Go Outside
Take a 10 minute break and head outside.
Fresh air can help to clear your mind and revitalise your body, especially if you sit in an air-conditioned office all day.
Your body needs sunlight to produce essential vitamin D for many of its functions.
Also, by being in the sun, your body will slow down the production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that builds up gradually during the day to help your body know when it is time to go to bed.
5. Freshen Up
Give your face a wash or freshen up with a facial wipe.
Brush your teeth with minty toothpaste.
Comb or brush your hair.
Use a refreshing body spritz or perfume.
Nourish your hands with a fresh scented hand cream such as a citrus based scent like lemon or lime.
Try inhaling some invigorating aromatherapy oils to help stimulate and clear your mind.
You can do this by adding a couple of drops of oil on to a tissue or handkerchief, or through an aromatherapy diffuser.
These 5 little things can make a huge impact on your day.
By incorporating these small changes into your daily routine, you can not only fight the afternoon slump in energy, but help reduce your stress levels, control your weight better and have a more peaceful night’s sleep. So, why not start today?
Originally published on Clarity Junction