It’s 2:00 in the afternoon, your morning coffee wake-up has already gone, and now the lunch you ate is making you very tired, and your energy is waning. Minutes seem to tick by like hours and your mind feels foggy. You’ve still got a few more hours that require you to be alert and productive, so how do you cope with the afternoon blahs? Try these helpful hints:
1. If you have a job that involves sitting at a desk all day or staring at a computer screen, take five minutes to stand up or lean back, close your eyes and stretch, especially in your shoulder and leg areas. Being seated all the time can make your whole body feel stiff and sleepy. A good stretch session helps limber up your body and gets the blood flowing again.
2. Avoid the tempting lure of caffeine again, or sugar-laden foods such as coffee, tea or chocolate. Caffeine may perk up your energy levels temporarily, but it also has a bad habit of leaving you sluggish after the effect has worn off. Instead, choose whole grain foods, soy snacks or fruits and vegetables to give your body the fuel it really wants! Eating healthier will boost your mood, elevate your alertness and make you feel better all day long.
3. If afternoon fatigue is a recurring problem, it may the lunch you’re eating. Try not to eat too many Carbs. While it’s true that Carbohydrates give you energy, they have the same effect as caffeine; giving you energy for a while, then making you very sleepy as your body concentrates on digesting these heavy foods. Eat salad with meat in it, or only eat half of the bread in your sandwich.
4. Along with healthier foods, take a quick 10-15 minute walk during your lunch break. Just a few minutes will give you a burst of energy that refreshes you and makes you feel more alert – while burning off your lunch calories in the process! If you have a MP3 player, play a motivational tape while you walk for even more energy. With this motivational program, you can learn how to replace fear, failure & frustration with courage, success and contentment even where “self-help” has never helped much.
5. Often afternoon slumps can be your body’s way of telling you that it needs something. You may be feeling tired if your blood sugar is low (which happens especially after the effect of those caffeine and high sugar foods has worn off!). Packing a low calorie snack like graham crackers, granola, fruit or vegetable slices can give your body a boost and keep you from feeling hungry in the late afternoon and caving in to the urge to devour the entire contents of the vending machine after work!
6. Drowsiness is often a sign that you’re not getting enough water. Drinking more water throughout the day not only helps keep you awake, but also keeps you from feeling those hunger pangs that inevitably creep up in mid-morning. Taking a large sports bottle that you can drink from throughout the day is a great way to get your recommended eight glasses a day as well!
Following this advice on a regular basis will not only help you make it through the afternoon blahs, but you’ll also feel better physically and mentally, sleep better at night, and wake up rejuvenated and re-energized the next morning.
Have a GREAT Day!