We’ve all experienced some post-lunch sluggishness. Here are some helpful tips on how to keep yourself energized throughout the day!
By: Chloe Persichetti
Find yourself getting tired in the middle of the day? There has actually been a study performed indicating that the typical slump begins at around 2:55 p.m. There have been countless studies on this subject, which goes to show just how many people are affected by this post-lunch, midday realm of sleepiness; it isn’t just you! This sleepiness is felt by many, many people, and while it can be harmless, it can also affect your ability to function properly.
Since we know that it can start to impact work performance and eat up time that could be spent in a more productive way, we’d like to step in and give some advice to our community. Here are a few ways you can pick up the pace and reclaim your energy:
Breakfast Is Key
Setting the tone for the day is an important first step. Going into work hungry and lacking energy creates the perfect storm for crashing later in the day. We’re not saying that you need to eat a mountain of eggs and bacon every morning, but you should at least eat something that provides sustenance and keeps you going. Bonus points if your meal also isn’t overly processed or high in refined sugars.
Focusing on your tasks at work and catching small details can make a huge difference. If you find yourself missing small things here and there, it might be the result of you not fueling your mind properly. Being in charge of creating a high-energy and productive day is up to you! Fuel your mind and body correctly for the day ahead and see how much your day changes for the better. We’re sure you won’t be missing breakfast again once you experience these changes yourself!
Make Sure To Hydrate
Instincts during this period are to reach for coffee to get you moving again. We understand this thinking and you’re on the right track. Drinking water hydrates the body, which in turn gives you the efficiency and focus needed for completing your tasks and staying awake. Drinking water before coffee will help the caffeine in your body have longer-lasting effects, without causing a spike or a hard crash. As many of us know, coffee leads to dehydration.
Challenge yourself to drink a glass or two of water before you enjoy that cup of coffee. The water will rehydrate your body and the coffee added after will work to recharge your spirits – that is, as long as you can avoid the caffeine crash afterward. This is a tried and true method of boosting yourself back into working condition, which is why we recommend trying it out and seeing for yourself!
Pump It Up
Getting your blood pumping is a great way to boost your energy levels. When you move around, your body brightens up and energy begins to flow through you. The only problem is that when you do need the energy and are feeling tired, the last thing you want to do is exercise or move around. How do we beat this predicament? Remind yourself that you can do it and recognize that it will be worth the momentary annoyance for a better day. If you are having a difficult time coming up with ideas, we have a few tactical ways for you to fit in some movement, whether you’re home or at work.
Exchanging your office chair for a yoga ball to sit on post-lunch can be a great idea, as well as performing heel raises while at your desk – anything that sends a signal to your brain to let you know you are moving and releases those wonderful endorphins that give you the jolt and improved mood you’ve been searching for! Try doing some push-ups or even squats while you watch tv at home. Whatever you decide on doing, figuring out something that works for you is going to be the difference between an afternoon slump and an afternoon pump.
Conquer Your Lunch Hour
Consider the way that you spend your lunch hour. Simple carbohydrates almost always ensure a quick downward spiral in energy. The bounty of sugar and starches mixing in your body will cause you to rapidly become tired. Instead, opt for a lunch less laden with white carbs and heavy meats. If you’d like to continue eating simple carbs, try only having them as snacks instead and enjoy them sparingly throughout the day.
Simple carbs lead to a spike in blood sugar that boosts your energy levels, but only for a short period. Longevity is best here, which is why foods containing large quantities of water, vitamins and complex carbs are going to be your ticket to avoiding the usual sleepiness you experience during the peak of the day. In order to prepare a balanced lunch for yourself, you should include a variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals to give your body the energy to finish off your day on a high note!
Grab Your Headphones
You know what else keeps countless people around the world feeling more uplifted? Music! Play your favorite songs as your post-lunch energy begins to set in. As you work, it may be easiest to play music that doesn’t have any lyrics. This way, you can focus on your work while benefiting from the energy that the song provides. If you’re at home, turn on your favorite song and feel free to even begin dancing – this can doubly wake you up, leaving your afternoon slump to be nothing but a thing of the past!
Of course, if you’re working in an office space, grabbing a pair of headphones will be best. Go ahead and let the music flow through you as you work. In fact, replacing your office’s usual background noises with your favorite music can be a terrific way to re-energize yourself and get all of your day’s work done! Studies have been conducted and found that this tactic can be very beneficial. When you give your mind something pleasant to enjoy while you work, it becomes much easier for you to end your day on a positive note.
Make Sure To Move Around
If you often find yourself losing energy midday at work, it could actually be from sitting still for long periods of time. Stillness is registered as sleep to your mind if it is kept up long enough, so if you aren’t moving periodically throughout the day, it will be difficult to keep your energy levels high. By setting time aside for small breaks, you will give yourself the upper hand. These breaks can’t simply consist of scrolling on your phone the whole time; rather, you should try getting up and walking the long way to get water, or simply stepping outside for a moment to stretch and enjoy some fresh air. These small moments for yourself can be the key to a much more tolerable workday.
With your legs stretched out and your mind at least partially cleared, you will feel much more grounded and will be given the necessary energy to go back to work with a refreshed approach! Changing scenery every couple of hours is an easy tactic that allows you to finish your workday strong. Sitting down and staying in one place all day is the quickest way to lull yourself to sleep!
You don’t have to hit a wall every afternoon. In fact, you can find ways to really come alive during those hours. Coaching your body and mind to stay on track all day long is completely possible. Though the afternoon slump can feel like a heavy fog that sits in your mind without the intention of ever going away, that simply isn’t the case. That fog can be lifted and converted into a bright day! The tools to lift it that have now been shared with you are going to aid you in blowing the sleepiness away and clearing space for you to be back on track once again. With these steps in place, your office and home lives will change for the better!