Lifestyle How to Skip the Afternoon Slump!

Sluggish? Drained? Depleted?

Do you wish you had more energy to pull you through the workday (and beyond!)?

You are not alone AND you do not have to accept the reality of work always being draining.

As a young mom I remember always feeling like I needed either a nap or caffeine everyday around 3 or 4. I figured it was just the grind of being a mom and running a business. It is actually part of our body’s natural rhythm to slow down in the afternoon (many cultures recognize this and shut down for a few hours, like a siesta). It is important to recognize the difference between slowing down and really dragging day after day. I finally recognized that what I was feeling was more than just a slow down and decided enough was enough and took control of my health.

You can too.

Let’s start with what you can do when you feel that slow down and fatigue hit you.

1. Sit up!

That’s it. Just adjust your posture. You will allow for better blood flow and oxygen. This can reduce your stress and increase productivity as well.

2. Have a healthy snack or chew gum

An article found in Nutritional Neuroscience found that chewing gum improves alertness, increased mood and happiness and improved response time when compared to participants who did not chew gum. So if you are not a gum chewer, reach for a healthy snack like carrots, apples, air-popped popcorn or a hand full of nuts.

3. Listen to uplifting music

Our bodies respond to music immediately, for good or bad. Your favorite tunes can get you back on track and a boost of energy. Listen to upbeat and energetic music that you know will cultivate a good reaction. Instrumental music can help build your focus when you are working since you won’t be distracted by lyrics.

4. Get outside

Sunshine is literally fuel for your body. Many hospitals take patients outside to be healed by light. Light can quickly boost your energy and mood, even in just a few short minutes. If there is grass outside your building, try grounding out (taking off your shoes and putting your bare feet in the grass) for an added mood booster and stress release.

5. Laugh!

Have you ever heard that laughter is the best medicine?? Look at a funny meme or have your friend send you a joke. I send little jokes in my kid’s (and husband’s) lunch each day to ensure (even if it’s just a small chuckle) that they will have some laughter in their day.

So, how do you prevent the afternoon slump and daily drag, in the first place?

Here are some simple tips to make your tomorrow more productive and your afternoon less of a drag.

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Eat breakfast!

It’s literally in the name “break the fast”. It sets your blood sugar for the day. The afternoon slump can come from out of whack blood sugar. Rather than jumping on the blood sugar roller coaster, maintain a more even up and down of blood sugar to avoid the inevitable crash from the high.

Start at bedtime

Get yourself in a better rhythm before your day starts. Your body lives and breathes on it’s natural rhythms. When those things are not working properly, nothing is going to work properly. Try something simple like no devices for 30 mins before bed, brain dumping so you don’t carry as much stress with you into sleep, 4-7-8 breathing before bed or turn down the thermostat (trust me, your body sleeps better when it is cooler). If you must hit the snooze button in the morning, do it only once. Studies have shown that lingering in bed creates more of the morning grogginess.

Get up and move throughout the day

You can do some very simple movements to get your blood flowing and your lymphatic system activated. Even just simply swinging your arms side to side and up and down will help increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage. This will help reduce the toxic build up that can lead to headaches and brain fog.

Drink water, not caffeine!

Now I know it seems impossible to give up your morning coffee…so if you are going to drink caffeine anyway, do it responsibly and with moderation. How about just try drinking equal amounts of water as you do caffeinated drinks? Start with something simple like having your coffee, soda etc AND a water bottle nearby. Sip for sip drinking your water.

Take a break from the screen

Your eyes, back, shoulders, neck, hips, legs and feet will thank you! Check yourself everyone once in awhile. Are you sitting upright or slumped over? Being hunched over lowers the amount of air you can take in and will lead to fatigue, headaches and back/neck pain. Your eyes also get tired from the stress of a screen. Consider glasses to help with the screen light. Take 5 mins breaks every few hours to let your eyes rest from the screen. During your 5 min break, try doing some breathing and stretching to refuel your body and destress.

Remember to keep your goals simple

Just start with one thing at a time. Consider pairing it with something you already do. Habits are created faster when paired with habits that are already natural to us.

For example, if you have a fit bit that tells you it’s time to get up and move and you are already good at getting in some movement, maybe that is also the time you refill your water bottle or do some 4-7-8 breathing.

Focus on the good things you CAN add in not the bad things or habits you want to ditch. After adding in good things for long enough periods of time those bad habits will eventually disappear from your life and you won’t even realize you were doing it!

Want more tips like these ones in my free Corporate Wellness eBook?? Click HERE to gain access!

Shannon Moss Wellness

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