You know the feeling. You’ve just had lunch and you are an hour into the second half of your day when, all of a sudden, that mid-afternoon slump hits you like a ton of bricks.
You’re tired, sleepy, your eyes are closing and your mind feels foggy. On top of that, nothing seems more appealing than crawling back home and taking a nap.
Unfortunately, when you have a full-time job this isn’t
always ever a possibility. Instead, why not opt for healthy methods of prevention and last minute fixes?
Below are some of our favorite methods to get over that 3 PM slump.
1. Have a nutritious lunch.
It’s always surprising to me when people are totally perplexed by how low-energy they feel even after they’ve had a burger and fries for lunch. Your body is working overtime to process all those fats, carbs and excess calories. My best advice would be to have lighter lunches and healthier snacks throughout the day instead of gorging on a gigantic, indulgent lunch (at least unless it’s on special occasions). Stick to a lunch that is between 400-600 calories, rich in protein, contains healthy fats (think: avocados) for satiety and a lot of leafy greens! This is true fuel.
2. Skip coffee and go for tea.
Coffee is wonderful and there are certainly some health benefits to a daily cup of joe. That being said, a lot of people seriously overdo it, and while that may mean having crazy amounts of energy in the morning, it also means a mid-afternoon crash. Instead of always reaching for the java, opt for green tea. Other aromatic teas may also have the power to boost your senses – think: lavendar, rooibos, etc.
3. Drink water.
If you’re one of those people that doesn’t drink water all day long, you’re seriously doing it wrong. Drinking water helps hydrate us – helping us fight fatigue – and detoxify our bodies. While green juice is healthy, it certainly shouldn’t be consumed all day long – and don’t even get me started on how bad for you fruit juice and soda are. Water will help you gauge how truly hungry you are as well.
4. Get in a workout at lunch.
You know how working out makes you feel great? That’s because it boosts seratonin – a feel good hormone – in the brain. While it’s hard to believe you can get anything done in 30 minutes, studies have shown that shorter more intense workouts may actually be more beneficial for your body and mind than shorter, more drawn out exercise.
5. Eat a healthy, high protein snack.
Sometimes that 3 PM slump comes because you’re actually hungry. This means that you had a light lunch, you’ve been drinking a lot of water, but your body is asking for a little boost. Snacks are totally essential but the key is to make sure it’s nutritious and working for you. This means opting for satisfying, high protein options. My favorites? Quest Bars (for when you have a hankering for something sweet), veggies and hummus, apple slices and peanut butter, or organic, all-natural beef jerky (for those meat-lovers out there). You want to refrain from things that have no added benefit like crackers or candy.
6. Take a walk.
Sitting at a desk all day? Besides being totally unhealthy, it is (unfortunately) a part of [office] life. Sitting down and not getting your blood pumping will make you feel tired and sore with time, so why not take a little walk? Whether it’s to the coffee shop or around your office floor, make sure to take breaks (albeit short) to feel slightly more energized.
Better yet? Try begging your boss for a standing desk. You’ll never get tired again! (Maybe.)
7. Listen to your favorite tune.
You know what gets our blood pumping? Our favorite tunes, of course! Just like a good playlist means a good workout, a good playlist may also mean some head bopping and a mood boost. If this won’t get you out of your slump we don’t know what will.
For more Head & Heart features, check out our articles here.