I don’t know about you, but my grit usually seems tested around two or three in the afternoon.
Since I get up around 3 AM, that’s the point in the day when I’m starting to get a little tired. And because it’s midway between lunch and dinner, I’m often hungry too.
While it’s tempting to increase my energy and satisfy my urge to eat with a snack high in sugar, salt, or fat, here are some other options I’ve found that work just as well…without compromising my health (or waistline).
#1: Drink a Glass of Water
I know that this option isn’t all that exciting, but I have discovered that hydrating my body has a way of increasing my energy levels. It only makes sense as I’ve usually dehydrated myself with coffee all morning, which automatically makes me feel sleepier.
Other benefits of drinking water include decreased joint pain, healthier skin, and better brain function. So, fill up that glass and drink up!
#2: Have a Cup of Joe
While I’m typically not a huge proponent of coffee in the afternoon, mainly because it can disrupt your sleep at night, sometimes it takes something a bit stronger than water to do the trick.
Personally, I drink a cup of half-caff so I get a little caffeine, but not so much that I’m up in the middle of the night kicking myself for drinking it so late in the afternoon.
#3: Go for a Walk
Not only is fresh air rejuvenating, but so is physical activity. So, why not take your afternoon break and go for a quick walk?
If you’re at work, do a lap around the block. If you’re home, grab your dog’s leash and take your four-legged family member with you. Just get out there and move!
#4: Eat a Light Lunch
Sometimes my mid-day slump is because I’ve eaten a big lunch (you know, like you typically experience on Thanksgiving). This is especially true if the meal was loaded with carbs or high in fat.
Eating a lunch that is light in weight and calories is a great way to avoid both of these scenarios. Grilled chicken salads, cottage cheese with tuna and fruit, and veggie wraps are all healthy options to consider.
#5: Do Something Different
When I’m in the middle of a mentally taxing project, my mid-afternoon lulls seem a bit worse. I think it’s because my brain is tired and ready for a break. In that case, doing something different is a great way to get it motivated again.
For me, this generally involves watching part of a show I’ve recorded, working on a project I’ve been wanting to do around the house, or calling and chatting with a friend. Find a few things that invigorate your mind and body and make it a point to do those when you’re feeling tired.
#6: Take a Short Nap
This may not always be an option, especially if you have a looming deadline your boss really doesn’t like to see you sleeping on the job. But if it is, there’s no harm in taking a short nap to recharge your batteries enough to make it through the rest of the day.
Many health experts suggest that this nap should be no more than 20 minutes. That way it doesn’t interfere with your sleep that night or make you feel even more tired than you felt pre-snooze.
Have you ever noticed how hearing a particular song has the ability to make you feel alive? The great thing about that is, with today’s technology, that type of song is always accessible, whether via your playlist or on a site like YouTube.
It may feel a little weird at first, particularly if you’re at work. But you can either close your door and rock out with your headphones on or, better yet, get a co-worker to dance along with you and help them rejuvenate their energy too!
#8: Get More (or Better) Sleep
When I’m well-rested, I don’t have as many issues making it through the afternoon. It’s generally when I’m having trouble sleeping that I struggle the most.
This one can be tough if you have a lot going on, you’re feeling overly stressed, or you’re just naturally a night owl. Creating a bedtime routine can help because it tells your body it’s time to rest. Doing something low key — like reading or meditating — works good too.
#9: Give Your Brain a Pep Talk
It may sound kind of stupid, but when I’m wanting nothing more than to curl up on the couch but can’t due to my workload, I can actually get more energized simply by giving my brain a little pep talk.
I’ll repeat “I feel energized” or “I have SO much energy” a few times and, within a few minutes, I do feel more energetic. It’s strange, I know, but this one has pulled me out of more than a few energy slumps over the years.
Any you’d like to add? Put them in the comments below! Help a girl out…