Most of us can feel motivated and energetic during the mornings, but once the afternoon hits, our cortisol levels plummet, and we start to feel slightly sluggish. This is normal, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating when it happens.
Not only do cortisol levels drop during the afternoons, but our attention spans also decline in the afternoon because of our natural circadian alerting system. This system increases and diminishes over the course of the day. Even though it’s a natural occurrence, it doesn’t help us in our modern lives, when most of us need to work through the afternoons. Follow these simple tips to find out how you can perk up and boost your energy during those afternoon slumps.
Dehydration makes us tired, and people at work forget to drink water while they’re busy all day. Even being slightly dehydrated can affect cognitive function, lead to memory problems, moodiness, and anxiety, as well as impair concentration.
Making sure to keep hydrated is one of the easiest things you can do to tackle your afternoon energy loss. It would help if you were making it a priority to drink plenty of water throughout your day. Not only is it good for you, but it’s one of the best ways to beat the afternoon blues.
GO OUTSIDE OR TURN ON THE LIGHTS
When you start to feel sluggish, going outside or exposing yourself to brighter light can help. The effects of intense light on alertness and vitality have been studied. Outdoor light is much stronger than light inside a building, so if possible, taking a break to get outdoors is ideal.
Bright lights help our circadian rhythm, stopping us from feeling sleepy and sluggish. It tells our bodies that it’s time to wake up, rather than go to bed. So, if the afternoons are a struggle and you feel tired, flick the light switch on or get outside. What’s more, getting outside and walking around can help to boost your mood and give you some energy. This is particularly true for those who spend large amounts of time seated as part of their job. Moving your body can help to get you feeling energized and motivated once again so you can make it through the rest of the day.
TAKE A POWER NAP
Power naps aren’t an option for everyone, particularly those who can’t nap in the workplace. But, if possible, a power nap is a great way to boost your energy levels. There’s a catch, though. Make sure that you don’t sleep for too long, as this can actually end up making you more tired.
Typically, a 20-minute power nap is recommended, but definitely avoid napping for any longer than an hour, as this can disrupt your sleep cycle. If you can make time for a power nap to reboot your brain and enhance your energy levels to get you through the rest of the afternoon, do it!
HAVE A CHAT
If you notice that you get sleepy or are in a slump around the same time every afternoon, try scheduling conversations or meetings around that time to help perk you up and keep you focused. It can also help to schedule all of your independent work and daily tasks for the morning and get them out the way when you have the most motivation. Then, when the afternoon comes, you don’t feel stressed, and you can focus on tasks that involve other people to help keep you awake and motivated.
GRAB A SNACK
Have a healthy snack when you need a bit of a pick me up. Your diet can have a significant impact on your ability to solve problems, concentrate, and remember. You can boost your concentration when you need it most by eating foods like broccoli, grains, lentils, and eggs.
Take a moment to think about the break you’ll take to eat your snack as something to look forward to.
It can also help to eat foods high in healthy carbs to give you some energy that you will release throughout the afternoon and keep your energy levels more steady. The way that we eat and nourish our bodies has a direct impact on our mood and energy, so it’s important to eat right and make time for snacks you enjoy.
MAKE TIME FOR ACTIVITIES YOUR ENJOY
You may feel drained and unable to take a break by the end of the afternoon, so you continue working without a break to finish. The promise of fun activities, on the other hand, can motivate you to keep going throughout your day. You must have something to look forward to so that you’re encouraged to work hard and push through drowsiness to reward yourself with an enjoyable activity.
Afternoons can be a challenge to get through for a lot of people. Most of us tend to cope by just dealing with the drowsiness and lack of motivation or drinking far too much coffee and caffeinated beverages! But there are plenty of healthy, simple ways to help boost your afternoon blues and get you out of a slump. Try the above tips if you want to perk yourself up and make your afternoons more enjoyable.