It’s 3 o’clock pm and it’s almost time to head home from work, but the day keeps lagging on, your eyes are beginning to get heavy, and your head and shoulders start to sag. Full-time, part-time, stay-at-home moms…We have all been there and it’s called the “3PM Slump.” So often when you find yourself feeling tired around mid-afternoon it’s because you are hungry. It is so easy to reach for a sugary snack, cup of coffee, or salty snack. These will satisfy your immediate cravings, however your body will quickly burn thru the sugar causing you to crash again. Your body needs carbs that are high in protein, fiber and healthy fats to keep you energized longer. In order to beat the 3PM Slump you need to be prepared. Keep foods on hand like nuts, seeds, fruit, greek yogurt, cheese sticks, popcorn and hummus. Most of these are portable and can be thrown in your purse/backpack. Also, KIND bars are great for portable energy (and my personal favorite). They are low in sugar and high in fiber. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help to sustain your energy levels throughout the day. You can also drink a cold glass of ice water around this time to help wake you up, as dehydration can cause sleepiness.
We are busy people in a busy world. Sometimes your body cannot keep up with the full nine-hours of work ahead, the long list of chores that need to be handled, the dinner that needs to be cooked, and kids that need to be run to their afternoon activities. Remember, this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and your body needs the energy required to run the marathon. Here are four ways to increase your energy levels throughout the days.
Increase Your Exercise & Decrease Your Stress – You do not necessarily have to run 10 miles, five-days a week. Get out and take a stroll around your neighborhood nightly. Doing a daily 10-minute walk has been shown to increase energy levels and general mood after three-weeks. Exercise also helps deal with stress and anger levels, which is one of the biggest zappers of energy. Don’t have time to get a good exercise in? Then take five-minutes and stretch yourself out. Stretching is an excellent way to decrease stress.
Get A Full Night’s Sleep – I know you want to stay up and catch up on your DVR. However, your body needs an average of seven-hours of sleep a night. Decreased sleep levels equal a very cranky you. I can assure you that your coworkers will thank you for getting a good night’s rest. Sleep also restores brain energy, so you will be sharper come morning.
Don’t Skimp On Meals – Yes, breakfast is in fact the most important meal of the day. People who eat breakfast report better moods and more elevated energy levels. But don’t forget lunch and dinner. Missing one meal a day can lead to increased fatigue by day’s end. Even better, try a power snacking between meals. Nuts, fruits, string-cheese, a hard-boiled egg or a spoonful of peanut butter can be a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.
Drink More Water –Dehydration can leave you feeling tired and fatigued. It is important to keep your body hydrated. Try drinking a glass of water upon waking up.