I’ll be the first to admit that come 3 PM, I’m already feeling tired. To be fair, I do get up usually around 4:45 AM and usually do my best work until about 10 am, which would put me 5 hours into the day, but that just isn’t enough time for me to accomplish enough in my day and feel good about it. In this post I’ll be covering some tips to break the afternoon crash that actually work!
Although I start my day early, it usually doesn’t end until around 5 PM. For 12 hours each day I’m usually on it, but that does include gym time and some “me” time (self-care is so important). I’ll also admit that I drink way too much coffee, but I have been increasing my water intake which has definitely been helping me stay more alert, especially as Vegas heats up to record 114-degree days.
Here are some tips that I’ve incorporated into my schedule daily, to help avoid that 3 PM crash.
Tip #1 – DON’T MISS BREAKFAST
Personally I hate eating a full meal in the mornings, so I’ll usually make a smoothie and drink that while I go on my morning walk with my dog Baron. I usually pack lunch to eat when I arrive at the office between 8 and 10 AM and pack a snack for my pre-workout around 2 PM.
Tip #2 – PICK HIGH-ENERGY CARBS
For a quick burst of fuel, choose foods high in complex carbohydrates. These are healthy sources of energy that digest the quickest. Go for whole-grain breads and cereals, fresh fruits, vegetables and veggies sticks, pasta, beans, or brown rice to hold hunger at bay for longer. Choose protein-rich foods that take longer to digest like nuts, peanut butter, or cheese. I love cheese and peanut butter. Try grabbing the single serve options at the store so you don’t overdo it.
Tip #3 – DON’T OVERDO SUGAR
Sometimes the body over-adjusts itself, causing the blood sugar level to drop rapidly. This explains the drop in energy some people experience about 30 minutes after eating a sugary snack. Sugar in moderation, particularly from fruit or 100% fruit juice, will give you energy without a lag. Try some fruit and other natural sources of sugar versus eating candy bars, etc.
Tip #4 – SLEEP WELL
Personally, I need at least 6 hours of sleep each night. I sleep from 10 PM to 4:45 AM daily, from Sunday to Thursday. Friday and Saturday I sleep in and stay up later! Make a sleep schedule and put your phone away 1 hour before you sleep to get better, more restful sleep.
Tip #5 – TANK UP ON FLUIDS
Your body needs a certain amount of water to function. When you don’t have enough water, everything slows down and becomes less efficient. Water is best, but other liquids, like milk, juice, or the water in solid foods, will also work. Don’t think iced coffee counts towards your hydration quota though!
Tip #6 – GET A CAFFEINE BOOST
Caffeine is a stimulant, so it will give you a temporary energy boost. According to the FDA, as long as you keep your caffeine intake to about 400 mg per day—about the equivalent of 4 cups of coffee—caffeine typically isn’t harmful to most healthy adults. But each person is different in how sensitive they are to caffeine and how fast they break it down. Remember, too much caffeine can affect your sleep at night, make you jittery, increase your heart rate, increase your anxiety, make it more likely for you to have heartburn or an upset stomach, or cause headaches 12 to 24 hours after your last dose of caffeine.
Tip #7 – DEVELOP AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
Start going on quick walks in the morning while you check emails and get the blood flowing. A good way to fight off tiredness during that midafternoon energy lag is to do some stretches or take a quick walk around the block. Break for fitness! It will get the blood flowing. It also forces your senses to become sharper and more focused. If you can’t break for a trip to the gym mid-day, then try walking around outside your office or going up and down the stairs. Even ten minutes of blood flow will help. Another thing I like to do is change what I am working on — that always wakes me up a bit.
Hope you enjoyed these tips and that they come in handy! Be sure to comment on @AskHeatherMariannaBlog and tag me to let me and everyone else on IG know what you do to fight the afternoon slump.