Afternoon Doldrums

It’s three o’clock, and you still have two hours of work to get through. You’d really love an afternoon nap.

Have you ever thought this? Most of us experience afternoon sluggishness on occasion. While a nap can be very refreshing, it’s usually not possible when you are in an office situation. Try one of these instead, from Health magazine:

  • Drink a glass of ice water. You may be dehydrated, which can make you sleepy. The ice is crucial – it can help increase your alertness.
  • Squeeze in a ten minute walk – outside if you can, but take one even if it’s just down the hall or in the stairway. Moving will stimulate your heart, brain and muscles as it boosts your core temperature. No more yawns!
  • Try relaxation, according to Matthew Edlund, MD, author of The Power of Rest. This sounds contradictory, but taking a few minutes to do this exercise can make you feel recharged. Edlund calls it “paradoxical relaxation” and it can be done right at your desk. It’s like a type of meditation. Here’s how to do it: Focus on one muscle group in your body for at least 15 seconds. Think about how it feels and how it exists in your body. Then move to another group, moving up and down or all around the body.       Zing! You should be able to conquer the afternoon then.
  • Eat a small snack of a healthy protein and whole-grain carb, like a banana with peanut butter, or a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.       Just try to avoid sugar – you’ll feel worse when the rush wears off.

Our days can be full and often hectic. If this is your schedule on a daily basis, make sure you are getting adequate sleep at night, and eating power-punching foods at breakfast and lunch. Watch the empty carbs (cereals, breads) and eat good quality protein (Greek yogurt, eggs, chicken, fish, or beef, and some crunchy leafy greens). If you feed your body properly, you can offset a case of the slugs!

To Your Vitality!