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How to Avoid the 3pm Slump

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16 April, 2015 | In: Nutrition

We've all experienced it: 3pm rolls around and you feel like falling asleep at your desk. It can be a frustrating feeling. Maybe you've got a deadline to hit, a meeting to present, or you simply have two more hours of work to get through.

A nap isn't an option (no matter how tempting the idea sounds) so you need to stay sharp, focused and productive.

So how exactly can you - or your PT clients - avoid the dreaded 3pm slump?

Eat for Energy

When you're low on energy, it can be tempting to reach for high-energy (which means high-calorie foods). Our instinct is usually to grab a sweet, sugary snack or a carbohydrate food. Trouble is, this quick hit of sugars and starches leads to a quick crash of energy and can actually make us feel sleepier. So instead, try drinking some cold water or an iced drink. If you're really hungry (not just eating out of procrastination or habit), try a snack full of protein and some healthy fat, like Greek yoghurt with berries, hummus and veggies, or a couple of hardboiled eggs.

Get Some Fresh Air

It's amazing how just a few minutes in the fresh air can invigorate the mind and get us feeling focused and energised. If it's possible to do so, head outside when you feel low in energy and take a brisk walk around the block. Then head straight back to tackle the task at hand.

Move Your Body

Even a small bit of activity, stretching, or simply moving your body can wake you up and make you feel able to bust through the 3pm slump. If you can't get outside, try walking around the office, climbing the stairs, or doing a few basic stretches for the spine, shoulders, chest and hips.

A Change of Scene

If you've been sat in one place for a long time, a simple change of scene can be enough to stimulate the senses and recharge your brain. If you're at work, try moving to another part of the office to do a small task. If you work at home, move your computer to another room. If procrastination is your problem, get up and do something completely different like folding laundry at home, or making a phone call at work.

Is Caffeine a Good Idea?

Many of us will grab a cup of coffee when we hit the 3pm slump. Whilst caffeine is definitely a great natural stimulant which can clear the brain and lead to sharper thinking, it needs to be used wisely. Don't have a coffee at 3pm if it will affect your ability to sleep that night (this will make you even more tired tomorrow afternoon). And don't make your 3pm coffee an excuse for a calorie-laden beverage with syrup, milk and cream (plus a biscuit). If you want to use caffeine to help you through the afternoon dip, go for a single espresso with nothing added.

So try these things and hopefully you’ll tackle the afternoon with no effort required!

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