Friday, April 05, 2013

Help For That Afternoon Slump

Last month I began rising early. Like earlier than I ever have in my life. And I love it.

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Photo by wakingphotolife

The only problem is, many days I hit the dreaded Afternoon Slump.

You know Afternoon Slump: you've had a productive day, things are going well. You have lunch and start back to work, and a couple of hours later it hits. You can't hold your eyes open. Your mouth is open plenty, though, because you can't stop yawning. You can't think clearly. All you want to do is go. to. sleep.

Yep, it happens to me all the time. I asked my Facebook readers if it ever happens to them, and guess what? It does! For some of us, there are actual physical reasons, such as illness, and we learn to deal with those situations. But for those of us who just hit that slump, I have a few suggestions to help.

:: Eat a high-protein lunch. This was the first suggestion from one of my Facebook readers. When we eat lots of carbs - say a sandwich and chips with a couple of cookies for dessert - we're loading up on foods that will convert to sugar in the bloodstream - and that sugar will make you sleepy and sluggish! If you suffer often from Afternoon Slump, check what you're eating for lunch. I'd suggest something high-protein, such as tuna, chicken, or turkey, with a salad or cut-up veggies and some fruit. Try cutting out all those simple carbs and replacing them with proteins and a small amount of complex carbs.

:: Change your activity. When I begin to feel sleepy in the afternoon, I try changing what I'm doing. If I'm working at my desk, I get up and fold the laundry. If I'm working in the kitchen, I try doing some sewing. If I'm working around the house, I might sit down at my desk or the kitchen table to study. You get the idea. The only thing I don't try is sitting down on the couch and reading: I know that's a recipe for going right off to sleep! So when that slump hits, try doing something different for a change of pace or scenery.

:: Exercise. Part of changing activity could be exercise. It doesn't make sense, but most of the time exercise will give you more energy rather than making you more tired. So take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks. Run in place. Go outside and play with the kids. Just do something to get your blood pumping, and see if that will chase away ol' Afternoon Slump.

:: Take a coffee break. Yes. I am advocating drinking a cup of coffee - in moderation. Or you could drink a glass of water, eat some fruit, or have a high-protein snack. It doesn't have to be coffee! I wouldn't recommend having a fancy, sugary coffee, though. Or a candy bar or giant muffin. Have something that won't just fill you right back up with sugar. Then your blood sugar will go up and crash again, and you'll be right back in that Slump.

:: Take a nap. Go ahead. Put it in your schedule! I've heard some pastors wives say that taking a nap is one of the most spiritual things you can do during the day! It helps you refresh and make yourself ready for your husband to come home, and it gives you new energy in dealing with your children. I read an article the other day, 5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Every Day by Michael Hyatt. He suggests making napping a part of having a productive day. Some of the most successful people in history have been habitual nappers. We're not talking about a long nap here: just 20-30 minutes, enough to refresh you but not long enough to get into a deep sleep. Talk about Slump! Deep sleep in the afternoon really puts me in a fog! So yes. Maybe you should consider making a nap as part of your routine.

What do you do when Afternoon Slump hits? Share your suggestions in the comments!

6 comments:

  1. Those are all great ideas. I find that moving in some way helps me too. It doesn't have to be something long, just 10 minutes or so.

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    1. I just went for a walk to a friend's house. I was working and didn't want to go out, but I enjoyed it so much while I was walking! And now I feel refreshed again.

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  2. These are some good ideas!

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    1. Got any to add, Michele? :)

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  3. Wonderful blog post! I admit -- I'm a coffee drinker, but I do limit my intake. I also take a nap when I really need one (without guilt). :) I actually get more done than if I just avoid the nap and keep struggling all day.

    God bless!

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    1. I'm not a huge coffee drinker, and I usually limit it to 1 cup in the morning. And you're right about just taking the nap when you need to, then you can get up and get back to work.

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Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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