Staying energised and mentally alert can sometimes be a struggle. Speaking for myself, I find I hit that 3pm slump but I also hit struggle town a couple of other times in a day. There are many reasons we struggle with staying energised; life gets busy and there is always something demanding time or attention. There’s the family, work, extra curricular activities with the children and not enough hours in the day.
I’m sure we can all come up with a list of why we struggle to stay energised and alert but can we come up with ways to combat the issues as easily? My go-to solutions for the drowsiness and trouble staying focused are generally coffee and chocolate. Though they may give me the immediate boost I’m after, they aren’t necessarily a good option in the longer term. The chocolate brings the sugar hit…. followed by the crash; and the coffee, well let’s not mess with my love affair with coffee.
There has to be better ways to beat the mid-afternoon slump, so let’s have a look at some of them.
First and foremost has got to be SLEEP.
Sufficient sleep, and restorative sleep, is the best thing for beating daytime slumps. Find out how much sleep you should be getting for optimal functioning and do your best to get it. Surviving on 5 hours sleep in a body that requires 8-10 is not going to combat the daytime drowsiness. It isn’t just about getting enough sleep though, you need to be getting restorative sleep. Spending 8-10 hours tossing and turning because you can’t get comfortable is not going to set you up for an energetic and enthusiastic day. A restful night’s sleep is best achieved on a quality mattress from a reputable brand like Oz Mattress.
We all know that water is a very important part of our day, and many of us find it difficult to drink as much as we should. I know that I struggle. It’s interesting to note that even mild dehydration can cause sleepiness so when you start to feel the slump approaching, drink a glass or two of water and it will perk you up. You could try to beat the slump completely by staying well hydrated all day.
It may seem hard to believe, and if you are starting to feel fatigued and drowsy it’s even more difficult to find the motivation, but exercise is fantastic for helping you feel energised and alert. Start your day with a brisk walk or a run, even some mild exercise at home before you start your day. In the middle of the day use some of your lunch time to head out for a walk. Feel energetic and use the time to refocus.
It is much more difficult to fight the fatigue when the lights are dim or all the light is artificial. Turn the lights on, open the blinds, be near a window or take 5 to get outside in the sunlight. Where possible, use the bulbs offering ‘natural’ light.
To get the most out of your body, you need to keep it fueled. Start your day with a proper breakfast, high in protein to increase your energy and alertness. Continue this with healthy plant and animal based proteins throughout the day to help with stamina to see you through the slumps.
These are some of the most important ways to pick those energy levels up but there are many other ways to get that much needed pick-me-up, without resorting to stimulants like coffee and chocolate – though coffee in moderation has been shown to offer some great health benefits and it’s best for you if taken black. I knew I cut the milk and sugar out for a reason. Coffee is packed with antioxidants and vitamins but if consumed in excess, it can be counterproductive (and therein lies my problem).
Some other natural ways to get that energy boost are:
- Laugh, we always knew laughter was a great stress reliever but it has also been shown to boost energy levels.
- Acupuncture and Reiki (pronounced ray-key) can help to remove emotional and physical energy blocks.
- Meditation and deep breathing for a few minutes at a time can help to refocus your attention and get the blood pumping creating an energy boost.
- Take a daily tech-break where all devices are switched off for an hour, get out of contact with the world so that you can get back in touch with yourself and those in your immediate vicinity.
- Get the music pumping and sing along, this is one that always works for me – the louder the better and who cares who can hear me.
Next time you start to feel the fatigue setting in for the mid-afternoon slump, think about the little things you can do for an immediate energy zap, then think about the bigger picture and the ways that you can avoid the droop altogether.