Thursday, 4 April 2013

Afternoon Slump - Fix It

Maybe not every day, but most days, do you get that feeling of lethargy and blahness between 2 - 3.30pm?
Here are some reasons why and what you can do to say goodbye to afternoon blues!

  • Quality of sleep: at LEAST 7 hours of sleep is recommended for optimum energy
  • Carbohydrates: Too much and you'll be tired trying to process them but even worse is no carbs at all! Your brain requires glucose so if you skip carbs at breakfast/lunch you are starving your brain of fuel, not to mention your muscles!
    Fruit and smoothies
  • Protein: Lack of protein can result in missing out on vital nutrients and your appetite is likely to surge mid afternoon. Good options are canned fish, natural yoghurt, lean meat
  • Healthy fats: Not only appetite-satisfying but necessary to absorb key vitamins. Also fabulous for your brain, heart, skin and hair. Avocado, olive oil, salmon and walnuts are excellent!
  • Stress: By mid afternoon, all those niggly issues you've been avoiding or postponing can creep up on you. Keep a list of what you need to get done and tackle the tough stuff first. If you are struggling to do it alone, ask for help.
Coffee a peril

  • Caffeine: Keep it for a morning boost but the downside to caffeine is it gives you an instant energy hit and then you rocket back down. Beyond 2pm, go for herbal tea, water, juice.
  • Sugar: Same deal as caffeine. Initial burst of energy and then....bleugh. This does NOT include fruit. Fruit is an excellent snack to have on hand - apples, stone fruits, citrus. All excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and importantly, glucose for energy and brain function.
  • Exercise and posture: If you're slumping over your desk for hours, the tension through your shoulders and neck will have you feeling like you're carrying a load of bricks by the end of the day. Shoulders back, long neck, think about extending through the spine. A brisk walk during the middle of the day gets your circulation going and can reinvigorate you for the rest of the afternoon. Get outdoors and get some sunshine!

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