Contributor: Lucy Wyndham
We have all experienced that 3 o’clock energy nosedive, when the minutes seem to creep by, and you’re wondering if quitting time will ever come. You have a long to-do list, but you can’t seem to motivate yourself to launch into the work. You’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 35% of Americans don’t get seven or more hours of sleep at night. And chronic sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue both physically and mentally. The perfect storm for the afternoon slump includes your eating and exercise habits, too. Here are some simple steps to power through your work day.
Log Enough Zs at Home
A solid bedtime routine should not be underestimated. Limiting screen time, turning down the lights, diffusing essential oils, washing your face, may or may not be part of your evening routine. You should consider these and other relaxing techniques to help lull you to sleep.
Guided meditations ease anxious thoughts and lead you through deep breathing exercises. Additionally, opting for an early bedtime gives you the boost you need to be more productive in the office. You have to make the decision about what makes sense for your lifestyle, but choose a couple rituals to incorporate and see what impact they have on your energy levels.
Fuel Your Body
What you’re eating at breakfast and lunch can impact your work performance, too. That donut might look delicious, but it may lead to feelings of tiredness as your body metabolizes the sugar quickly and leaves you feeling hungry again. It’s best to avoid highly-processed foods and stick to those with whole ingredients. Rise plant-based protein bars are a perfect option for a breakfast or mid-day snack that won’t leave you feeling lethargic.
Going out to lunch with coworkers can be a sure way to feel sleepy. Restaurants provide large portions that you wouldn’t normally pack for yourself. Prep your own lunch, maybe build it into your nightly routine, with a balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats to avoid overeating that will leave you tired.
Take an Active Break
If your office hasn’t jumped on the standing desk bandwagon yet, you might not be moving as often as you should. Just as the screen can inhibit your sleep, it can also inhibit your creativity. Get up from your desk and refill a water bottle, do a lap around the building, or do some deep breathing exercises to alleviate the tension that builds in an office.
With these quick tips, you can breeze past the afternoon slump and still have energy for a fun night out with friends, a post-office workout, or spending time with loved ones.