Sometimes your energy starts to dip mid-afternoon–it can affect your ability to concentrate, to be productive, to be motivated to do much.
For many people an automatic choice is sugary pick-me-up to boost blood sugar; others may reach for coffee. Both of these have their own consequences. The sugary snack can easily become a habit, and a daily sugar habit over the long-term leads to blood sugar imbalances, weight gain, and possibly diabetes. Coffee can tax the adrenal glands, forcing them to produce adrenaline, which leads to cortisol secretion; as this goes on, belly fat is accumulated because of the cortisol and the adrenals become over-stressed to reach adrenal fatigue.
Neither of these is a good solution.
Alternatively, some people may choose to do nothing–staring blankly at the computer screen, hoping they’ll be able to power through the low point. But meanwhile, their productivity and ability to get much done suffers.
What if there was a better way? A way to restore your energy–in the moment–without stimulants or sugar…
Check out these 9 ways to increase energy mid-afternoon:
Go for a walk
Or do jumping jacks. Do anything that gets the blood flowing and maybe the heart rate up a bit. Just improving blood circulation can have profound effects on concentration and alertness.
Take a power nap
If you’re not totally sleep deprived, but yet very sleepy, 5-10 minutes, or dozing off for just a few moments, is enough to re-energize you and keep you awake for the rest of the day. Don’t sleep too long, though, as that can make you more lethargic.
Tea is different than coffee for a number of reasons, including how the caffeine in tea is paired with L-Theanine, which is not true of coffee. Belight Tea is an especially good choice as it has even less caffeine that regular tea (so it won’t shock the adrenals), but supports energy through the synergistic combination of the other herbs (essential fatty acids, blood sugar stabilization, etc).
Stand up and do some stretching. Specifically, seek to arch your back and extend your arms overhead. In yoga, back bends are considered energizing–its the same reason you arch your back to stretch and wake up in the morning.
Take 5-10 rapid breaths, particularly focusing on a forceful exhale. Your co workers may think you’re strange, but if it works, it works! You can also do this paired with stretching: take a deep inhale as you arch your back, then quickly exhale as you crunch forward.
Find someone to chat with
Call or walk over to a friend or co-worker who energizes you. Strike up a conversation and let their energy create enthusiasm in you. This can help motivate you to keep you going through the afternoon.
Getting outside where you can feel the sunshine on your skin can help remind your body that it’s still daytime; it also shakes off all the stale indoor energy. Smell the flowers while you’re out there, too, as deep breathing improves blood circulation.
Water is essential to countless processes in the brain and body. If you don’t have enough water, everything including the firing of brain synapses will go slower, making you feel sluggish and foggy-brained. Make sure you’re getting enough water.
Listen to music
Some music soothes, while other energizes. Now is the time to choose the music that energizes you, that gets you excited and perhaps up and dancing around the room. Let the music refresh you and restore your energy.
Start with these idea for restoring your energy during the mid-afternoon time.
And check out my book on Amazon Your Mid-Afternoon Energy Crash, and What You Can Do About It. You can also download my checklist for a handy guide to maintaining solid energy: