You're easily distracted, your avoiding afternoon tasks, your snacking constantly and your patience is wearing thin.  Sound like you?  Chances are you're experiencing an afternoon slump.   However, like many of us, taking the rest of the day off, just isn’t happening.  So, we put together a list of exhaustion buster remedies that are sure to give you more late day strength.

1. Fight the late day drain with the first meal of the day.  Instead of a soda or coffee "breakfast", add a light, high protein, low sugar meal like one egg on a piece of wheat toast or a high protein Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of toasted almonds and honey.   On the go?  Try a smoothie with fresh berries, peaches, bananas, honey, ice and almond milk. Yum!

2. Avoid too much caffeine.  While you may enjoy some caffeine as a good wake me up, over indulgence leads to a significant slump throughout the day.  Also, it's likely you could develop a dependence on caffeine to keep you alert when you fail to get the rest, sleep and nutrition that support real energy.  

3. Getting enough sleep may seem obvious, but this tip is about the quality and duration of sleep.   It's important to complete all sleep cycles to feel refreshed.  If you have interrupted sleep or don't get enough sleep, you will not complete these cycles.  In order to do that you should practice good sleep hygiene (factors that affect the quality of sleep) to include quietness, room darkness and no disturbances like televisions.  If you fail to sleep long enough or you have something in your sleeping environment that disrupts you the completion of all necessary cycles you will lose energy throughout the day despite feeling somewhat rested in the morning hours. 

4. Avoid unhealthy habits that include nicotine and binge drinking.  These bad habits in excess not only steal your energy but can lead to other unhealthy behaviors. 

5. Avoid stressors that steal your emotional energy.  This includes people who unload their problems on you, gossip too much or badger and argue.  High stress and emotions drain energy.

6. Routine exercise is important, but evening exercise doesn't extinguish the risks and energy zappers of long periods of sitting during the day.  Try to get up and stretch your legs every hour.  Another great afternoon pick-me up includes a brisk 5-10 minute walk.  This healthy habit not only keeps you alert but reduces your chances for a deadly embolism that can cause a stroke or heart attack.

7. Avoid sugary snacks and energy drinks.  While you may initially feel better, each of these can cause the afternoon crash following a spike in blood sugar.  Opt. for a high protein, low carb, low sugar snack.   Dehydration can cause an increased heart rate, body depression and fatigue.  Caffeinated drinks act as a diuretic and can actually make your dehydration worse.  Drink an 8 oz. bottle of water when you feel like your heart is racing unnecessarily or you're feeling sluggish.

8. Conversation with a friend or co-worker on subject matters that are interesting to you can be a great natural stimulant.  Remember to talk as much as you listen to get the most from your conversation.  So chat, debate and keep the conversation interesting!

9. Watch out for herbal supplements, diet pills and "all natural" juices, drinks and snacks.  While some may help, some may be more about good marketing than natural goodness.  

10. Change your routine in the afternoon to include more social interaction, walking, standing and overall physical activity.  This simple modification to your schedule, appointment setting and activity can increase your mental and physical energy level!

You can’t get a car to operate with fuel substitutes. So don’t expect your body to function properly without a balanced diet, 7-8 uninterrupted hours of sleep, routine exercise, healthy lifestyle and numerous stress relievers to help you fight the late day crash! ∞


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