Just how do you get over that afternoon slump? Here’s what to do instead of taking a nap to boost your energy levels and stay productive.
Do You Need An Energy Boost?
Some people call it the afternoon slump. I like to call it “the wall”. Whatever you call it we’ve all been there. You get up for work bright and early, you are having are being super productive, and then it hits you.
You are so tired you can’t possibly do another thing. You can’t keep you eyes open and you have no idea how you will get through the rest of the day.
You desperately need to boost your energy, and fast.
For me, it usually happens around 3pm. I’m working away and then suddenly all I can think of are pillows and fluffy blankets. I then spend the next few hours yawning and getting very little done.
So Why Do Our Energy Levels Drop?
Well a lot of it comes down to our natural sleep cycle. When we get up for work early, our bodies our naturally ready for a rest by 3pm. Our body temperature will drop slightly which tells the brain release the chemical melatonin which tells us it’s time to sleep. Of course for most of us this just isn’t possible.
Even when I’m working at home, I try to avoid taking a nap. Now don’t get me wrong, naps aren’t your enemy. They may do you a lot of good. I’ve given in to them many times but I usually wake up feeling groggy, irritable and not really any better off.
I’m going to remain impartial though and will present the facts so you can decide if a nap is the best thing for you.
The Pros And Cons Of Taking A Nap
- Blood pressure can be reduced in older adults.
- Naps can restore your alertness.
- They can make you feel much more relaxed.
- Napping can give you an energy boost.
- A nap can interfere with your quality of sleep at night.
- Napping can lead to grogginess.
- Taking a nap has been linked to diabetes.
- A nap may increase the risk of heart failure in those already at risk.
- You may awake feeling disoriented.
I bet you are wondering what to do instead of taking a nap. If a nap is completely out of the question then here are some ideas to help you get over that wall.
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What to Do Instead Of Taking A Nap
Take A Shower
A cool shower will get your heart pumping and leave you feeling energised and invigorated. As an added bonus a cool shower will improve circulation, give you shiny hair, and increase metabolic rate which is great for the immune system.
Go For A Walk
Walking increases blow flood to your brain and muscles which will increase your energy levels. Walking in the fresh air will clear your mind and help you to focus. It can also reduce mental stress if you are having one of those days!
Use Essential Oils
Using essential oils can help you to feel more energetic and productive.
Some of the best oils are:
One of the best way to use essential oils for energy is to make a blend for a room spray.
Drink Some Water
When you are dehydrated, you feel drained, and physically and mentally exhausted. Make sure you drink enough to keep you well hydrated and keep some chilled bottles of water close by. Especially in the afternoon.
Listen to Some Upbeat Music
Listening to happy music can increase your energy. The beat of the song will stimulate your brain leaving you much more alert. You get bonus points if you sing along. The breath control required gives you extra oxygen which increases your energy.
Try A 10 Minute Meditation
Now that sounds a bit wrong doesn’t it? When I started using mindfulness to help my anxiety I quickly learned that meditation clears the mind of the stress that causes mental exhaustion. Staying in a peaceful state for 10 to 20 minutes will store up the mental energy you will need to get through the rest of the day leaving you feeling refreshed. Try a guided meditation like this one
Have An Energy Boosting Snack
As tempting as it is, this isn’t where you stuff yourself full of sugar and caffeine, it sounds lovely but it’s not giving you the right kind of energy. You will feel energised in a sudden rush of sugary goodness, but it won’t last. In a short amount of time, you will crash, hard. And it’s not pretty.
Luckily there are many healthy foods to snack on that give you the right kind of energy.
- Peanut butter
- Lemon water
Do A 30 Minute Workout
This is one for your lunch hour. You don’t actually have to go rushing off to the gym. You could go for a short run, a bike ride, or a swim. Any exercise that gets your heart pumping and the blood flowing and releases endorphins will raise your energy levels. 30 minutes of exercise each day will make your heart stronger and increase your stamina.
Get Some Sunlight
Spending just 15 minutes in the sun will boost your seratonin levels. Seratonin is your happy hormone and as well as cheering you up it will also leave you feeling more energised. The sun also allows us to produce optimum levels of melatonin which regulates our sleep and wakefulness.
Massage Your Pressure Points
Research shows that applying pressure to certain parts of the body can reduce fatigue. Try gently massaging these 5 pressure points with your thumb. Massage for 3 minutes in both directions.
- The sole of the foot, a third away from your toes
- The fleshy bit between your thumb and index finger
- The outside of your leg bone, 3 inches down from your kneecap
- The top, center of your head
Hang Out With Upbeat Friends
Spending time with energetic people will help to uplift you and revitalise your mind. Energy and enthusiasm can be infectious, so if you spend time in an uplifting atmosphere the energy will soon rub off on you.
Do Some Yoga
Doing yoga poses will reduce fatigue by increasing your levels of the hormone cortisol. The breathing involved in yoga (pranayama) will boost your energy and reduce stress. These yoga poses will give you an energy boost.
- Tree Pose
- Corpse Pose
- Downward Dog
- Bow Pose
- Wheel Pose
- Shoulder Stand
Now I feel like I’ve let you down a bit here on the info but yoga is the one thing I haven’t tried yet in my self care quest. To make up for it this article will give you all the information you need.
Try Some Green Tea
Regularly drinking green tea can reduce fatigue. This is mainly because of the caffeine but there is a lot less than you will find in coffee, roughly only a quarter of the amount. Green tea will give you a much more gentle caffeine buzz, no jitters! You may also find that your focus is improved.
Organise Your Work space
Who would have there are health benefits in decluttering your desk! Taking the time to get things in order will boost your energy and enable you to work much more productively for the rest of the day.
Working in a clean and organised environment can also make you feel happier and reduce stress.
Do you have any energy boosting tricks to get you over that wall? Let me know in the comments.
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What to do instead of taking a nap