It’s 3:00 P.M., and you still have another hour or two to work. Your energy just took a dip. Immediately, your mind starts entertaining a trip to the vending machine in the office break room (or fridge if you work at home) for a starchy snack or sweet treat. In a flash, you have another idea…maybe you’ll pop across the street for a caffeinated beverage…
Perhaps you’ve experienced this scenario at some point. Or maybe you face this challenge every day.
The problem is that vending-machine snack or coffee drink can only provide a temporary fix. The sugar, refined carbohydrate or caffeine buzz will likely be followed by a crash in your energy levels after your blood sugar drops or the caffeine wears off, leaving you less focused and more tired than before.
Worse, if you eat a high sugar or refined carbohydrate snack, it can spike dopamine levels (the feel-good hormone), and likely cause a desire for you to repeat the same scenario the next day. The lift coffee offers can be seductive and habit-forming.
The good news is, there’s a better way to energize your afternoons. You can completely avoid the energy zap trap, and seek out real, sustained, vibrant energy that will last all afternoon!
Below are six tips, proven to naturally boost energy levels.
6 Ways to Naturally Energize Your Afternoons
- Get Adequate Sleep
The best way to address your afternoon slump is to first look for the reasons you’re always tired. What are you doing to ensure a good night’s sleep? If you’re like roughly 50-70 million Americans who fail to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, it’s time to improve your sleep.
Follow these tips:
- Stick to the same bedtime and wake time to normalize your internal body clock.
- Turn lights down and digital devices off a couple hours before bedtime.
- Don’t eat a big meal, drink alcohol, caffeine, or exercise too close to bedtime. They can all disrupt sleep.
- Journal or write down troublesome thoughts if worrying is keeping you up.
- Keep your room dark and cool. Use blackout curtains if needed.
- Listen to soothing music or sounds, or a guided meditation to help you fall sleep.
- Exercise regularly. If you exercise in the morning out in the sunlight, it helps with melatonin regulation and to promote sleep at night.
- Take A Walk
One of the best ways to energize your afternoons is to take a walk. Walking increases blood flow to your brain and body, which can energize you and improve brain function. One study found that sleep-deprived young women who did 10 minutes of stair walking were more energized than they were from having a moderate amount of caffeine.
- Drink Water or Herbal Tea
Tiredness, confusion, and lack of alertness are associated with dehydration. Being properly hydrated can help raise your alertness, focus, and energy levels. Simply drink a glass of refreshing water or try some relaxing herbal tea, which can reduce stress levels and help you focus better.
- Diaphragmatic Breathing
Deep breathing can increase focus, alertness, and energy flow, while giving you a mood boost, too! Conscious and deep breathing are also associated with reduced cortisol levels and greater relaxation. Try this simple diaphragmatic breathing exercise:
- Inhale for three seconds through your nose
- Hold for one second
- Exhale for six seconds (twice as long as inhale)
- Hold for one second
- Repeat 10 times
- Eat A Healthy Snack
Instead of a sugary treat, choose an energy-boosting snack that’s low in sugar, and includes healthy fats, protein, and complex carbohydrates. The protein provides balanced, sustained energy, while the healthy fat is great for satiety, and fiber-rich complex carbohydrates will help keep blood sugar levels balanced.
Good examples include juicy apple wedges and almond butter; a healthy smoothie with protein powder, nut butter, berries, and kale or spinach thrown in; some cut up veggies like bell pepper, carrots, or celery and hummus; or a handful of mixed nuts with a small amount of dried fruit. Pack healthy snacks ahead of time and enjoy!
- Energy-Boosting Nutrients
If you find yourself reaching for unhealthy snacks or caffeinated beverages in the afternoon, you can benefit from Focus & Energy, which delivers focus-enhancing ingredients without the jitters or energy crash you can get from caffeine.
The formula’s synergistic blend of clinically proven ingredients work through several pathways to support sustained energy and mental focus while dealing with stress.
The blend includes a potent dose of decaffeinated green tea extract that helps to increase blood flow to the brain, while choline, a vitamin-like nutrient, supports brain cells in the production of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter for mental focus and learning.
The formula also includes powerful adaptogens: rhodiola, ashwagandha, and ginseng.
Rhodiola acts swiftly and has been shown to combat fatigue, support a positive outlook, and improve physical and mental performance. It has unique properties that help to increase available energy during the day, while supporting restful sleep at night.
Ashwagandha, used in Ayurvedic medicine, helps to promote calm and mental focus, and has been associated with improved memory and attention. Ginseng helps to improve focus, memory, and overall well-being.
Dump the Afternoon Slump
While these tips can help energize your afternoons, it’s important to maintain a brain healthy diet and regular exercise routine to ensure vibrant energy throughout the day. If you’re constantly fatigued, be sure to consult your healthcare physician.
At BrainMD, we’re dedicated to providing the highest purity nutrients to improve your physical health and overall well-being. For more information about our full list of brain healthy supplements, please visit us at BrainMD.
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