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10 Ways to Get Through the Midday Slump

Gabby Ryman, Contributing Writer

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Typically people decide to reach for coffee or take a nap to get through the day, especially when they reach that dreaded midday slump. However, there are actually other ways to beat the sleepy, sluggish feeling you get after lunch—and they don’t always include coffee!

1. Get a good night’s sleep

During our busy schedule’s, it may be difficult to get a full nights rest. There many be deadlines that have to be met and stresses that occur, but it is very important to sleep eight hours a night. Dr. Michael Smolensky told Oprah.com, “The combination of the body clock’s biological tendency and cheating on sleep causes an increased loss of alertness in the afternoon.”

2. Get hydrated

Staying hydrated throughout the day may be a very easy necessity to forget. Alex Caspero told Women’s Health, “Even slight dehydration can zap energy levels, especially in the cold winter months where water sounds like the least refreshing beverage”. Instead of reaching for coffee, enjoy caffeine free tea or warm lemon water.

3. Load up on satisfying snacks

If a person is feeling tired, their choice of snacks may be a reason behind the lack of energy. Candy bars and chips do not have the nutritious value a person needs to satisfy hunger. The body wants protein. So, instead of the processed and sugary options, try to have dried fruit and almonds, or apple slices and peanut butter. Having dark chocolate is a great way to satisfy the sugar cravings.

4. Go for a walk

Whether the walk is five, ten, or even thirty minutes, there will be an increase in concentration. Exercising, no matter the level of intensity, is energizing.

5. Sniff citric fruits

Studies conducted by Ohio State University, found that when exposed to the smell of lemon, there can be an increase in mood detected. Peeling and eating a fresh orange can also reduce stress that may be affecting a person midday.

6. Stretch

Working in a seated position most of the day can decrease productivity and concentration on tasks. Certified strength and conditioning specialist and nutritionist, Kirsten McCormick, told Women’s Health, “Taking frequent stretch breaks will increase blood and nutrient circulation, which helps give you a quick boost of energy.”

7. Stop the sugar-caffeine roller coaster

Sugar and caffeine may seem like the way to receive midday energy, but these options will lead to a crash. Oz Garcia, author of The Balance: Your Personal Prescription for Supermetabolism, Renewed Vitality, Maximum Health, Instant Rejuvenation, tells Oprah.com, “We have to learn to value our steady-state energy and productivity above the impulse to drink coffee or eat a Snickers bar”. If a person still feels exhausted midday, and is currently hooked on sugar and caffeine, it is recommended to takes steps towards getting off the caffeine/sugar kick.

8. Go outside

Taking twenty minutes to go outside can prove to be very beneficial for increasing concentration throughout the day. Not only is going outside a simple change of scenery, but soaking up vitamin D from the sun will increase a persons mood.

9. Eat healthy, sustaining meals

Throughout our lives we are told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While this is true, choosing healthy options is also important. For breakfast, choose to make eggs and toast, or oatmeal with fresh fruit. Reaching for cereal will leave a person unsatisfied and hungry mid morning.

It is just as important to make nutritious decisions during lunch. Alex Caspero told Women’s Health, “As the most satiating macronutrient, adding enough protein to meals will keep you satisfied for a few hours post eating. Balancing carbs and proteins also prevents energy crashes later.”

10. Take deep breaths

It is rarely a bad idea to just step away for a few moments to clear the mind. Taking time to relax and breath is important for mental and physical well-being, and can also make a huge difference when feeling sluggish. “Deep yogic breathing increases circulation, gets blood flowing and with a few rounds every so often, will help boost energy all day long, reduce stress, and bring a sense of calm to the whole body,” McCormick told Women’s Health.

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10 Ways to Get Through the Midday Slump