Don’t fear. You are perfectly normal. That tired, mid or late-afternoon feeling is your body’s response to its natural circadian rhythm — your internal clock that tells you when it’s time to wake up and go to bed — and the changes in blood-sugar levels that are largely dependent on what you eat.
Luckily, there are ways to fight the urge to curl up in your cubicle:
Eat HealthyAs if there weren’t enough reasons to watch what you eat, a healthy diet will help you stay focused throughout the day.
Many times, people will start to feel drowsy and rush to the vending machine for a candy bar or to the cafeteria to grab a piece of pizza or French fries. Rather than racing to sugary treats or fat-heavy foods that may provide a short high followed by a sugar crash, try eating a balanced lunch that includes protein and carbohydrates. The protein helps keep your blood sugar and energy at a good level, while the carbohydrates will keep you feeling full.
It’s also important you don’t skip the most important meal of the day. Yes, you know which one we’re talking about: breakfast. You’ve heard the old saying, eat breakfast like a king (or queen), lunch like a prince (or princess) and dinner like a pauper. Well, that’s because a nutritionally dense and filling breakfast will help sustain you during the times when your mental skills are in highest demand.
|Paula S. Barry, MD|
Also try to watch your alcohol or caffeine consumption throughout the week. If you simply can’t miss that office happy hour, limit yourself to a drink or two so that you don’t become fatigued later in the week.
Keep ActiveOne of the best ways to escape the tiredness is to hit the gym or go for a run on your lunch break. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have the time during work hours. If you’re unable to get away, there are things you can do in the office to boost productivity.
If you’re short on time and have just a few minutes between meetings, try some desk stretches to keep your muscles loose or consider a walking meeting. Not only will this provide a quick jolt of energy and inspire new ideas but it can also increase circulation to the brain and allow you to re-focus.
Pushing through the afternoon slump can be tough, but there are things you can do throughout the day to reach the finish line. Remember, there is no break from a healthy lifestyle.
“Always keep in mind that if you have severe or more prolonged symptoms, you should always check with your doctor to be sure you do not have diabetes or some other underlying medical condition,” suggests Dr. Barry.
Interested in other tips for office workouts? Check out Get Fit While at Work.