How To Annihilate The Afternoon Slump
"I'm always tired after lunch at work"
"At 2pm I hit a wall and I can never get over that fatigue"
"Once the afternoon slump kicks in I can never get anything done!"
It did for me.
When I was bulking a couple of years ago I found regardless of how well-rested I felt and how high the quality of sleep I had the night before was I'd still run into that afternoon slump every damn day.
I'd be getting things done and marking daily tasks off my to-do list when the slump would hit.
Both energy and motivation would vanquish come mid-afternoon...
Fatigue is a killer.
A killer of champions, a killer of great minds, a killer of opportunity and a killer of confidence.
We’re all willing to commit to the tasks on our to-do list when we’re feeling energized and fresh in the morning, but as the day goes on and as we begin to feel that slight bit of fatigue kicking in things tend to take a dive. We no longer have that iron willpower, we’re not looking concerned about conquering those goals or reaching that proverbial finish-line.
We just want comfort.
You must not let fatigue take control of your thoughts and your decisions.
“I had a long day at work, I’m tired… I’ll hit the gym tomorrow.”
“I said I’d write 2,000 words today but I’ve hit 1,200 and I’m exhausted… I’ll make up for it tomorrow…“
Fast forward to tomorrow. It’s a repeat of the exact same feelings and the exact same excuses.
Doing The Same Things Will Net You The Same Results...
The definition of insanity is repeating the same action time and time again while expecting a different outcome.
If you want different results, if you want to annihilate the afternoon slump you must make a few changes throughout your day.
Below are 3 easy actionable steps I followed to crush the afternoon slump, allowing me to remain motivated and continue to remain productive and energetic throughout the entire day - not just the first few hours of the morning.
1. Eat A High Protein/Low Carb Lunch
The #1 cause of the afternoon slump (and many cases of fatigue in general) is a big lunch.
Pasta, rice, oats, fried foods...
Regardless of whether you're preparing your own chicken, brown rice and broccoli for lunch or you're heading out of the office for half a dozen chicken teriyaki sushi rolls you're heading for the same slump.
A big meal, especially when loaded with carbohydrates will sap your energy.
Your body uses its energy to begin the digestion process leaving you sluggish and low on energy.
I'm not saying you have to fast through the entire day, not at all.
I personally fast until lunch time and then have a high protein/low carb meal.
At the moment that's 10 ounces of salmon marinated in chilli and lime with 2 big handfuls of baby spinach.
No rice, no potatoes, no oats.
Nothing that places too much stress on the body in the way of digestion.
2. Chew Sugar-Free Peppermint Gum
The quickest and easiest of the 3 techniques mentioned here.. simply chew gum throughout the day!
Sound too good to be true?
There have been a number of studies on the benefits of chewing gum over the years, one of which suggests that both performance and overall alertness are increased by chewing gum.
We're not even talking about caffeinated gum, just plain old sugar free gum.
Here's the study by Cardiff University.
"Chewing gum increased alertness at the end of the test session in both parts of the study. This effect was in the region of a 10% increase and was highly significant"
Another study found that “Chewing gum will help you to stay more alert and focused, especially during monotonous tasks."
Not only can chewing gum help you get through your afternoon slump, it can improve your workout too.
3. Do Some Stretching/Foam Rolling/Tennis Ball Self-Massage
When your muscles are tight and tense be it from a hard workout earlier in the day or perhaps just being slumped in your office chair all morning you'll find your tank of energy begins to deplete.
There's an easy fix for this.
Grab your foam roller or even a tennis ball and spend 10 minutes doing a bit of trigger point therapy.
Not only will this improve your mobility and decrease your risk of injury, you'll also find the blood and nutrients being pumped around your body while doing so will give you a boost of energy.
Tight muscles and a lack of blood flow = fatigue.
Relaxed, loose muscles = energy.