Avoid the afternoon slump


Far from being an urban myth, the 3pm slump is alive and kicking and something many people experience everyday.

You leave the house full of energy, get through your to do list by lunch but come mid-afternoon lethargy kicks in and you start to count the hours until bedtime.

The ‘afternoon slump’ has tradiontally been connected with big meals, as often seen in the TV hit, the Royale Family, but you can’t just blame food. Bad habits, lack of sleep, too little exercise and the wrong diet can all add to that feeling of mid-afternoon tiredness.

Whilst there isn’t a magic wand to kick the blues out of the way, there are easy lifestyle changes you can make to keep afternoon fatigue away and put the spring back in your step.

What you eat for breakfast will have an impact on how you feel for the rest of the day. A pastry and cappuccino from the station might be quick and easy, but it won’t do you, or your wallet, any favours in the long run. Toast with peanut butter, a vitamin packed smoothie or a wholemeal muffin with a scrambled egg and avocado will give you the fuel you need for the day ahead.

At lunchtime, enjoy a balanced meal and get up and go for a walk and get some fresh air. Both are often lost due to busy schedules but they can make the world of difference. Healthy lunch choices include brown rice, whole-grain bread or a baked sweet potato with lean proteins such as turkey breast, fish, chicken, tofu or cottage cheese. These filling combinations will top up your energy levels and stop your blood sugar dropping.

Sweet snacks packed with sugar are often used as a pick me up, but this is where people go wrong. Yes, have them as a treat from time to time, but they will actually contribute to a dip in blood sugar levels and leave you feeling sluggish. Stay away from vending machines and fizzy drinks and opt for a handful of unsalted nuts, carrot sticks with hummus, plain popcorn or rice cakes and almond butter.

Caffeine is another well used energy booster, but again, the initial buzz can lead to headaches and poor sleep. You don’t have to avoid tea and coffee altogether but aim to limit your caffeine consumption to no more than 400 milligrams a day; a regular cup of coffee contains 90 to 120mg. Not only can this help prevent afternoon dips but can also help you feel calmer and aid better sleep.

If you want to ensure optimum brain and body power, drinking at least eight glasses of water a day will help keep you hydrated and awake. Keep a bottle of mineral water with you when you are out and about and add lemon and cucumber to iced water at home to liven up the taste and add a little extra zing.

We all tend to be creatures of habit but making small, active changes to your routine can keep you feel more alert. Cycle to work, go to a dance class at lunchtime, take the stairs rather than the lift and walk across the office to talk to colleagues rather than sending an email.

If you work in at a desk, it is really important to pay attention to your posture and how you are sitting. Sitting up straight, having your computer screen at the right level, placing your feet flat on the floor and taking small breaks to walk and stretch, can all make difference to how you feel and how tired you are. Give it a go, we bet it makes a difference.

Keep a diary of the changes you make and how you feel and we are sure that in a week or two, you will be feeling happier and more energised all day long.

Team Pure Beauty

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