- Mark's Daily Apple - http://www.marksdailyapple.com -

Getting Over the Afternoon Slump

Posted By Mark Sisson On February 11, 2009 @ 11:24 am In Health,How To,Sleep | 30 Comments

Glazed over eyes. Slumped shoulders. A suddenly weighty cranium that keeps dipping toward the keyboard. Even heavier eyelids. Eyes that constantly sneak peeks at the clock, which seems to tick ever more slowly (the more you look). Work piling up without regard for your inability to acknowledge its presence.

My apologies for the string of sentence fragments, but my mind simply isn’t working quite right. I’m in the midst of ruminating on the dreaded mid afternoon slump. For my money, it’s the worst feeling in the world.

Don’t get me wrong: a mid afternoon slump can actually be quite natural [7]. Even if you’re getting plenty of sleep, eating Primally, and exercising enough, our natural circadian rhythms dictate that there will be some ebb in our energy levels. This natural slump is totally manageable – I’m talking a slight reduction in energy, some light yawning, perhaps even a desire to curl up underneath your desk. But when you’re having trouble keeping your eyes open, when you find yourself unable to focus on anything, or when you’ve essentially become a salaried zombie, something’s out of whack and it’s time to make a change.

The Basics

First, make sure you’re doing everything you can to supply your body with the energy it needs to function throughout the day. Following the Primal Blueprint [8] is designed to give you constant, steady energy (note, though, that making a switch to the PB from a traditionally high-carb diet can sap energy for the first week or two), so make sure you’re doing so:

If you’ve got those covered – which should take care of most energy issues on the Primal Blueprint – but you’re still languishing, have hope. There are tips, hacks, and tricks to get out of that slump.

Slump-Busting Tips and Tricks

As soon as the slump hits, stand up. Get moving. Go outside [13], soak up some sun [14], maybe even do a couple pushups or something. Just remove yourself from the stifling environment of the office. If only for five minutes, you’ll be refreshed and ready to go.

Slink off for a cat nap. A short, 20-minute nap has been shown to reduce stress and replenish vital energy. If you can’t find the time, reserve a chunk of your lunch break. After all, Grok would have done the same.

Grab a coffee or some tea. Caffeine [15], used intermittently and in moderation, is a good temporary pick me up. Plus, the antioxidants [16] in tea [17] can’t hurt. Just watch the sugar.

Keep lunch light. It’s well-known that a big high-carb lunch will lead to a crash later in the day, but even a suitably enormous Primal lunch can wear you out. Instead of rushing to finish everything in the hour, graze at your desk. It’s pretty hard to fall asleep when you’re munching on nuts and berries all day.

Take B vitamins for energy. These should be taken normally throughout the day [18], but taking them with a meal gives your body a better chance to metabolize them for energy.

Music. Or any aural stimulation [19], really. Have a conversation with a co-worker if you can’t turn on music.

Keep busy. I know the main problem is an inability to get stuff done [20], but if you force yourself to work, you could get into a groove and achieve that zen-like state of mind where time just flies.

Mental stimulation. Work, especially office life, can be deadening. And let’s face it – nobody spends every minute in the office actually working (hell, you might be reading this post from work!). Rather than twiddling your thumbs, fighting yawns, and fretting over the work you aren’t doing, try researching something new. Look up something on Wikipedia you’ve always wondered about, and then follow the infinite string of links. It may not be the most productive way to spend a work day, but at least you won’t be miserable, and you’ll probably learn something. You could also sneak a book in.

Impromptu feats of strength (like Festivus!). See how many push-ups you can do in a minute. Do fifty dips using the arms on your chair. Complete thirty burpees [21]. Just enough intense exercise to get your heart racing should do the trick.

For faithful adherents to the Primal Blueprint [8], midday energy shouldn’t be much of an issue, but it might crop up from time to time. These methods have served me well in the past, and I hope they work for our readers.

I’d be interested to hear back from you. Assuming you’re fairly good about the Primal Blueprint, eating low-glycemic index foods, getting plenty of exercise and sleep – have you had any issues with a mid afternoon slump? Let me know!

Further Reading:

10 Ways to Get an Extra Hour of Sleep [22]

Your Heart is Telling You to Sleep [23]

Sensible Vices – The Mid Day Nap [7]


Article printed from Mark's Daily Apple: http://www.marksdailyapple.com

URL to article: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/afternoon-slump/

URLs in this post:

[1] Start Here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/welcome-to-marks-daily-apple/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_start_here

[2] Primal Blueprint 101: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_pb_101

[3] free weekly newsletter: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/subscribe-to-blog/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_newsletter

[4] books: http://primalblueprint.com/categories/Store/Books-and-Media/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_books

[5] support options: http://primalblueprint.com/categories/Store/Services/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_services

[6] supplements: http://primalblueprint.com/categories/Store/Supplements/?utm_source=mda_wwsgd&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=mda_wwsgd_supplements

[7] mid afternoon slump can actually be quite natural: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/sensible-vices-round-2/

[8] Primal Blueprint: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-is-the-primal-blueprint/

[9] sugar, grains, and loads of carbs: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-carb-binge/

[10] only sleeping five hours a night: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/once-twice-three-times-less-likely-to-get-a-cold/

[11] exercise: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-are-tabata-sprints/

[12] healthy fats: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fats/

[13] Go outside: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/getting-back-to-nature/

[14] soak up some sun: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/vitamin-d-deficiency/

[15] Caffeine: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/coffee-tea-caffeine-talk/

[16] antioxidants: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/orac-value/

[17] tea: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/tea/

[18] taken normally throughout the day: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-to-primal-supplementation/

[19] aural stimulation: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/computer-stress-relief/

[20] get stuff done: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/simple-but-not-easy/

[21] burpees: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/prison-workout/

[22] 10 Ways to Get an Extra Hour of Sleep: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/extra-hour/

[23] Your Heart is Telling You to Sleep: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/link-between-sleep-heart-health/

Copyright © 2009 Mark's Daily Apple. All rights reserved.