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How to Skip the 3pm Slump

How to Skip the 3pm Slump

If you are used to feeling tired and de-energized every day by three or four in the afternoon, you may think it is just part of your normal, and have come to expect it every day.

And as a result, you are armed and ready each afternoon with your coins for the office vending machine or a quick trip to the café next door, where they know the time you arrive and exactly what you order.

But here’s the thing: by the time you hit the slump, trying at that time to fix it is too late!

That ship has sailed.

Instead, instead, it’s about preventative tactics in the lead up to mid-afternoon that allow you to steer clear of slump town. 

Here’s how it is done:

 It Starts With Sleep

Preventing the afternoon energy crash actually starts the night before. Failure to get adequate sleep will leave you tired and drained for the entire following day. Early on in the day, you will be able to push through and muster up what you can from the little sleep you got. But come mid-afternoon, that sleep power is gone. Not only do you feel tired, but your concentration and mental focus decrease, you become more irritable, willpower goes out the window, and your ability to address, deal with and solve problems is drastically hindered. Start the night before with a sleep routine that sets you up for a good night’s sleep, and then a bedtime that allows you to follow through.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking adequate water can go a long way in making sure you remain energized and feeling good. Without enough water, many bodily systems start to become depleted and get tired as well.  This is felt through decreased concentration, physical sluggishness and lethargy, your muscles feeling achy or more fatigued, and even side effects like a headache. Remember that it is easier to prevent yourself from feeling this way by drinking lots of water, than it is to fix the problem once you get there.

Caffeine Has a Place

We’re not here to tell you that you have to cut out caffeine, but rather that you have to consume caffeine strategically. Relying on caffeine to get you out of a sump is only going to result in delaying the slump – you will have a boost in energy temporarily from the caffeine before it sends you crashing. Don’t front load all of your coffee first thing in the morning. Instead, pace your 2-3 cups (maximum) out throughout the day, as well as consuming regular, energy dense snacks, such as nuts, raw vegetables, hummus, or seaweed crackers. From there you can have sustained energy throughout the day and if you are looking for a hot afternoon beverage, try an alternative, such as tea.

You may have assumed the mid-afternoon slump was a given, and was just part of your daily routine. This doesn’t have to be the case though, when you apply some simple preventative strategies and tactics.

By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH

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