We’ve all experienced it at one time or another. Mornings are fine — you’re productive and energetic — but then two or three o’clock rolls around and suddenly an overwhelming sense of fatigue settles in, rendering you drowsy or lethargic for the next hour or so. There are multiple theories about why it happens; stress, simply being sedentary, discomfort, or even boredom to name a few. But if you don’t live in a culture that encourages a bit of an afternoon siesta, what can you do to alleviate or perhaps even prevent it?
First, if fatigue isn’t an uncommon feeling for you, see your doctor to rule out any potential medical causes. Once you’ve been assured that all is okay, consider a few easy tips to lessen the incidence of afternoon tiredness, or perhaps even eliminate it.
Don’t sit still. We emphasize that a lot on this blog but even though office seating is one of our passions, we encourage you to take frequent breaks from your office chair despite it being so comfortable that you might not want to! There’s an old adage that suggests that the less energy you expend, the less you’ll have but research shows that there really is truth to that. Stand up and walk around your office with frequency.
Open a window! Fresh air can potentially elevate your energy levels and your mood. Better yet, try to schedule a short walk outdoors after lunch each day. Recent studies have shown that standing for as little as a minute can reverse chemical changes that happen when one is seated.
Bring in a healthy snack and save it as a mid-afternoon treat. Fruit, trail mix, or even cut vegetables are all good choices. Another alternative is to chew gum. Many people race for the coffee pot but beware that caffeine can actually have the opposite effect for some people, causing a sedating effect rather than a stimulating one.
Try to schedule more challenging tasks for the morning hours. Some research indicates that stress might be one of the causes of fatigue and accomplishing those projects earlier in the day might have less impact on energy levels.
Pay attention to the amount and quality of sleep you’re getting each night. Try getting into a routine that works best for you and stick to it. A well-rested person is usually more equipped to handle whatever the day brings!
Here’s to an energetic day – the entire day – for all of us!