A lawyer-to-be friend of mine who is studying for the bar asked me today for tips to help her avoid the afternoon slump. I thought this was an excellent question, so I decided to blog about it. Here are 4 foolproof tricks to help you avoid the afternoon slump:
- Eat a light lunch: When you eat a meal, blood is directed to your stomach to help it digest the food. The more calories in the meal, the more blood that will be sent to your stomach. The more blood sent to your stomach, the less leftover for your brain. So, by keeping your lunch light, you will help save some blood to keep your brain neurons firing. Some excellent light lunches include:
- A large salad with the dressing on the side (see my article on Salad Makeovers for more salad tips.)
- One of my Grilled Vegetable Mini Pizzas
- A small turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with lots of veggies + veggie sticks + a piece of fruit
- A large bowl of minestrone soup + a piece of fruit
- Leftovers from your healthy dinner last night
- Any of these 25 Healthy Meals in 20 Minutes or Less
- Eat 1-2 healthy snacks: If you’re going to eat a light lunch, you will still need some energy to help fuel your brain throughout the day. So, pre-plan 1-2 healthy “power” snacks. A power snack is about 200 calories and combines fiber and protein. Some ideas include:
- An apple + 1 ounce walnuts
- Baby carrots, celery sticks + 1 Tablespoon lowfat ranch dip
- 6 whole-grain crackers + 2 Tablespoons hummus
- 1 orange + 1 cup lowfat yogurt
- Take a physical activity break: This may just be the most important tip to keep that afternoon slump at bay. When you feel your eyes glazing over and a yawn coming on, its time to take a physical activity break. 10 minutes is all you need to get the blood pumping and send it back to your brain. Great physical activity breaks include:
- Going for a walk outside
- Arm circles, marching in place and jumping jacks
- Light stretching or yoga
- Get enough sleep at night: None of these tips will keep you from dozing off if you’re sleep deprived. Aim for 8 hours of restful sleep each night. The good news is that eating healthfully and taking physical activity breaks will actually help you to sleep better.
With these 4 tips combined, you will be sure to be Zzzz-Free in the afternoon!
Great tips, will go for a quick walk outside the office if I start yawning this afternoon then!
These are some great tips. I love the healthy snack tips. Often times we know we should eat a healthy snack, but can’t come up with “what” that is…so then we settle for the options in the nearest vending machine. By simply packing up these items for the week, they’ll be just as easy to “vend.”