When 3 oclock rolls around, its natural for your energy levels to nosedive. Thats because as you finish digesting lunch, your elevated blood glucose levels begin to fall and youll hit a regular lag in your circadian rhythm. The result? You might feel sleepy and sluggish, even stifling a yawn.
While the post-lunch energy slump is natural, its not inevitable. There are easy ways to minimize the slump and get more pep in your step. Here are five ways to energize your afternoon.
1. Stretch your legs Its hard to muster the motivation to go for a stroll when youre already feeling sleepy, so aim to lace up your sneakers as soon as your meal is over. Physical activity, like a stroll around the block, can increase your bodys oxygen and naturally up your energy. That means youll sail into the afternoon feeling more upbeat and ready to tackle the rest of the day. If you dont have time for a walk, sneak in even a few minutes of light activity, such as skipping the elevator in favor of the stairs or doing a few yoga poses.
2. Watch a cat video Could Grumpy Cat get you through a sluggish afternoon? Probably. A recent study at the Indiana University Media School found that watching cat videos, like Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat, can boost peoples energy levels. Even better, watching silly cat videos left participants with more positive emotions and drained away their negative feelings. So go ahead, waste a few minutes watching funny feline clips on the web.
3. Have a cup of decaf A mug of joe is many peoples go-to energy boost, but loading up on caffeine in the afternoon can interrupt your ability to fall asleep at night. Most people need three to seven hours for the effects of caffeine to totally wear away, researchers have found. And a poor nights sleep tonight means youre more likely to feel sluggish and tired all day tomorrow. So swap your afternoon coffee for a cup of decaf instead. Having a hot beverage may perk you up, without keeping you awake at night.
4. Wear a bit of red Anyone whos felt their mood lift under a blue sky can tell you that color can have an impact on how we feel. Color experts say that red and violet are two hues that are most likely to leave you feeling revitalized, as they cause your body to produce more adrenaline, according to Health magazine. So the next time you need to fight off fatigue, reach for a violet scarf or a vibrant shade of red lipstick. The upbeat shades will leave you feeling upbeat and energized.
5. Turn on the tunes It doesnt matter when youre a fan of jazz or rock and roll. Listening to any up-tempo music can make you feel more energized. Want to increase your energy levels even more? Researchers at Sam Houston State University found that rhythm tapping, such as strumming your fingers or tapping your toes along to the beat, increased how awake and alert people felt even more.