The Afternoon Slump

To produce good work and to be productive, you will need energy. Low energy hinders your focus and cognitive abilities, inhibits empathy, patience and emotional resilience, and makes you feel less capable and confident.

Research has shown that we have two energy peaks each day, one in the morning and one in the late afternoon. Sandwiched between these two peaks is a period of low energy. This is our circadian rhythm and it plays a big role in our daily living. 

There are several things you can do to lessen the impact of the mid-day dip

  • Get enough sleep.
  • Exercise everyday
  • Eat well.  Get a balanced breakfast. Avoid heavy lunches and go easy on the processed foods.
  • Stay rehydrated.
  • Avoid too much coffee. While it can helpful, but being high on caffeine can mess-up with your sleep cycle.
  • Rest your eyes. For every 20 minutes looking at the screen or being engaged in tasks that requires focus, look away for 2 minutes.
  • Stand and move for five minutes every 60 minutes. We spend most of the day sitting, our body naturally stays in a conservative or energy-saving state, which will correspond with low energy, brain fog, and fatigue.
  • Do not procrastinate
  • Have a tidy workplace. The sight of clutter and junk can be mentally draining.

Studies suggest that between 50 and 80 per cent of fatigue cases are mainly due to psychological factors. Suggestions include:

  • Talk about it – There’s some evidence that talking therapies such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy might help to fight fatigue.. Whatever relaxes you will improve your energy.
  • Assess your lifestyle – for example, are you putting yourself under unnecessary stress? Are there ongoing problems in your life that may be causing prolonged anxiety or depression? It may help to seek professional counselling to work out family, career or personal issues.
  • Learn to do nothing – one of the drawbacks of modern life is the pressure to drive ourselves to bigger and better heights. Simply relax.
  • Have more fun – maybe you’re so preoccupied with commitments and pressures that you don’t give yourself enough time for fun. Laughter is one of the best energy boosters around.

It’s natural for your energy levels to rise and fall throughout the day. A severe dip, though, can throw off your entire day.