Turn the midday slump into a time of power and productivity.
Most people feel droopy after lunch, and there are many theories on why this is. Sleep doctors will say it’s a natural body rhythm. Nutrition experts might blame the digestive process. Some productivity experts will shrug their shoulders and say, hey, maybe it’s just not realistic to be productive for eight or nine hours straight. But whatever the reason, there is a dead zone for many of us in the midday that is just begging for an energy makeover. For this week’s Healthy Habit, here are five ways to turn the middle of the day into a power zone.
To feel like a superhero… Play the game of threes. Do three things you absolutely do not want to do. This sounds counterintuitive but works surprisingly well. Challenge yourself to bang out three tasks you’re not excited about. For example, paying a bill; replying to that email you’ve been putting off to Aunt Shirley; booking a hotel for the bat mitzvah. Set a time limit and see if you can do them within it. You might be surprised how fast tasks to feel like “points” and “scores.”
To be nice to your adrenal glands… Reach for a turmeric latte, matcha green tea or tulsi tea instead of a second cup of coffee. Coffee in moderation is fine but it causes the adrenal glands to release adrenalin, which over time actually becomes a stressor on the body.
To make better decisions… Take a nap. According to research recently published in The Journal of Sleep Research, a short bout of sleep boosts cognitive function because it helps us process information we were not even consciously aware of before. Naps have already been proven to help with recall, but this was the first study to suggest that subconscious information is being incorporated into our mental state while we are resting and will add to our ability to make a good decision.
To refocus on your goals… Midday is the perfect time to revisit the to-do list. What’s gotten accomplished? What needs to be reprioritized? What should be chunked into smaller pieces? If you didn’t write a to-do list at all this morning, that is okay; now’s a good time to write down three doable goals for the rest of the day.
To rejuvenate energy… Try peppermint oil in a diffuser. Peppermint oil is a natural pick-me-up. A study done at Wheeling Jesuit University involved peppermint flavored mouth guards on its rugby players and found that compared to standard mouth guards, the players reported feeling more energized, more psyched up and had greater performance during practice and games.
You probably don’t need an actual mouthguard for your afternoon activities, but hopefully these tips will have you feeling ready to tackle the rest of the day.