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10 Tips to re-energize your afternoons

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Beat the afternoon slump

You're a busy lady with work deadlines to meet, kids to shuttle from school to sports, meals to get on the table, and a daily appointment with a personal trainer (if only in your dreams!). You can't spare a moment of fatigue. So how do you revive your brain and body when the afternoon slump starts to threaten? You power through with these 10 tips to help you boost your energy.

Woman singing in ktichen

1. Breathe deep

Shallow breathing can get you through the day, but when the midday nods strike, that shallow breathing is likely to lull you into a nap. Deep breathing, on the other hand, will boost your energy by reinvigorating your brain and body with lots of fresh oxygen that keep you focused and energized.

2. Turn up the tunes

Forget the soundscapes playlist, when tiredness starts to take over you need a fast pumping beat to elevate your elan. Even better, pick lively songs you know the words to, and start singing. The fast rhythm will liven you up, but singing along will boost more oxygen into your brain.

3. Take a walk

When you start feeling like you're going to drop, get up and go for a walk. A 15-minute walk will help you get over the afternoon slump and keep you going for the rest of the day. If you can swing it, trade in the walk with a vigorous workout at the gym. The exercise and stimulation will up your energy even more.

4. Nibble wisely

That afternoon yawn could be a sign you need a nibble. A light snack, such as a small PB&J, a handful of nuts and dried fruit, or a protein shake, can go a long way in boosting your energy by lifting falling blood sugar levels and warding off afternoon fatigue.

5. Hydrate and hydrate some more

While guzzling 64 ounces of water in a day can seem bland and arduous, staying well hydrated can help you avoid being drowsy. Liven up your liquid intake with flavored waters, herbal tea, or a simple twist of lemon. Always keep a refillable bottle on hand and start sipping when the afternoon slump sets in.

6. Catch a cat nap

If you can budget a 10- to 15-minute break from your afternoon activity, put your head down and take a power nap. A short bout of sleep will leave you feeling bright-eyed and ready to face the rest of the day. Just be sure to set your alarm so you don't end up sleeping through a meeting or falling into a deep sleep that is likely to leave you feeling groggy and sap your energy even more.

7. Laugh

Laughter is good medicine for whatever ails you, including afternoon fatigue. In addition to being good for your mental health, immune system, and ab muscles, a hearty laugh will fuel your brain and body with endorphins and fresh oxygen -- and give your energy a lift.

8. Give yourself the cold treatment

Splashing cold water on your face is sure to revive you from the afternoon energy lag. However, when you can't afford to run your mascara or flaw your foundation, run cold water on your wrists or place a cold damp towel on the back of your neck.

9. Aromatherapy to the rescue

Keep a vial of an energizing essential oil in your purse and take a deep whiff when the afternoon yawns creep in. The most stimulating oils include angelica, basil, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, jasmine, peppermint, rosemary, sage and tree tea.

10. Caffeinate

Although an IV of caffeine would sail you through your day, it isn't a practical option. Sipping (not guzzling) a coffee, however, is a simple way to recharge your mental and physical batteries. A moderate amount of caffeine is all you need to kick tiredness to the curb and get through your afternoon revived and energized.

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