If you’re anything like me, the 2-3 hour stretch right after lunch can seem like an uphill struggle. Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a country that enjoys a post-lunch siesta, finding the will and motivation to plow on through the afternoon can be a daily challenge.
Post-lunch sleepiness has typically been attributed to digestion, with nutritionists suggesting that the brain directs energy towards your intestines to break down and metabolize the meal you just ate. This results in the rest of your body slowing down and relaxing. Others have highlighted the typical American work schedule and its misalignment with our circadian rhythms as a potential cause of the afternoon slump.
There are many good suggestions available on tackling this problem from a physical perspective. Get a good night’s sleep, eat a lighter and more balanced lunch, or try a starchy, low fat carb snack. Then there is always good old faithful caffeine. While these tips may help restore your physical energy and focus, they do not help overcome the ‘ugh’ – that negative feeling of frustration and can’t-be-bothered-ness that accompanies the afternoon energy dip.
To target the ‘ugh’ and bring your emotional vibration back up to a more positive, motivated place, here are 3 suggestions that I find helpful:
1 – Tapping
A quick round of tapping on the feelings of frustration and negativity is a great way to release the fog. Try focusing on releasing statements that clear the negativity you feel about the afternoon ahead, and replace them with more positive, motivated ones.
2 – Stretch
Loosening up the body, improving the posture, and fully inflating your lungs can help blow out the cobwebs and help you feel more ready to tackle the afternoon. Psychologist Amy Cuddy is an advocate for how your body language and posture impact your emotional wellbeing, and suggests that you can change the way you feel in a matter of minutes by simply changing the way your body is positioned.
3 – Gratitude
Changing your mindset about the tasks ahead can be difficult, especially if you have a difficult meeting or a long report to draft. Taking a few moments to think of 5 things about your job in general that you are grateful for can help put a positive spin on things and help you feel better about tackling the afternoon’s work. Reminding yourself of the bigger picture, what you love about your job, the service or benefit you provide to others, or why you go to work in the first place can all act as powerful motivators.
(And if you must resort to caffeine, at least try to stick to a natural, vegan version!)
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The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner gives readers a step-by-step guide to the Emotional Freedom Technique, or ‘tapping’, an energy psychology healing modality that uses the meridians to address both emotional and physical problems. Read more.