The Chaos Whisperer

Helping you tame the Chaos at Home & Work

Beat the Mid-Day Blues

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“The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Ever suffer from the mid-day slump? From 1 P.M. to 3 P.M. in the afternoon, your body’s core temperature drops, sparking the production of melatonin, which is what signals your body to sleep. And for most of you, that time window falls right smack in the middle of your work day. So how do you beat those blues and stay productive through this slump?

Winter makes it even worse, as we deal with overcast weather and lost daylight so much earlier. So this time of year, it’s even more important to arm yourself against such the dreary condition.

I am actually very focused on this myself, having a somewhat irregular sleep pattern, which makes me even more tired and susceptible when this slump hits. So while I’m working on this, I thought I’d share what I’ve found with you, in case you likewise find yourself extra weary on any given afternoon.

Here are some tips I’ve found that can perk you back up when you’ve hit the mid-day daze:

  1. Get some sun! Sunlight actually halts the production of melatonin in your brain. The best thing you can do is step outside for a few minutes and catch some rays. You’ll even get some vitamin D while you’re at it.
  2. Take a nappuccino! If you can’t get yourself outside, the next best thing you can do is grab some quick shut-eye – though no more than 30min or you may affect your ability to fall asleep as usual that night. Try this tactic: pound a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage, and then snooze for 20-25min. The caffeine will be just hitting your bloodstream as you wake back up.
  3. Stop and smell the mint! The peppermint scent will stimulate your trigeminal nerve, which is connected to the part of the brain which induces wakefulness. So grab a breath mint, chew a piece of mint gum, or just take a quick sniff from a Vicks vapor inhaler. Any of these will do the trick for a easy mental perk-me-up.
  4. Drop and give me 20! A quick burst of exercise will also get your blood pumping and mind more alert. So if you don’t mind getting just a little sweaty, grab some floor space and pump out 10-20 push-ups or crunches, or put on your favorite song and dance around a bit – as long as you’re moving for at least 5min.
  5. Optimize your bedtime! As I said above, your previous night’s sleep can have a huge affect on how well you function the next day, especially through this rough afternoon patch. Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep, but the average American only gets 6.9 hours a night. So I know things get in the way, and it can be hard to prioritize this, but it’s so important to make sure you are getting all the sleep your body needs. That’s the best long-term solution to beating these mid-day blues.

OK good luck and see you on the battlefield! And feel free to let me know if you find these tips helpful, or if the battle is only getting worse.

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Author: Rebecca Ahn

Writer. Producer. Editor. Warrior. And one Tough Cookie!

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