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Are You Noticing a 3pm Slump in Energy? Here are some things to consider…

Recently at Glow Group we were asked to comment on a magazine article about how to avoid a 3pm slump in energy. This got me thinking about the word nourishment and whether we are truly nourishing our bodies enough to keep them going throughout the day. So I put this blog together to help discuss this a little more.

Imagine yourself during a typical day. You might be busy getting tasks done or you might have a number of things on your mind that keep you distracted. You might have stopped for a few bites to eat along the way but you haven’t really thought about it yet. It gets closer to 3 o’clock and you start to feel your energy levels dropping, and even thinking about all the things you need to do in the afternoon which might exhaust you further.

Often during days like this we can forget to prioritise ourselves and can be less mindful about our physical and emotional needs. We can get caught up in our day to day and forget to nourish our body with the fuel it needs. Sometimes when we do remember to stop and eat it may be at a point where our body switches into survival mode and looks for quick energy fixes to satisfy extreme hunger. This is when we tend to find ourselves selecting food and drinks that don’t sustain us well, providing short bursts of energy or caffeine (hello coffee lovers). Unfortunately that burst is usually followed by an energy slump.

To help avoid this here are some things you could consider:

Try to adopt mindfulness based strategies that allow for more opportunities for awareness of energy and hunger levels throughout the day. For some, it can even be helpful to schedule in short break times or at least schedule in a lunch meal where this is your time to stop and care for your needs. Even if it’s only 10 minutes it’s a starting point.

While we believe all foods can fit into your everyday diet, it is definitely helpful to prepared with ready to eat snacks. Especially if trying to prevent that “hangry” feeling. Preparedness ensures food is available when the tummy calls or the energy levels start to drop. That way you are more likely to find a nourishing snack that can sustain you longer. Small frequent meals and snacks every 3-4 hours is optimal.

When thinking about snack options aim for a source of fibre and protein to keep you full and energised. For example yoghurt with muesli with berries and dark chocolate or popcorn and nuts.

Variety of meals and snacks is also important to stay inspired. While we have talked about nutritional value of snacks, it’s important to acknowledge the need to feel satisfied by our food both physically and through enjoyment. Keeping a record of recipes or snack ideas can be helpful to have endless options to trial.

It can also be easy to forget to drink water when we are busy or sitting in air conditioned rooms. When we are dehydrated our brain can become quite foggy and fatigued. Fun ways to drink water include adding a a squeeze of fruit juice, adding in some fresh or frozen fruit or trying a cold water tea infusion bag. ?It can help to have a water bottle by your side throughout the day too.

Lastly, food is important but so is looking at your overall health and finding a balance, however which way that looks for you. Whether that’s aiming for adequate sleep, more physical movement, staying hydrated, work life balance and/or managing stress.

Hope this helps provide more nourishment to your day and even helps reduce the afternoon slump feeling.

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Mali Unahi - Dietitian