The midday lull…it’s a force to be reckoned with. You’re on a roll, pushing through your morning and getting all your stuff done. Lunch break rolls around and BAM. There went all your momentum. Slipped through your fingers, sitting like goo on the floor, your motivation is gone. The afternoon drags. Everything is a chore. It’s awful. And it seems like there’s nothing you can do about it.
This lull might hit just once during the middle of the day or it might plague you all day long. Some days are tough. Some days you just keep losing momentum, keep starting to drag no matter what you do.
Well, not quite.
It is possible to overcome the dreaded midday lull, even though it might seem impossible. Not all is lost! But how?
First, there’s some diagnostic stuff that needs to be done first.
Are you getting enough sleep?
Well, are you? This should seem pretty basic, but a lot of the times we completely overlook how much sleep we are getting or the quality of our sleep. Snoozing, while it might feel wonderful is not going to help you in the long-run. If you’re going to snooze for ten, fifteen, twenty minutes you might as well set your alarm for that time and get up at that time. What happens with snoozing is you get a chunk of interrupted sleep where your body can’t figure out what to do and you crawl out of bed lethargic.
How about how many hours of sleep you are getting? Eight is optimal, we know, but some people need more to recover from a deficit. Some people just need more. And some people can’t get more. Or won’t. Staying up late to party, watch TV, or just mope around might have to get cut down a little. I’m not saying stop. I’m just saying limit it.
Now, how about the quality of your sleep? Is there a lot of road noise? Too bright? Too hot/cold? Room darkening shades are a godsend and if you can’t afford those, try a little eye mask. They block out light, even the light from any alarm clocks or charging devices you might have in the room. Road noise is tough to combat but try some soft music! Or a fan! Both options will give you constant, consistent noise that isn’t the rumbling of an obnoxious late-night truck. Finally, remember this: You should be sleeping in a cool room. Not a cold one, not a hot one. Play around until you find the perfect temperature but it will help your quality of sleep.
The solution: Prioritize your sleep. Darken your room. Quiet your room (or add noise). Keep your room cool and for sleep only.
How’s your nutrition?
The real question: are you eating breakfast? C’mon. We’ve all heard it. Say it with me! “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” But are you eating it and if you are, is it the proper fuel for you?
Not all breakfasts are created alike. And we all have different nutritional needs depending on what we are doing. But I do think we don’t need pancakes and waffles every morning. That being said, we also don’t need extremely heavy breakfasts full of bagels, sausage, bacon, and four eggs, right? Something to give us energy but not something that will immediately make us crash or slow us down because it’s so heavy. A little bit of protein, little fruit, maybe some other carbs. Again, play around with healthy options and see what you find fuels you best. Food is fuel after all. It’s not bad to keep that in mind.
Now, how about those vitamins? I’m sure the verdict is still out, and always will be, about the benefit of multi-vitamins and all sorts of other things but I get a lot of energy from my morning vitamins. I have a b-complex along with my multivitamin. That’s where my energy comes from. Coffee also helps but that’s not a vitamin. Without the right nutrition, we won’t have energy.
Remember too, hydration is important. DRINK WATER. It’s so important when it comes to having a healthy, happy body full of life and energy.
The solution: Drink lots and lots of water. Take your vitamins. Eat your breakfast. Maybe even fix up some healthy snacks for the daytime. Do not eat out.
Are you moving?
Or are you just sitting down all day? It’s a valid question so don’t get up in arms. A lot of us tend to be on the lazy side. What happens though when we don’t move is that our body slows and we get tired. Our body just figures that hey, we don’t need energy right now. Let’s conserve it. Then our body doesn’t generate more energy through movement so we’re really stuck in our midday lull.
Track your steps. If you don’t have a device to do that, watch, phone, whatever it is, pay attention to how much you get up during the day. Where did you park? Are you getting up every half-hour to stretch, walk, exercise? Yay or nay? It can come as a shock how little we actually move.
The solution: Go for a walk. Park farther away from things. Do a ten-minute yoga every hour. Stretch every half-hour.
Great! So we’ve talked about some of the causes. Now besides the obvious fixes of the above, there are some little things that might help even more. If you are sleeping well and enough, you are keeping nutritious, and you are moving, there are still some answers to your midday lull.
Add in vitamin YES! (Vitamin si, anyone? *crickets*) Vitamin C is a great, natural way to get some energy. My suggestion is to make this fun. You can eat it naturally, or you can get some yummy gummies. This is the route I take. You get a little more bang for your buck. Instead of eating 10 oranges, I can have two gummies that taste just like mandarin oranges! how lucky am I! There are tons of things out there, like Emergen-C, Airborne, and regular vitamin c gummy supplements that make you feel like you get a little treat and give you lots of energy. Bonus points, it’ll help keep your immune system strong.
Next one, a good b-complex vitamin. While this will make you pee and it might not immediately give you energy, it’ll help your body break down food and turn it into energy. This is definitely important for people who exercise, are vegetarian, or may not eat a well-balanced diet. Give it a try! At the very least it’ll help your brain out and might help you focus.
Both of these vitamins have some remarkable qualities to them so go on and Google their other benefits!
So, moving on let’s say you are active. You track your steps, go for walks, all that jazz but you’re still getting knocked out by that midday lull. Try some yoga and do it mindfully. You can also do a quick mindfulness meditation. Remember, our brain needs to relax too. Pairing a mindful moment of quiet breath with yoga will benefit both your mind and your body. You’re getting in some fresh oxygen while letting your mind take a rest for a little bit. There are lots of quick 10-minute yoga practices out there. I have some myself!
There’s one last thing that might help you out: smile and stretch your face! Our faces hold a lot of tension and our brain interprets the emotions we portray. If you’re in a lull, smile as big as you can, it doesn’t have to be real. The important part is that you’re doing it. Open your mouth wide. Scrunch your mouth up small. Rub your face with your hands. You might find that this silly little thing will give you just the boost you need.
Try new things. Be good to yourself. And beat the midday lull!