Remember the saying, “You’re burning the candle at both ends?” And remember how that saying was only ever uttered by burnt-out, over-worked adults? And remember how no one ever told you that “You’re burning the candle at both ends” no matter how busy you were because you were young, ambitious, resilient, and energetic?
Yeah, those times have changed.
Welcome to your mid-twenties.
I know that being in my mid-twenties is still young; however, I also know that being in my early-twenties feels like a lifetime ago. There have been so many changes in my life throughout the 4 short years between 20 and 24 (graduating university, getting my first real job, choosing to watch Netflix 4 nights a week instead of blacking out 4 nights a week etc.) which have made those years the most critical in my own personal development.
And while I’m grateful for all that those 4 years have taught me (and grateful that the status of my bank account no longer depends solely on how many shots I bought that night) , I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic for those earlier years, because being an adult is literally exhausting.
And I mean like I-have-to-take-a-nap-everyday-or-I-will-actually-die-exhausting.
Lately my schedule has been busier than ever with my job picking up, moving to a new city, two blogs on the go, and a huge trip I just got back from, and I’ve been finding that my energy is at an all-time low (even after my mandatory nap-a-day). Every day by about 2 or 3PM I am so exhausted that I end up binge-eating any carb within my reach just to keep my eyes from shutting at my desk. This has been a huge struggle for me, as I’ve always been an energetic person.
And I’ve always taken a strong stance against eating carbs past noon.
In order to get back to my younger, less-tired self, I’ve been doing some research and trying out lots of different remedies, and I’ve finally found the perfect combination of tips and tricks to help any twenty-something kick their mid-day exhaustion.
How To: Kick that Mid-Day Exhaustion
1. Drink Tea, Not Coffee
Like many caffeine connoisseurs, I was in the habit of drinking a second cup of coffee around lunch time. While this may be the initial boost you need, drinking more than one cup of coffee a day is going to make for a much bigger and more painful crash later (think: around 3PM).
Drink your morning coffee (because is there really any other reason to get out of bed?), and when you’re itching for that second Starbucks run, opt for tea. It will give you that energy you need without a huge crash that will plague you for the rest of the afternoon.
2. Get Outside
As tempting as it
probably isn’t but you still do it anyways is to eat your lunch at your desk, don’t.
No matter how swamped you are, take a few minutes of your lunch break to get outside. Go for a short walk after you eat, or walk to pick up your food, or even go to the gym on your lunch break if you have the time! Stop sitting and start walking (or elliptical-ing).
Not only will this be good for your body, but it will help elevate your mood, relieve your stress, and boost your energy. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the afternoon!
3. Snack Healthy
Snacking at your desk throughout the day can be a standard practice for a lot of people. However, what you’re snacking on can make a huge impact on the quality of your work. If you’re snacking on foods high in simple carbohydrates, sugars, and trans fats, your brain will be foggy and you’ll be falling asleep by mid-afternoon every day!
Just like caffeine, these foods provide you with immediate energy, accompanied by a crash later on. Avoid this by snacking on foods high in protein, organic sugars, and complex carbohydrates. For example, fruits, veggies, nuts, whole wheat bread, quinoa, salads, plain yogurt etc.
4. Work Like a Morning Person
Whether you ‘re someone who wakes up before the alarm ready to conquer the day, or you’re someone who hits snooze a thousand times before crawling to your espresso machine, our brains are programmed to work best in the morning.
In order to optimize your productivity at work and ensure you don’t start falling asleep at your desk by mid-afternoon, time block your work day so that you work on the majority of your harder projects in the morning.
That way when you do start feeling that mid-day blues, you won’t be exhausting your brain more than it already is. You’ll feel less pressure having the tougher stuff out of the way, and your stress levels will be lower.
5. Have Your Sick Voice in Your Back Pocket
And if all else fails and you just literally cannot stay awake to save your
life job, dig back into those elementary school days and whip out that fake-sick voice that always worked on your mom.
Because sometimes you just need an afternoon off.