You had a productive morning. You picked the kids up from school, you fixed snacks, refereed sibling fights, and helped with homework. You should feel like Supermom, so why are you in a total slump? The clock tells you there are still a few more hours to go until bedtime, and you wonder how you’re ever going to make it when your children’s level of energy mirrors that of a Jazzercise instructor. For most moms, this afternoon slump is the most daunting and exhausting time of day.
You know you cannot summon Mary Poppins via the wind and disappear for a few hours, so what can you do instead? Here are six creative ways to kick that afternoon slump to the curb.
Do Something Different
A plunge in energy and alertness in the afternoon is totally normal. That’s because of a dip in your internal circadian rhythm clock. To find out more on circadian rhythm, you can read about what the National Sleep Foundation has to say about it. If you’re stuck in a slump, it’s because whatever you’re doing isn’t working. In order to feel better, you must do better.
Maybe you’re lying on the sofa while your children drive toy cars around you or shove Barbie dolls in your hand. Whether you bust out a board game, play dough, or coloring books, get up and do something different. You could turn on an inspiring playlist and have an impromptu dance party in your living room. It may feel silly at first, but the sudden surge in spirit will magically appear. Plus, it’s a surefire way to get you and your kids laughing, and you in a better mood.
Chances are you will find other moms gathered at your local park. If not, invite your mom tribe to join you at a certain time every day. Interacting with people who boost your energy can give you the added zest you need to make it through the rest of the evening. Is the looming thought of cooking dinner preventing you from getting outside? Consider cooking during nap time or prepare a slow-cooker meal; that way, when you come home from the park, dinner is already done!
When you’re in a bad mood, do you oftentimes find yourself turning to comfort food, like chips, chocolate, or carb-heavy foods? While these foods may cheer you up a bit, they won’t sustain you through the witching hours. You’ll soon experience a steep drop in energy and will be left in an even deeper afternoon slump. Grab protein-rich foods, like a handful of almonds, a sugar-free protein bar (Larabars are one of our favorites), a hard-boiled egg, or a protein shake.
Phone a Friend
You know the phrase, “It’s five o’clock somewhere?” Try, “It’s witching hour somewhere.” It’s guaranteed that somewhere another mom is in the throes of afternoon agony, too. Call or text a friend who you can count on to motivate you to climb out of your afternoon slump. West Coast friends, you’re at an advantage with the difference in time zones because while you’re stuck in the middle of your funk, your East Coast friends have just emerged from theirs and can offer you sound advice and lift your spirits.
Stimulate Your Senses
Brush your teeth, chew spicy gum, or rub peppermint oil on your wrists (make sure to dilute with a carrier oil). Doing something that activates your senses can spunk you right up.
Having something to look forward to can make you feel like you skipped right over the afternoon slump. Plan an afternoon outing with a neighbor or a (simple) art project with the kids. Even just pulling out the play dough can be a major afternoon-slump kicker.
Shake It Off
Whether you bust a move to Taylor Swift or get outside for some vitamin D with other moms, know you’re not alone. Every mom feels the pangs of an afternoon slump. But the choice is yours whether you stay in that funk or not. Remember, in order to feel better we must do better. So get up, get moving, and have a fabulous afternoon!
Changing up your lunch menu might just be enough to get you through the slump and to bedtime. Check out some of our favorite Healthy Lunch Ideas.
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