I hate afternoon crashes! Sometimes I hit the wall so hard on the drive home from work I can barely keep my eyes open. Medication management alone is not enough to combat hitting the wall. It takes multiple devices to try and stay balanced.
It always a running “joke” wherever I work that my brain doesn’t “check in” until 10:00. I am most productive and focused between about 10-2:00 and by 3-ish tend to be dragging. One way I try to manage it is by not taking my lunch break until after 2:00 when my productive spurt is winding down, but before the fatigue sets in. Taking a later break helps perk me up for the remainder of the day. For lunch I try to minimize carbs for the most part and have something with a decent amount of protein.
I also drink a lot. I don’t drink coffee, and only minimally drink soda, but I do like to use caffeinated water enhancers (Mio, Kroger, or WalMart brands) to help jump start my day. I keep a 24oz. Tervis Tumbler on my desk at work and refill it anywhere from 2-4 times a day depending on what I’m doing. Using a straw helps me get more water in.
I have realized that when I stay very well hydrated, I don’t have as many problems with eye fatigue which in turn contributes to the afternoon crash.
One other technique I employ to help keep me focused is definitely headphones. I only listen in one ear so I am still aware of my surroundings and can hear if someone calls me, but it helps me focus by decreasing external distractions. I alternate between music, podcasts, and documentaries depending on mood.
Of course, I often get home and all I want to do is take a nap on the couch. I am seldom very productive once I get home having expended all my energy at work. On the plus side, I seldom find the need to sneak off to grab a quick cat nap in the lavatory any more!
Being introverted by nature means that if I had a day where I had to lift my head from my spreadsheets and interact a lot with my peers, then the fatigue is heightened from stress/anxiety. I haven’t found a trick for that afternoon slump!
Here are 14 things you can do to minimize or eliminate your afternoon crashes. The more suggestions you implement, the more results you will see!
When a migraine hits, all you want to do is to get rid of it—ASAP. The painful throbbing on one or both sides of the head, sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting are enough to make you want to curl up into a ball and wish the tension would just go away.
Sara Crystal, MD, a neurologist, headache specialist, and medical advisor at Cove, a healthcare company that provides prescription treatments for migraine sufferers, says the most common migraine triggers are stress, changes in sleep cycle, hormonal imbalances, and caffeine overuse. Eating chocolate, aged cheese, and foods with MSG, nitrates, and additives could also cause a migraine. But people develop migraines for a variety of reasons.
“The causes of migraines are largely genetic. Each person has a personal trigger. That is why there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for migraines,” she says.
While there isn’t a silver bullet, doctors recommend over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, or natural remedies for migraine treatment. And one of those natural remedies involves doing a migraine massage with peppermint essential oil. Dr. Crystal says menthol, which is the active ingredient in peppermint essential oil, has been proven to help relieve headaches. In fact, a 2015 study from Frontiers in Neurologysuggests that topically applying a menthol-based gel, such as those with peppermint essential oil, could significantly reduce headache intensity. Here’s how to give yourself a migraine massage:
- Dilute a few drops of the peppermint essential oil into another oil carrier, like coconut oil.
- Massage the oil into the temples and forehead, working in circular motions with the index and middle fingers.
- Continue for a minute.
If the massage is too painful, Dr. Crystal recommends adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil on a tissue and breathing deeply into it, or dabbing some of the oil onto a cold compress and applying it to your forehead. Dr. Crystal also likes using a roll-on sticks, like Migrastil Migraine Stick or Health From The Sun’s MigraSoothe Roll-On, for easy application.
1. Never underestimate the value of asking your partner how his or her day went.
Niceties don’t become any less nice just because they become routine. At the end of the day, even if you felt like no one cared about anything you did, at least you know your partner will not only care but want to know details.
2. Some fights are just fights. They don’t have to be deal breakers.
You can be madly in love with a person and still be mad at that person. Fights don’t have to spell The End. Couples that stay together choose the relationship over the conflict.
3. Accept that relationships come with obligations.
You might not want to do everything your partner wants you to do with him or her — work events, watching sports he or she likes, even errands — but you also know it makes them happy to have you by their side, which makes doing those things totally worth it.
4. But be honest about which events you feel strongly that your partner attend.
Not everything can be a must. He or she knows to tell you that it’s really important you attend a family birthday party every year but will live if you decline an invite to his or her friend’s Super Bowl party. You should both be fair about it.
5. Little surprise purchases go a long way.
Does your partner love mint chocolate chip ice cream? Picking some up while you’re at the store shows you were thinking of him or her even while going about your boring everyday chores like restocking the milk.
6. Don’t force group or double dates when all couples aren’t friends.
You don’t have to share the same friends. It’s OK to still go out one-on-one with your girlfriends, even if you all have significant others. The guys don’t have to be friends just because you are, and not every conversation is a group conversation anyway.
7. Kiss hello before doing anything else when you get home. Kiss good-bye when you leave.
It’s always just the sweetest if he or she has to go to work extra early but stops by to kiss you quickly while trying not to wake you. Or when he or she walks you to the door when you head out. And an immediate kiss when you reunite at the end of the day means you care about each other above all else.
8. Sometimes you have to say no to invitations so you can spend time with each other.
Just because your calendar is blank one night doesn’t mean you have to agree to plans if someone asks. Life is busy. It’s nice to use that free time to just be together.
9. Treat his family like yours.
They love to know you think of them as family. And your partner will love to see you treat them like your own. Call or text from time to time. Hang out with them when your significant other isn’t around.
10. More “I love yous” are better than fewer.
Three words that just never get old. You’re seriously not going to say it too much.
11. Be sympathetic when your significant other is sick.
Maybe it means canceling dinner plans and picking up soup. Maybe it means running to the drugstore for more cough drops. Don’t complain. No one gets sick on purpose, and if the situation were reversed, you know he would take care of you.
12. Take on more of the errands/household chores when the other one is swamped at work.
No, you don’t want to do laundry, but you do it to make your partner’s life easier. And by checking things off your mutual to-do list, you’ll be more likely to do things you actually enjoy together when his or her schedule frees up. Plus, you’ll have a crazed period at some point too, and it all evens out in the end.
13. Don’t make jokes at each other’s expense.
Be respectful and think about what he or she would want you to share with a group. They’re your partner, not your punch line.
14. Be on time.
So many meaningless fights can be avoided by being on time. Start getting ready 20 minutes earlier than you think you need to. Chances are either you or your partner, or someone in the party you’re meeting, is sensitive about punctuality, so be there when you say you will so you don’t seem rude.
15. If someone talks badly about your significant other, defend him.
Even if you’re generally too polite to correct people or call them out on rudeness, sometimes you have to make an exception. After all, you’re supposed to be each other’s biggest supporters.
16. Keep each other informed of your individual plans.
You’re going to stop by and say hello to a friend on Saturday? Great, have fun. But let him or her know where you’re going to be so (1) they don’t worry and (2) they know you won’t be around if he wants to make his own plans. It’s not a matter of asking permission — it’s a matter of being courteous because you always want to rest easy knowing your partner is alive and well and not in trouble.
17. Choose not to fight when you travel.
The nice hotel you booked turned out to be not so nice at all. Or he or she forgot to pack your toiletry kit like they said they would. You can get cranky and be That Couplehaving it out at the airport, or you can realize you’ll have a good story or inside joke in the future.
18. Be spontaneous.
Make a dinner reservation for just the two of you at the last minute. Or just wander into your favorite restaurant and eat at the bar. Surprise him or her with baseball tickets. Keeping things unexpected makes being with the person you love even more fun.
19. Love each other unconditionally.