Everyone likes to talk about having motivation in the mornings to wake up and get your healthy day started. I know waking up early is tough, and many people have come to me for advice on how to make sure that morning workouts, meal preparation time, or just healthy decisions in general, happen. It is true that if your morning starts out healthy, the chances of you making healthy choices throughout the day increases. But what I want to talk about today is the afternoon, that 2-4pm window of time that my friends and I have dubbed “the doldrums.” That time when boredom ensues, hunger strikes, and all those healthy intentions you woke up with fly out the window.
For me, the morning motivation is easy. I wake up, have my quiet time, and am so excited to do my workout and drink my shakeology!
It’s the doldrums that kill me. That stretch of time gets me thinking about snacks, sleep, and mindlessly eating some chips or crackers. Our break room at work is constantly filled with goodies, which makes this time of day even harder.
I have NO problem making my mornings healthy. I almost always get my workout done before 7am, have a healthy breakfast, and mostly make it to lunch sticking to my healthy choices and meal plan. But on those days I struggle, I usually struggle in the afternoon. Which gets me thinking that, just like we needs tips for morning motivation, we DEFINITELY need tips for afternoon motivation as well. I’ve been majorly struggling with the afternoons lately, just like many of you! These tactics have helped me in the past, so I am turning to them to help me now too. I thought I’d share the following tips in the hopes of inspiring those who struggle with afternoon motivation.
- Keep busy! The number one reason behind mindless snacking and letting one chip turn to half a bag is being bored. Boredom can make us do crazy things. So, keep busy! Call a friend, start doing a different project at work or check in with a coworker, go on a walk, read, journal, anything to change up your environment of being bored. I’ve found that if I engage with someone around me, I am less likely to lose motivation in the afternoon, sticking to my healthy eating goals.
- Have a balanced lunch. Make sure your lunch consists of protein, carbohydrate, and a healthy fat. Having all three of these food groups on your plate will increase satiety, which means you will stay full and satisfied for a longer period of time and reduce the desire to snack on unhealthy foods later on.
- Eat a snack. Yep, you heard that right. Plan on having an afternoon snack, like some veggies with hummus, nuts, a piece of fruit with peanut butter, or my personal favorite, my shakeology, which feels like a treat but is superfood-healthy! Eating something will help you get that snack fix while keeping it healthy and sticking to your goals. So pack an afternoon snack with you!
- Move. Even if I’ve had a morning workout, if I feel like I am slumping on motivation, I go on a walk or do a mini workout in the afternoon in order to refocus on my goals, move my body, and snap myself out of that funk.
- Forgive yourself. Sometimes, the stress of sticking to our goals causes more problems than just plain healthy eating. And sometimes, it is acceptable to have that afternoon cookie or scoop of ice cream. So if that happens and you fall off the wagon, show yourself some kindness. I know that this is the part that I struggle with the most. If I have something that makes me feel icky, I tend to get down on myself. But that only leads to more negative feelings and in turn, negative actions. So give yourself some grace, and move on to the next thing.
These are some tips that have helped me in the past and that I am turning to now, so I’m right there with you! These tips have helped me and I hope they will help you too!
Did you try any of these? Did they work? What tips do YOU have for afternoon motivation and getting through the doldrums? Share in the comments below!