How to Beat the Afternoon Slump

Dolly Parton famously sang about working nine to five. However, she left out the verse about how to beat the dreaded afternoon slump. It’s very common for people to plow through the morning, but after lunch, feel a crash in energy levels. Dr. Anthoy Reffi, a behavioral sleep specialist at Henry Ford Health says. “Our body’s natural circadian rhythm […] sends signals to the brain during the day to help keep us alert, awake, and sharp. Around lunchtime, there’s a dip in these signals that can make us feel sleepy.” Just after midnight is the other time of day when our circadian rhythm sends us signals to sleep.

When you combine this natural drop in energy with a meal, it’s no wonder we feel lethargic. Dr. Reffi explains this has to do with sleep debt or the amount of time we’ve been awake. “The longer we go without, the stronger our drive for sleep becomes. And by the time we hit mid-afternoon, we’ve already gone several hours without sleep.”

Fortunately, there are some things we can do to help minimize the afternoon slump when it comes for us. The first step is to stay away from caffeine. Caffeine is a drug, and the more used to it our body becomes, the more it’s going to require for the same results. Caffeine should be a morning drink, and as the day goes on there are other things we can do to get a boost. Exercise, spending time in the sunshine, and getting enough sleep (7 to 9 hours) can all help.

Drinking water can also help with the crash. Most of us don’t drink enough water each day, which can leave us dehydrated, which in turn, makes us feel sluggish. If you’re still craving coffee, try an herbal tea instead. They can scratch the hot coffee itch and energize us with their refreshing aroma.

A healthy snack, instead of a candy bar or some other sugary snack, can also help when feeling sluggish. A candy bar can help with a temporary burst of energy, but a healthy snack, such as fruit and peanut butter or low-fat yogurt and berries can help us feel energized without the crash. Listening to music while snacking can help with sluggish feelings as well. A playlist of peppy music can lift our mood and energy level much more than instrumental music.

Looking for more ways to beat the slump? Try chewing gum. Gum can improve alertness and increase happiness, according to one study. And according to a study from Japan, looking at pictures of cute animals can boost our mood and increase productivity. Finally, improving your posture can boost stamina and reduce stress.

The best way to beat the afternoon slump is to prevent it. Getting enough sleep is easier said than done. Begin by keeping a consistent bedtime and wake-up schedule. If you must snooze, only push the button once. Too many times can lead to more grogginess. If your afternoon slumps are intense, you can get tested for a sleep disorder. Insomnia and sleep apnea can lead to excessive sleepiness.

Do you suffer from an afternoon slump? If so, try making some positive changes in your life. You may be surprised at how much better you feel.

Changes to Help Prevent Mail Fraud

Fraud and scams are becoming more and more prominent which makes it harder to know what’s real and what’s not. To help protect people from identity theft, the US Postal Service has enhanced its protocols to request a change of address, requiring additional identification methods.

These changes were made to address identity theft concerns globally and to protect customers’ information. Not only does the post office want to protect the customers, but the postal workers. The Postal Service has seen a spike in mail thefts and carrier robberies. Mail theft complaints increased 160% between March 2020 and February 2021.

The basics haven’t changed, but an additional step to verify your identity has been added. How you verify your identity depends on how you file to change your address, which is only activated after your identity has been confirmed. If you cannot verify your identity for some reason, the USPS suggests reaching out to your creditors and organizations directly about your change of address.

Filing online will cost users $1.10 and require a valid mobile phone number. If your online verification is successful, you will be emailed a confirmation code, which you must keep in case you need to modify or cancel your request. If your identification verification isn’t successful, you will be emailed instructions and a barcode to verify your identity at the post office in person.

If you change your address in person, you will need a valid photo ID, and possibly a second ID that includes your old or new address. You’ll need a photo ID that is current and unexpired, which includes a driver’s license or non-driver’s license ID card, a US passport, or a Uniformed Services Identification Card. If you use a passport or Uniformed Services ID Card, you’ll need a second form of ID that includes your name and address. Forms of ID that are accepted include a lease, mortgage or deed of trust, voter or vehicle registration, or an insurance policy for either a home or vehicle.

Do you think this will help identity theft? Leave a comment and let us know.

Intrusive Thoughts

From time to time, we can all suffer from intrusive thoughts, but some of us are plagued by them on a daily if not hourly, occurrence. These thoughts can cause great distress and seem to come from nowhere. The nature of intrusive thoughts varies from person to person. For some, it can be committing a crime, which leads them to believe there is something wrong with them. For others, the thoughts can be about a relationship, a looming decision, death, or anything that can’t be answered with certainty. Sometimes, the thoughts can be weird or explicit, causing people to be ashamed of them and therefore keeping them bottled in.

Triggers for intrusive thoughts are varied from person to person. However, the usual suspects are stress, anxiety, or an external event, such as a rude customer. Additionally, mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and OCD can result in intrusive thinking. The occasional intrusive thought is nothing to worry about, but when they start happening regularly, become too loud in our head, or affect our daily life is when we need to work to manage them.

One misconception about intrusive thoughts is that they reveal who we are deep down. This is in fact, not true; intrusive thoughts are so opposite to who we are that the effort of fighting them can fuel their return. Furthermore, people tend to think since we have these thoughts they should be examined for their meaning. That’s not the case. Intrusive thoughts are not red flags or warnings that there is something wrong with us, they’re simply thoughts.

It’s been estimated that six million people suffer from intrusive thinking. When an intrusive thought begins to form it can feel threatening and cause anxious thinking to take over, which makes it seem like the intrusive thought has a power that it doesn’t have. People want to get rid of their intrusive thoughts and for many, the harder they try to suppress the thought the stickier it becomes.

Easier said than done, but people who suffer from intrusive thoughts need to work on a new way of thinking about their thoughts. Everyone has these thoughts because our brains are weird, and sometimes they just make junk thoughts, which are just part of the stream of consciousness. These junk thoughts are meaningless, and if we’re able to not pay attention to them, they’ll be washed down the stream.

Again, realizing that these thoughts are junk will take time, but some steps can be taken to overcome intrusive thoughts. The first thing to do when the thought appears is to label the thought as intrusive, and remind yourself that these thoughts are automatic and have nothing to do with you. Do not try to push them away, just take a minute and try to allow the thought to pass. Let it run its course and don’t try to rush it. Do not engage with the thought and try to figure out its meaning. Also, don’t try to push it from your mind.

This is just one approach to working to end intrusive thoughts. Some other activities that can help ward them off are:

  • keep a routine
  • follow a balanced diet
  • practice mindfulness
  • try cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • spend time with pets
  • surround yourself with nature
  • stay physically active

Most of these activities help us focus on the moment and the body, which can enable us to not focus on intrusive thoughts and allow them to leave as quickly as they came on. If you suffer from intrusive thoughts, try different techniques until you see what works best for you. There is help out there. Just remember that intrusive thoughts will always be around since they’re part of being human. We don’t want them gone, we just want them manageable so we can have peace of mind.

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