I felt it sneak around the edges of my concentrated efforts. My lashes blinked faster. My lids now fought when I struggled to lift them off my eyes. A light sheet of brain-fog settled over my mind.
Afternoon fatigue had arrived. And it threatened to keep me from writing the scene on the screen before me. How would I finish without falling asleep?
Too often, I fight a common battle when I finally get a few snippets of time to write. But instead of grabbing a caffeine loaded, sugared up, fattened calf kind of snack, I’ve found a few quick solutions that allow me to treat my body with the respect it needs to function at optimal efficiency.
1) Eat nutritious vegetables or fruit. In particular, I’ve found the following have fabulous energy boosting properties for my body chemistry. Literally within seconds, I can feel a renewed focus and am able to write well. My faves include, red, orange, or yellow peppers, V-8 juice, grapefruit, oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumbers in vinegar, cantaloupe, and celery.
2) Get out in the sun. A few minutes of vitamin D rich sunlight is just the ticket to get my blood pumping and my thoughts racing.
3) Drink water. When writing, we often don’t want to interrupt our thoughts, so dehydration is a big problem for many writers. Most people assume they need caffeine when exhaustion strikes — in reality, dehydration is often the culprit behind your fatigue. Science shows that water wakes us up.
4) Take a nap. Though I fight it, sometimes a ten minute nap works miracles. A few moments of shut-eye gets me going again. (I find I need to set the alarm on my phone, so I can actually nod off. Otherwise, my fear of over-sleeping keeps me from getting the rejuvenating rest I need).
5) Go for a walk. I plan this powerful method of staying alert into my writing schedule. It’s part of the formula I follow to get words on the page. Having an intended break gives me something to look forward to and pushes me past the humps. A good walk gets my blood flowing, my muscles heated, my cells active, and my thoughts fired up.
6) Take prayer and Bible reading breaks. A few minutes spent with the Master Author infuses me with energy and inspiration. Nothing like purpose to light me into action.
Before fatigue wraps itself around me like a constricting serpent around its prey, I need a plan to fight back. I find the list above gives me exactly the input I need to affect my output in positive ways.
Here are some other great tips to help you battle afternoon fatigue.
What ways do you battle exhaustion when it threatens to hinder your writing?