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Low Afternoon Mood Levels ~ How To Deal With A ‘Bad Time Of Day’

Is there a specific time of day where you struggle mentally and emotionally?…

There is a certain time of day that is particularly difficult for me. On most days of the week from about 4-7pm, I find myself having to fight thoughts that can range from feelings of melancholy to anxious fretting.  Why? Well, I really don’t know.

I did research on; cortisol levels in the afternoon, FMS & anxiety, late afternoon depression, ect., but I still could not find anything that stood out. I want to chalk it up to some sort of FMS anxiety/depression symptom. You know, something to do with ‘chemical imbalances’, and ‘chronically messed up hormones’. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any solid research to support this. Truthfully, I’ve had this issue for years, well before having full-blown FMS/CFS. I simply have a hard time during those  3 hours of the day.

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Low Afternoon Mood Levels ~ How To Deal With A 'Bad Time Of Day

It always takes me by surprise. That sounds ridiculous considering it has happened on a regular basis for about 20 years. When I realize I’ve slipped into a ‘spot’,  I’ll think, “Wow. Now why am I thinking about (fill in the blank)?…Oh yeah! It’s 4:30!”… So weird.

I don’t know if anyone else deals with this. You may have no idea what I’m talking about, or you may struggle with anxious ‘episodes’ several times a day. Regardless of how often they happen, low moods are something everyone experiences at some point. Listed below are a few tricks I’ve learned that seem to help:

Low Afternoon Mood Levels ~ How To Deal With A ‘Bad Time Of Day’

  • Be Aware ~ Know the time of day that you are prone to have anxious and/or dark thoughts. Quite often, just being aware that it’s ‘that time of day’ can help you ‘head it off at the pass’, and take the steps necessary to keep your thoughts from taking root too deeply. If that happens, those thoughts can give rise to distressing emotions that become hard to break free from.

  • Enjoy ~ If possible, have something healthy and pleasurable on hand to do; reading the latest book you’ve fallen in love with, a ‘hands-on’ activity like knitting/coloring/cooking/simple home improvement task/art project ect. Anything fortifying that will distract your thinking, and build-up rather than tear at your mind.

  • Noise Distraction ~ I find it hard to concentrate on negative thoughts when the sound of soothing music is present. A good acoustic guitar is perfect for this- (Craig D’Andrea is an incredible artist/musician):


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Received a email from Leah at LDN doctor (see this article). This is an excerpt from her message:
“…I wanted to let you know that Dr. Handler is going to be doing a webinar on using LDN for Fibromyalgia and thought you might be interested in watching it and/or sharing it with your friends. Here’s the info:
The webinar on LDN and Fibromyalgia will be on Tuesday July 26th at 1:30pm EST. People can submit questions for Dr. Handler to answer until the 24th to contact@ldndoctor.com. You can watch live or view it at a later time by going to this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJTwXec_gXw 


Rare & Fatal Kidney Disease Survivor ~ 16 Yr Old Taylor, Founder Of 'Be Brave Box'
~ The Fallen ~ July 7, 2016

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  • Reply
    Sharon Hutchinson
    July 11 at 8:47 am

    I awoke at 9 AM this morning and was going along quite well then very quickly became extremely sleepy. As I type this, my eyes are trying to close (and while sitting in a chair) almost forcing me back to bed. What gives? It is extremely depressing and discouraging. It’s like a switch that is being turned on and off. There is also a huge dip around 5 PM. I’m anxious to read about other people’s experiences with this as well. Right now, it’s a struggle to remain awake….going to listen to my body. Falling asleep in a computer chair can end up in an unpleasant situation. Also have fallen asleep with my head down on the desk/keyboard. What gives?

    • Reply
      July 11 at 9:14 am

      Sharon, do you have CFS? That happens to me often during a CFS flare. Extreme fatigue that can come and go exactly like you described, “a light switch”. Hope you get some good rest today Sharon 🙂

      • Reply
        Sharon Hutchinson
        July 11 at 12:50 pm

        Yes, I do have CFS. It has “taken my life force” as I sometimes put it. Strangely around 11 PM there is a boost of wakefulness and energy. I rarely get to sleep before 2 AM because of this–try to take advantage of the extra energy when I can.
        There are quite a few similarities to adrenal fatigue, a condition that is still not fully recognized by the medical profession (like fibromyalgia’s hard journey towards recognition). There are some excellent doctors online who do believe in its existence but I don’t hold out any hope that it will be accepted by the establishment for many years to come.

  • Reply
    July 11 at 9:04 am

    Late afternoon between 3 to 6 o’clock is when I feel my worst. I call it my afternoon slump. I am in more pain, feel more fatigued, and it affects my mood. If I have been lucky enough to go through the earlier part of the day without a headache, it also sets in during my afternoon slump.

    • Reply
      July 11 at 9:12 am

      Right?! So weird, this afternoon deal. Thanks Sue! Hope your afternoon is a good one today 😉

  • Reply
    July 11 at 4:15 pm

    I also have my low time same time as you. My hubby and I call it sundowners like alzheimer patients do.

    • Reply
      July 11 at 7:22 pm

      Hmmm…interesting, I will keep that in mind! Thank you Virginnia! 🙂

  • Reply
    July 15 at 9:51 am

    Very good advice. I’m writing a series and I wrote that you need to make up a daily schedule to live by. Having that pleasrable activity set for this time of day is an excellent thing to do. Then that time of day will become something you look forward to rather than dreading it or falling victim to it.

  • Reply
    Chronic Mom
    July 15 at 10:16 am

    For me it’s nighttime. I can keep it up during the day, but when I start winding down at night I tend so start feeling depressed because the reality of my pain sets in. Interesting how for a lot of people it’s the late afternoon that’s the problem.
    Chronic Mom recently posted…I’m jealous of youMy Profile

    • Reply
      July 15 at 10:51 am

      I know, really, it IS weird. Oh well, cie la vie 😉

  • Reply
    Sharon Hutchinson
    July 16 at 11:37 am

    For me, it starts late afternoon and continues into the night. Way too long a time to feel this way….

  • Reply
    Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar
    July 17 at 5:41 pm

    I had never really thought about it, but you’re right. Thanks for articulating this phenomenon in this post. I definitely have an energy slump in the late afternoon. I get really sleepy and grumpy starting around 2 or 3. I often find a do better if I’ve gotten exercise, either in the morning, or in the late afternoon before supper. That generally helps me feel a lot better. I also think your idea of just being aware and prepared is really wise.

    • Reply
      July 17 at 9:23 pm

      Thank you Joyce! Good tips, have a wonderful week 🙂

  • Reply
    Deborah Davis
    July 18 at 11:11 am

    I have always enjoyed your healthy and relevant insights. I am so glad that you shared How To Deal With A ‘Bad Time Of Day’- Low Afternoon Mood Levels at the Healthy Happy Green & Natural Party!Thank you so much for sharing your healthy, natural gems and for your support! Pinning and sharing!
    Deborah Davis recently posted…Naturally Speaking Interview: Vegan Coach and Personal Trainer Ramona CadoganMy Profile

  • Reply
    Brandi Clevinger
    July 21 at 5:59 am

    That is also a bad time of the day for me. I don’t think it has to do with anything other than our bodies are exhausted from the day’s activities. Regardless of what those activities are, our bodies are tired from the day. For me, it doesn’t matter how much rest, sleep, or easy I am during the day, come three or so, I’m beat. I’m fighting the urge to go to bed for the night.
    Brandi Clevinger recently posted…+Positive Parenting ChallengeMy Profile

    • Reply
      July 23 at 2:20 pm

      The funny thing is, as soon as it hits around 7pm, I feel better (even if I have physical pain). For me it’s some kind of ‘mental’ thing. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 24 at 10:34 am

    Wow, I thought I was the only one. Mine is between 3-4 in the afternoon. Almost everyday, no matter if I sleep in or get up early. I just seem to flag during this time. I try to make sure I’m drinking water and that I’ve had my food intake for the day. And that helps. Sometimes I have to stop and lay down for a few moments and watch a TV show to distract me, then when I get up it’s easier for me to tackle the rest of the day. Thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone! I’ll think of you while I’m in one of these funks, that’ll help too!
    Nikki recently posted…5 Swoon Worthy WordPress Theme Options.My Profile

  • Reply
    Caterpillar Crawl: July 2016 – The Hungry Caterpillar
    July 30 at 11:06 pm

    […] Low Afternoon Mood Levels – How to Deal with a ‘Bad Time of Day’ from A Life Well Red. I definitely experience a late to mid-afternoon energy slump. #morning person. Do you have a ‘bad time of the day’ too? […]

  • Reply
    August 1 at 5:18 am

    This is one of those scenarios where, as much as I don’t want to know that others are struggling with the same thing, it makes me feel so much more comforted to know I am not alone. I can relate to this exactly. Only my “bad” hours are more about 2-6. Its more like, I don’t know what to do with myself at these hours. I get very anxious and can’t get myself to do or focus on anything that may even be on my ” to do list.” I have a very hard time sitting and so can’t get myself to just sit and relax, and yet I’m usually tired as well. I usually end up anxiously flitting around from thing to thing, not getting ANYTHING actually accomplished, until 6:00 when I eat dinner. And then the day is basically over. I really hate afternoons, because of this, and really fear them when I have a full day off :(.

    • Reply
      August 1 at 6:14 pm

      It does help when you realize you are not alone! This is one of the things I love the most about connecting with people online. Although there are the awful ones, most are just like us and looking for a sense of community. It’s almsot as if in today’s world, websites and ‘comments’ have taken the place of ‘visiting for coffee’! Have a wonderful rest of the week Cora! ♥

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