Beat the Afternoon Slump

Beat the Afternoon Slump

We have all been there: a super-productive morning finishing projects, working towards inbox zero, and fighting the urge to tweet at co-workers. Then the clock strikes two and we might as well pull down the shades, throw on pajamas, and hop into bed. It’s completely normal to feel super-tired once the afternoon rolls around. Sleep patterns may be to blame for the midday-slump. Out “sleep signals” peak at night and during the afternoon (around 2pm), which may explain why, we want to grab an afternoon catnap. Other factors, like what we eat, hydration levels, and how much time we spend staring at a screen can also affect those tired eyes.

So to beat the mid-afternoon slump, try these tips to boost energy and feel lively all day long.

QUICK FIXES

  • Workout- A midday trip to the gym may not only boost productivity, it can ward off sleepiness, too. Stick to some light aerobic exercise before getting back to the books. Don’t have time to hit the gym? Try some “deskercises” to work out at work.
  • Step Away From the Screen- In order to avoid eyestrain, which can make your eyes feel tired, keep a safe distance from the computer screen-about an arm’s length.
  • Stretch It Out- Feeling stiff? Stretching out can provide a quick boost of energy. If there’s no stretching station in sight, try some desk stretches to keep the muscles loose.
  • Move Around- A change of scenery may boost productivity, so do some work at a coffee shop or camp out in a meeting room. Try to park near a window for some natural light, which also helps to keep us alert.
  • Sip on some Green Tea- With less caffeine than a cup of coffee, a mug of green tea can give us that afternoon pick-me-up without keeping us awake all night. Plus the nutritional benefits are enough to keep anyone wide-eyed and perky.
  • Talk It Out- Instead of emailing a coworker down the hall, take a trip to his/her desk and talk in person. This’ll stretch out the legs while providing a break from staring at the screen.
  • Try a Walking Meeting- Take that meeting to the road and discuss what you would in the office outdoors. Take a lap around the neighborhood or the building for some fresh air.
  • Take a Break- Take five minutes to do something besides work (like calling a friend or doing a crossword puzzle) in order to give your body and mind a break.
  • Turn Up The Tunes- Listening to some favorite music might help us focus and feel more energized. Listen with headphones to really hone in on a task and side-step sleepiness.

ALL-DAY ASSISTS

Try to get into the habit of these helpful tips in order to prevent the midday slump from happening in the first place.

  • Remember Breakfast- Forgoing the most important meal of the day may lead to an energy crash around 2pm. Remember to eat a healthy breakfast to sustain energy throughout the day. Tight for time? Prep the night before. Be prepared.
  • Avoid Sugar- A little sugar may go a long way- in the wrong direction. Consuming some sweets may provide a sugar-high that will only lead to a sugar crash, making us even sleepier.
  • Stay Hydrated-In order to avoid dehydration and its sleepy side effects, just keep sipping.
  • Skip the Booze- Ease up at the office happy hour. Fatigue is a symptom of the good ol’ hangover, so avoid drinking during the week and when you do have a drink, keep the consumption at a minimum.
  • Get Enough Sleep- This may be a no-brainer, but getting enough sleep Is vital to staying energized throughout the day.

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