You had a productive morning at work, checking things off your to-do list left and right. You had an amazing lunch, but coming back to work has triggered an afternoon slump and a drop in your energy levels. As frustrating as that can be, here are some tips on how to move past it!
Get enough sleep at night.
While this isn’t something you can fix immediately, evaluate your sleeping patterns and habits. If you are regularly not getting enough sleep, that can cause you to easily feel fatigued in the afternoon.
If you need a bit of a reset, aim for a 10–20-minute nap between 1-4 pm. This will be long enough that you can regain your focus but early enough in the day that you won’t affect your sleep at night.
Stand up and get moving.
You can use this as an opportunity to stretch, do a quick walk around the office, or even ensure that you get enough exercise outside of working hours. This improves blood and oxygen circulation throughout your body, making you feel more awake and enhancing your focus.
Consider actually shaking your body, from your arms to your legs. It is a quick way to activate your body and mind while allowing concerns to settle.
Watch your caffeine intake.
While every person is different, it is recommended to be aware of your caffeine intake in the afternoon. Caffeine has an average half-life of about five hours, so it is typically recommended that you stop ingesting it at least six hours before you go to sleep, but ideally earlier.
If you get a later afternoon slump and start feeling tired, instead of caffeine, try a glass of cold water, a handful of jumping jacks, or even munching on an apple.
Enjoy some fresh air.
Sunshine does wonders for resetting the afternoon slump, but even if the weather isn’t as nice, fresh air is rejuvenating. It enhances focus and offers a change of stimulus, which can help you do your best work afterward!
Eat a healthy snack.
Processed sugar can be a fun treat, but limit the amount you eat, as they will only enhance your afternoon slump. Fruit is a great sweet option that will offer more sustained energy than sugar, but your best bet for sustained energy is to eat a snack full of protein, such as jerky, peanut butter, or cheese. Ideally, you’ll have a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for the best results!
Check out our recipe for no-bake energy bites that are perfect for the afternoon!
Many of your body’s functions, including various thinking processes, require your body to stay hydrated. Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day to keep your focus sharp and reduce the chance of headaches.
Look for inspiration and things that make you happy.
It can be as simple as turning on the music you like listening to or taking a moment to admire the art in your office. This enhances your mood, which can help you break out of your afternoon slump.
Take a break.
If you have tried all of the above tips and nothing seems to be working, take a short break. Pushing harder will not necessarily increase your focus or the quality of your work. Allow your mind and body to rest, which will help you to sustain your work efforts down the road.
Which of these tips works best for you to break out of your afternoon slump? 😊
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Written by Kayla Willsey