We’ve all been there—the afternoon slump. It usually happens between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 PM when lunch is over and the end of the day can’t seem to come soon enough. Many of us have just learned to cope with the afternoon slump over the years, but did you know there are easy ways to fight back? It’s true, and these are some of our favorites.
Go for a walk
Simple enough, right? Studies show that taking a quick 20 minute walk during a break can boost energy levels and decrease fatigue. Try taking advantage of a nice day by walking outside on your lunch break. Can’t walk over your break due to weather or time constraints? No problem. Even a short walk to and from the breakroom for a snack can help you reenergize your mind and body.
Listen to high energy music
Listening to high energy music is a great way to get your toes tapping, and more movement means you’ll be more alert in the afternoon. Can’t focus on your work when all that’s going through your head are the lyrics to Beck’s latest hit single? No problem. There are plenty of high energy instrumentals out there that’ll wake you up without being overly distracting.
Step away from the screen
Staring at your computer screen for too long can cause fatigue both for your eyes and for your mind. Not only should you get away from your desk over your lunchbreak, but you should also make an effort to look away from your computer screen a couple times per hour, even if just for a few minutes. Collaborating with co-workers, taking a bathroom break and rearranging your workspace are all great ways of giving your eyes a rest for a few minutes.
There are subtle desk stretches you can do without embarrassing yourself or distracting your neighbor. Sneak in some from time to time and you’ll find you’re able to stay more alert for longer periods of time. Check out the stretches that Mayo Clinic recommends you do at your desk every day.
Eat a healthy snack
Emphasis on healthy, people! Healthy snacks like fruits and nuts will boost your energy for long enough to get you through the afternoon, and they’re a lot healthier than energy drinks, that’s for sure. Bring some to work to keep at your desk or talk to your employer about the possibility of offering free healthy snacks to employees.
Drink cold water
Speaking of snacks, if you’re finding yourself constantly snacking on junk food and soda throughout the day, you may not be hungry at all. You may be dehydrated. Drink water frequently throughout the day, and chug a few gulps of ice cold water in the afternoon to wake yourself up if you’re starting to slump.
Eat an energizing lunch
Put down the pasta! Overloading on carbs is just asking to feel sleepy in the afternoon. Try a healthier option complete with fruits and veggies instead. Get tips and recipes from The Kitchn if you’re looking for more ideas on what constitutes a healthy lunch.
Say goodbye to the slumps! Combine these tips to conquer your afternoon fatigue and get back to work once and for all.