Afternoon Slump Got You Down? Perk Up With These Afternoon Energy Tips
Ah, the good old afternoon slump--it gets us all, and for those of us with desk jobs it can be a daily struggle. The most common way to combat the slump is to pour a third cup of coffee and hope for the best. But coffee gives you jitters and can interfere with your precious sleep cycle when you drink it late in the day. If you skip the coffee and go for a sugary snack from the vending machine, you get a jolt of energy for a bit, only to come crashing back down when you're finishing up the last details at work (which are usually the important details!). Be more strategic about how you spend your afternoon break with these tips for boosting energy in 10 minutes or less.
- Do Something That Isn’t Work - Take 5 and occupy yourself with anything other than work. Text a friend, jot a few lines down in your notebook, or read a chapter in a book. Giving yourself a little personal time throughout the day helps ease work fatigue and recharge for the next task.
- Move Your Body - Get your body moving! Sitting is a resting pose, so when we do it for hours on end our body thinks we are at rest. Make sure to get your blood pumping throughout the day. Keep some weights or a yoga mat in your office, or bust out a few reps of sit-ups and push-ups every hour or so.
- Drink Green Tea - Swap your afternoon cup of coffee for some green tea. Green tea is naturally hydrating, contains less caffeine than coffee, and it’s loaded with antioxidants and brain-boosting polyphenols. Rowdy Tip: Make sure to buy higher quality teas, as they are more potent. Also, the cheaper teas contain more fluoride in them.
- Step Away From The Screen - Slouching over our desks and squinting at the computer screen is draining, so build screen breaks into your schedule throughout the day to rest your eyes and give your body a break from sitting. Walk down the hall to speak to your coworker face-to-face, or stand up and walk around the block. Resist the urge to pull out your phone during these computer breaks--otherwise it’s not a screen break at all!
- Eat a Smaller Lunch - A massive meatball sandwich for the midday meal will weigh down your motivation and your eyelids. Aim for a smaller, nutrient-dense lunch with more protein than carbohydrates. Have some energy boosting snacks on-hand for those afternoon cravings.
- Nosh on an Energy Boosting Snack - With a smaller lunch, you may start to feel a little hungry round 3-4pm. Come prepared with an energy boosting snack that can help you push through the last leg of the workday. Stay away from sugary snacks, as these might lead to sugar crash and irritability in the evening.
- Hydrate - Hydration changes everything. If you start to yawn, head straight to the water cooler and fill’er up. Downing an 8 oz glass of water can wake you right up.
- Try a Power Nap - It is possible to have a productive nap in 10-20 minutes! Shut your office door, jump into your car or find a nice comfortable spot to rest your eyes for a few minutes. The tricky task you’ve been stumped on all morning might just become clear to you after a tiny snooze!
- Choose a New Playlist - Binaural beats got you falling asleep? Switch up your playlist for something upbeat. Tune into your childhood favorite pop singer or listen to your workout playlist for a bit.