Beat The Afternoon Slump With These 11 Top Tips
We’ve all been there. As soon as you arrived at your desk that morning, you were going full steam ahead. Now, despite just having had your lunch, it seems that you’ve completely run out of steam. The clock has just struck 3 and you’re feeling beat, sluggish, low on energy and quite demotivated.
The afternoon slump is a common office staple and no matter how many times you’ve been crowned employee of the month, we’ve all had to face this slump once or twice. You’re now left trying to find both energy and motivation without having to take a quick power nap at your desk. As opposed to reaching out for a quick caffeine fix, there are ways to which you can ensure that both your energy and motivation don’t dwindle as the clock strikes two.
Read on for tips and tricks on how to keep both your laptop on and your eyes open – this is how you beat this issue once and for all.
1. Start right
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; especially if you’re looking to avoid an afternoon rut. Skipping breakfast may leave you sleepy later during the day as breakfast fuels your body, thus keeping you energized throughout the day. Skipping breakfast may not only leave you weak but you are also likely to overeat when you finally sit down to enjoy a meal. When choosing breakfast, make sure to go for protein and whole grains such as oats with fruits or yogurt with healthy toppings.
Another way to which to start right is by ensuring that you get enough sleep the night before. Having trouble doing that? Click here for foods that will help ensure a good night’s rest.
2. Office chair yoga
Sitting at your for long periods of time cannot only lead to back problems but studies have also linked it to possible deteriorating brain health. Stretching can not only boost your energy levels and refresh your muscles but it can also help to maintain the health of your spine. Aside from trying a few stretches at your desk, you can also adopt a few yoga poses such as the seated crescent moon pose. Click here for more office yoga techniques. You can also opt for desk squats or even breathing exercises. The breathing exercises will help increase oxygen intake and this could be exactly just what your brain needed.
3. Easy yet mindful tasks
Just because you’re too lazy to think doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. Mindless tasks such as organizing your emails, filing, cleaning your desk or even updating your password and clearing your phone of unnecessary apps are tasks that you need to do but they’re unlikely to require too much thinking. You might even feel a burst of energy from completing a variety of different tasks.
4. Learn something new
Once you’re done with your mindless yet meaningful tasks, you can find another way to which to engage your brain. Fun but quick tasks such as crosswords, puzzle game or even the latest level of CandyCrush stimulate your concentration levels and help your brain refocus. If you’re not one for games, watch a TEDTalk, as you will definitely learn something new from it or engage in a short lecture on the various online learning portals available.
5. Add a dose of green
According to to The Human Spaces report into The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace, environments with natural elements have a 15% higher level of well being and are 6% more productive and 15% more creative overall. Adopting an office plant and putting it on your desk will not only improve aesthetics but it will also gives you a good dose of clean, healthy oxygen.
6. Eat the right afternoon snack
It’s common to want to beat the office slump by grabbing a quick bite once mid-afternoon rolls by – just be careful you don’t choose the wrong one. Although they’re go-to snacks, chips, fries and candy bars are rich in carbohydrates and sugar – both of which will drain energy levels. Choose to snack smart by enjoying foods that are rich in both fibre and protein. These include apples (with almond butter), mixed nuts or cheese with whole grain crackers.
7. Take a walk
Sunshine wakes you up in the morning so it might as well do the same in the afternoon. Besides, your body needs a break from sitting at a desk all day. One study published in the journal Ecopsychology found that walking was associated with a host of mental health benefits that included decreased depression, improved well-being and lower perceived stress. Not only will the fresh air feel invigorating but stepping outside will improve blood
circulation. If you’re not a fan of sunlight, you can also go up and down a few flights of stairs at the office. Just get moving!
8. Enjoy your lunch outside
While you’re taking a walk, don’t be shy to take your lunch with you. The exposure to sunlight will invigorate you (as well as give you a great boost of vitamin D) and the lunch gives you enough reason to stay away from your desk for a certain period of time. When packing your lunch, stay clear of carbohydrates, fats and sugars as these can greatly contribute to an afternoon slump. Enjoy a balanced lunch that involves whole grains, monounsaturated fats and vegetables.
9. Smell something sweet
Even more reason to get an office plant. Aromatherapy has been linked to provide stress relief, mental stimulation as well as a mood boost- all of which you’re likely to need mid-afternoon. Essential oils such as peppermint and rosemary have delicious scents and they’re sure to provide great pick-me-ups.
10. Crank up the tunes
I’m not suggesting a dance party in the office but listening to your favorite song can provide you with the energy (and mood) boost that you need. Don’t be shy to get lost in the beat before coming back down to earth, feeling refreshed and ready for the next task.
11. Set goals (and rewards)
Motivation means that you’re feel more determined and energized to complete your work. However, motivation is something you’ll need to apply on your own. One way to do so would be to set goals and reward yourself once you’ve accomplished the task.
The afternoon slump is relentless and quite unavoidable. However, by properly preparing yourself, you can ensure that your energy levels (and your work ethic) never falter.
Want to find out more?
Click on the link to discover why you really shouldn’t reach for that caffeine-laden energy drink when your battery feels a little low.