The dreaded afternoon slump, something we’ve all experienced. Whether you anticipate its arrival or whether it hits you by surprise, it’s a wreck on productivity. First, you feel your eyelids droop and then a constant need to scroll through social media. An afternoon nap would be ideal, but you’ve got things to do. Here’s how you can restore your energy and beat the afternoon slump.
Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
Starting the day right is key. Remember, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This means no to skipping out, regardless of how busy you may be! Make sure you incorporate enough protein, healthy fats and fibre to your carbohydrates. These will make you feel full for longer and stabilise blood sugar levels by slowing digestion. There are plenty of combinations you can play around with. Choose any carbohydrate as a base, for example, oatmeal or bread. Then, throw on your choice of nut butter, mashed avocado, eggs and fruit.
Dehydration is a major player in the afternoon slump, so chug, chug, chug! Keeping hydrated will help maintain effective bodily functioning. Try to skull a large cup of water in the morning before breakfast and keep drinking throughout the day. You’ll notice that you tend to drink more water if you keep a large jug of water at your desk. This is because it acts as a constant reminder. Some people find it difficult to drink water because of the taste, or the lack of, but be warned and stay away from sugary beverages. Instead, add a few slices of fresh citrus, mint leaves or berries to your water for a healthy boost of flavour.
Go for a Walk
Moving your body and getting a change of scenery is a great way to boost productivity. If you think you’re too busy, remember that 10 minutes is enough. Going for a walk naturally increases blood flow to your brain and body and lifts your heart rate. One of the reasons why people tend to notice fatigue in the afternoon is because they’ve been mostly stationary all day. By moving around, you’re not only exercising the body but also the brain. Chemicals from the brain are released, allowing you to stay alert and refreshed. Great for beating the afternoon slump.
Understand the Importance of Sun and Shade
Sunlight is important because it provides your body with a healthy dose of Vitamin D, which helps you to stay alert. Our brains are wired to wake us up when we’re exposed to light and fall asleep in the dark. That’s why it’s a good idea to get enough sun in the morning to get us going for the day. When it comes to the afternoon, too much sun exposure in the afternoon can make you tired because your body tries to maintain the right temperature. Stay away from direct heat and keep in the shade if you can. If your desk is near a window, use sunlight control blinds to avoid the light directly hitting you. This is particularly important in the summer, to avoid overheating.
Say No to Caffeine
A cup of coffee in the morning might give you the mental boost you need to start your day. This being said, try sticking to one cup and avoid it completely in the afternoon. Too much coffee in the morning will give you a caffeine crash and make you reliant on having an afternoon pick-me-up. Instead, eat a small piece of dark chocolate for that boost of dopamine.
It’s normal to feel sluggish and low energy once the arvo comes around. Our mind and body need some rest. However, if you follow these tips, you can keep yourself energised so you can get more things done during the day. You’ll definitely notice an increase in productivity after lunch!
When she started her career as a freelance writer, Johanna Cider had struggled from the occasional afternoon slump. She finds walking around her neighbourhood to be her best bet for fixing it. See more of Johanna’s work here.