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How to Avoid the Afternoon Slump
  • Doni Dennis
  • |

How to Avoid the Afternoon Slump

You’ve hit the afternoon slump.  What do you do? While it’s tempting to curl up under your desk for a nap, there are more effective ways to finish your workday strong.

Move!

Head outside for a 10-minute walk.  While you’re breathing in the fresh air and soaking in all-important Vitamin D, you’ll also be stretching your legs, and getting your heart pumping. 

Model is wearing Samuel Hubbard Highlander Oxfords in Brown Pebble Grain. Photo by Jason Prziborowski.

If time or weather isn’t on your side for an outside walk, skip the afternoon emails and walk to your co-worker’s desks to discuss business in person.  Or shut your door, skip to the bathroom, or conference room -- whatever your workspace allows -- and dance to your favorite song.  A few bouncy minutes later and you’ll be ready to dive back in. 

If your job leaves you chained to your desk, do isometric exercises.  Some of the best can be found here

Nosh!

An afternoon nibbling is sometimes exactly what you need.  But, while your body might be screaming for sugar or other simple carbs, what your body really needs is protein and fiber. 

Almonds or just about any kind of nuts will help sharpen your mind and give you a boost.  Vegetables and hummus, lean meats and cheeses, and hard-boiled eggs are all good alternatives. 

If you need something with just a bit of sweetness, opt for dark chocolate. 

With fiber, magnesium and just a touch of caffeine, dark chocolate is becoming known as one of the superfoods.  “Real” dark chocolate is made with cocoa butter instead of milk.  Look for bars with at least 70% cocoa which is known to have the most flavonoids and heart protective benefits.

Drink!

We hear it everywhere, but most of us just don’t get enough water.  Hydrating yourself, especially in the afternoon, is one of the best ways to give your energy a boost.

Feel the need for something just a little stronger?  Green tea has been proven to focus your mind and give you energy.  And it’s not just the caffeine.  Green tea also contains L-Theanine, an ingredient that has been shown to help regulate the caffeine so that it releases it slowly while also increasing key brain functionality. 

Avoid so-called energy drinks which can lead to anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and even cardiac arrest.

Mix it Up!

Add some variety to your afternoon.  If you find yourself losing momentum, schedule meetings to brainstorm ideas.  If you’re the type to schedule afternoon meetings but can’t seem to focus, change that time to push on a sole project or task. 

Use the afternoon to clean off your desk, file, or answer emails.  You’ll see immediate tangible results and just might provide clarity and momentum finish your to-do list.