Are you struggling to get over the afternoon slump? Are you wondering what you can do to stay energized throughout the day?
If you struggle with the afternoon slump, it’s not because you’re lazy. The afternoon slump may be caused by a variety of things, including dehydration, high-stress levels, poor eating habits, or poor sleep. It may also be caused by an underlying metabolic disorder.
The afternoon slump is also our body’s natural response to circadian rhythms. We tend to be the sleepiest between the hours of 2 am and 4 am and 1 pm to 3 pm.
While your response to the afternoon slump may be to take a nap, this will likely just make it harder for you to fall asleep at night. If you lose sleep at night, the afternoon slump will only continue to get worse and worse.
Luckily, there are things you can do to combat the afternoon slump. Read on below to find out more.
1. Hit the Gym
Not only will hitting the gym help you combat the afternoon slump, but it can also help you boost your productivity levels. According to a 2011 study, a midday workout can make you more productive when you return to your desk.
Depending on how long your lunch break is, you may not have time to hit the gym. If you only have 30 minutes or so, try going for a brisk walk. If you’re really crunched for time, you can do some exercises right at your desk.
For example, you can stand up and do some squats or jumping jacks. Or, you can keep a pair of dumbbells in your desk and get a quick pump in during your break.
2. Choose Your Lunch Wisely
While a big meal loaded with carbs may be delicious for your afternoon lunch, it can also cause you to feel pretty drowsy when you return to work.
You should especially avoid refined carbs such as white bread, pasta, cakes, and pastries. These foods cause your blood sugar to spike, followed by a drop in blood sugar that depletes your energy levels. Try eating something for lunch that combines protein and complex carbs.
For example, you can eat a salad with some tofu or a slice of multigrain bread with some almond butter and a banana. If you’re craving a treat after your meal, stick with some dark chocolate or a piece of fruit.
3. Drink Fluids
In addition to eating the right foods, you also want to make sure you’re drinking the right fluids. Dehydration can cause you to feel fatigued, so keep a water bottle at your desk so you can sip throughout the day.
Avoid sugary drinks, as these will cause you to crash, and stay away from caffeinated beverages in the afternoon, as these may interfere with your sleep at night.
4. Get Outdoors
Getting outdoors can also work wonders for getting past the afternoon slump. Spending time in nature helps us in various ways. A recent study in Japan had people spend 20 minutes walking through the forest or the city center.
They found that those who spent time walking through the forest reported significantly lower stress levels and elevated moods than those who walked through urban areas.
Of course, not all of us have the luxury of popping into the forest on our lunch breaks. But, even just taking a quick stroll through a park or sitting out on your balcony can make a world of difference.
Remember, sunlight is very important to our circadian rhythms. Stepping outside will remind your body that it’s still daytime and therefore, time to stay awake.
5. Take a Quick Nap
Napping in the afternoon isn’t always the best day. As we mentioned earlier, a long nap can throw off your sleep at night. But, if you don’t allow yourself to nap for too long, you can re-energize for the rest of the day and easily fall asleep at night.
Try to keep your nap between 10 and 20 minutes. This will allow you to recharge without affecting your sleep schedule. Set an alarm so you don’t nap too long, and if you can, don’t nap at your desk. It’s much better to nap on a couch or in a quiet space where you can actually get some rest.
6. Try CBD
CBD comes from the marijuana flower, and it helps many people stay focused and energized throughout the day. However, the great thing about CBD is that, unlike THC, it doesn’t get you high.
This means you can enjoy all of the benefits of marijuana without worrying about any of the psychoactive properties. While there are many CBD strains you can try to get past your afternoon slump, we suggest trying the citron strain.
7. Try the Pomodoro Technique
If you really struggle to focus in the afternoon, we suggest trying the Pomodoro technique. This technique is simple. All you need to do is choose one task to focus on for 25 minutes.
It doesn’t matter which task you choose- the goal is to just keep working for 25 minutes straight on that one task. Set a timer for 25 minutes and get to work. Once the timer runs out, take a 5-minute break. Then, move on to another 25-minute task.
Repeat this process until you’ve completed all of your tasks.
Are You Ready to Beat the Afternoon Slump?
Now that you know how to beat the afternoon slump, it’s time to make use of these tips. With the help of the above tips, you’ll have no problem cruising through the afternoon slump with some newfound energy.
For more tips on how to stay productive throughout the workday, check back in with our blog.