Tips for Beating the Afternoon Slump—No Caffeine Required

You’ve been awake since 6 a.m., feeling motivated and prepared to have a productive day. You head out the door, get to your desk and start immediately checking off items from your to-do list. Nothing can stop you! At least, that is until the mid-afternoon wall hits you and all you want to do is take a nap. If you’re like most people, that’s when you reach for what you hope will give you a second wind: coffee, energy drink or soda.

While a cup of joe can give you a short-term energy boost, drinking too much of it can cause upset stomach, restlessness and increased heart and breathing rates. Moreover, drinking anything with caffeine during the late afternoon can impact how well you sleep that night (it can take six hours for half of the caffeine in your coffee to leave your body).

So the next time you start feeling sluggish around 3 p.m., consider one of these alternative ways to power up your pep:

  • Get moving with “deskercises.” Working out can increase the blood flow throughout your body and raise endorphin levels, helping you feel ready to power through the afternoon. This is especially important considering some people spend up to 90 percent of their workday sitting behind a computer with little to no activity. Need some ideas for ways to be active without working up too much of a sweat? Try performing these desk exercises
  • Drink a glass of water. When you get lost in work, you may forget to refill your water bottle. And it turns out dehydration can cause your energy levels to tank. When you’re properly hydrated, your brain receives the amount of blood and nutrients it needs to perk you up, so keep the water flowing.
  • Go for a quick walk. Grab a co-worker or head out solo for a short afternoon stroll. The sun is a natural mood-enhancer, increasing your serotonin and energy levels. A mid-day walk can also improve your mood, help manage your weight and even get your creative juices flowing.
  • Grab a bite to eat. A healthy snack may be the answer to combating your weekday slump, since low blood sugar can mean low energy. Try one of these to get a get maximum energy boost: hard-boiled egg, fruit, low-fat cheese, cereal bar with protein and fiber, veggies with hummus, nuts or Greek yogurt.

Photo Credit: caio_triana

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