Your day is going well… you’re working hard and rapidly knocking items off your to-do list one after the other when it hits you.
It’s the dreaded afternoon slump.
Almost like clockwork, you notice the brain fog rolling in and a nearly irresistible urge to crawl under your desk for a quick nap.
Well fear those post-lunch slumps no more because here are five quick tips to help you make it through your day… without reaching for caffeine drinks and sugary treats that only lead to another crash later in the day.
Eat a Power Breakfast
Start your day right with a power breakfast. Push away those white breads and sugar cereals with their refined carbohydrates that give you a short-term high and leave you high and dry later in the day.
Instead, stick with more complex carbohydrates like whole-grain breads and cereals. Be sure to add some protein to your breakfast like eggs (yes, the whole egg) which helps balance your blood sugar level during the day to prevent that spike and crash cycle.
Bring on the Mighty Lunch
Carbs can increase seratonin levels in your brain. That might make you feel happier… but it can also cause you to become drowsy. Instead, eat a light lunch with more protein like lean meats and avoid the carbs that’ll send you to snooze land later in the afternoon.
Laugh Away the Blues
Laughter has been called the best medicine. And that holds true for beating the afternoon blues too.
Simply laughing for one minute is equivalent to 10 minutes on a rowing machine according to Dr. William Fry of Stanford University. It exercises your heart, reduces blood pressure, and vigorous laughter even promotes oxygen flow in your body. This will wake you up and put a smile on your face all at the same time.
Take a Hike
It almost sounds counterintuitive, but exercise is a terrific way to increase your energy. If you have time, a mid-day workout is great. But even a brisk walk around the parking lot after lunch can be enough to get your blood pumping again. If all else fails, do some simple stretches at your desk… or if you’re really shy you can do them in the big stall at the far end of your employer’s restroom. Just get moving!
Turn Up the Radio
Upbeat music can do wonders for your energy levels. It doesn’t matter whether your musical tastes run toward the latest hip-hop and pop numbers, the heaviest metal, or you’re kicking it old school like Beethoven’s 5th, a good beat can recharge your batteries so fast you’ll be punching out from work before you know where the time went.
One Last Crazy Idea
Hey… this is post-lunch slump quick fix #6, but you deserve a bonus tip… and I’ve saved the best for last.
Dr. James B. Maas, noted sleep researcher and bestselling author of Power Sleep and Sleep for Success, has noted that we naturally experience two periods of drowsiness every day: one between 2:00PM and 4:00PM, and the other in the late evening.
While a good night’s sleep is an antidote to extreme sluggishness, that’s not always possible. So when we don’t get a full sleep “meal” the night before, instead of a caffeine fix which can interfere with sleep that night, Dr. Maas recommends giving our body a sleep “snack” by taking a mid-day nap.
Yep, you have the expert’s permission to crawl under your desk after all. But there’s a trick to avoiding waking up groggy. You need to nap for either 20 minutes or 90 minutes to ensure you don’t wake up in the middle of a deep sleep cycle. After recharging your sleep batteries Dr. Maas says you’ll be able to work like you’re riding a double-espresso high.
Try It Free!
Written By: Updated: August 2,2011