10 Ways To Avoid That Mid-Afternoon Slump

If you’re like most of your coworkers, you succumb to a low energy period shortly after lunch, when your concentration plummets, and you have a hard time keeping your eyes open and your head from taking a brief snooze on your desktop, and your productivity basically goes in the waste basket. God forbid you have an afternoon meeting where everyone in the room is just thinking about going home for a nap.

The good news is that your afternoon doesn’t need to be a total write off! Here are ten effective ways to avoid that mid-afternoon slump…

1. Get Some Fresh Air

Did you know that a brief 10 minutes of sunshine and fresh air is really all you need to reset your chronological clock and decrease levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone that’s lulling you off to zzzzzzzzzzzzz’s)? A bit of vitamin D and fresh air will clear your mind and get you out of that slump in no time.

2. Make Time for Exercise

If your office building has a gym, or if you have one conveniently down the street—take advantage by going for a quick 30 minute workout during your lunch break.

3. Graze vs. Binge

There are some definite benefits to snacking lightly all day long on nutritious foods rather than scarfing down a huge lunch. The smaller portion size will ensure you don’t go hungry, but don’t overeat and be exhausted from digesting a huge meal either.

4. Opt for Protein vs. Carbs

Choose protein over carbohydrates will ensure that your energy levels and concentration aren’t sapped out on digestion mid-day. Why? Because the act of digesting carbs stimulates serotonin, the sleep hormone that makes you want to nap rather than finishing that financial report.

5. Take a Whiff of Mint

Peppermint oil in is a revitalizing, energy-enhancing scent so keeping some peppermint oil in your desk or brew some mint tea. Having a whiff mid day can snap you out of your slump.

6.  Host Teatime

A mid-afternoon cup of tea can beat off the afternoon doldrums in a pinch—especially if that tea contains caffeine. Plus, a moment or two devoted to meditative tea time will also banish stress and help you refocus for the rest of your day.

7. Take a Brisk Walk

One effective way to resist that bag of chips from the vending machine is to go for a brisk 10 minute walk around the block. Not only will you avoid the sugar crash waiting for you, but you’ll return to your desk with renewed energy and less stress.

8. Drink Water

Keeping hydrated throughout the day will keep you from falling victim to a desk nap. Keep a bottle of water at your desk to ensure you’re getting at least 6 to 8 glasses a day, or steep some herbal tea if water is not your preference.

9. Nosh on Spirulina

Spriulina, a type of blue-green freshwater algae, is rich in antioxidants, protein, iron, and vitamin C—all vital energy boosters. You can purchase it powdered at most health food stores, and add a bit to your mid-afternoon water to revitalize your day.

10. Avoid Sugar Temptations

That chocolate bar, can of soda, or butter tart will only perk you up and stifle hunger momentarily. The rapid sugar rush will result in a blood sugar crash within a few hours, robbing your day of productivity and energy.

Looking for other health-focused articles? Check out these posts on healthy eating:


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.