Sep 19, 2014

Beating the Afternoon Slump

For many people, mid-afternoon is the time when energy and concentration levels plummet. But it doesn't mean you have to write off the rest of the afternoon. Here are some ways to give yourself an energy boost that will help you get on with your day.

Get some natural daylight

The ‘blue light’ found in daylight is important for keeping your body clock running on time, so you sleep well at night and feel refreshed during the day. Even when it’s a cloudy day, exposing your eyes to natural light will help decrease melatonin in your body—the hormone that makes you feel sleepy.

Researchers have found that daylight can boost alertness, attention span and performance straight away, no matter what time of day it is. So head outside and enjoy the winter sun for 10 minutes to feel more awake.

Enjoy an energy snack

Reaching for a snack when you’re low on energy may give you a lift, but it won’t last unless you choose a healthy option that’s high in protein and fibre, with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Some good options include a boiled egg with wholegrain toast, fruit smoothie with yoghurt and blended fresh fruit, pita bread with dip, a handful of almonds or a piece of fresh fruit.

Also consider whether you may just be thirsty, as water plays a major role in your body’s energy levels.

Inhale an uplifting scent

Rosemary and peppermint have both been shown to improve alertness and energy, so light an oil-burner at your desk or dab a few drops of body oils on your skin. You may even like to sip on a peppermint or rosemary tea for a comforting and uplifting afternoon treat.

Get up and moving

Once you’ve eaten a healthy lunch, take a brisk 10 to 15-minute walk to get your blood circulating. Exercise has been shown to improve brain function, energy and stamina as well as relieve stress and improve mood. You’ll come back to your desk more revitalised and ready to continue on with your work.

Take a nap

Although naps don’t make up for a poor quality sleep at night, a short nap of about 20 to 30 minutes can help improve mood, memory, alertness and performance. The ideal nap is around eight hours after you wake and no later than 3pm, as it may affect how you sleep that night and make you groggy for the rest of the afternoon.

How do you beat the afternoon slump? We’d love to hear your tips!