Who else find themselves flagging at their desks come 3pm? Call it the post-lunch coma, the afternoon slump, the doomsday hour…. Whatever you call it, it can be so frustrating when you still need to use your brain but caffeine refuses to have any affect!
Many reach for endless cups of Joe to power through or succumb to a sugary snack to wake up (WHERE ARE THE BISCUITS), but we’ve got some top tips to help revitalise your brain, wake up your body and get that second wave of energy. No coffee jitters or sugar highs required.
6 ways to beat that afternoon slump
1. Slip in a lunchtime workout
It doesn’t have to be a long workout at all, and that’s lucky as not everyone has the luxury of having enough time to get a full hour of exercise on their lunch break! So many venues hold lunchtime 30-45 min classes which can help shake up your lunch hour and get those endorphins going. You can even just pop into the gym and blast out a 20 minute circuit if you have to be really time conscious.
Midday workouts are famed for increasing your productivity, energy and even creativity - studies have found a 5 - 10% improvement in cognitive function for those who hit the gym! Well worth it.
2. Pop those headphones in
Sometimes music can work wonders on helping concentration. Whether you’re a Drake loving hip hop fan, or just need some white noise or rain music, find what will get your concentration honed and pop those headphones in. Especially if it’s a tricky task at hand and nattering in the office is constantly stealing your attention… SHUT IT, SUSAN.
3. Stand up and pay attention
Ever tried a standing desk? Might be worth considering if you’re dozing at your desk in your comfy ergonomic chair. Not only will it help combat the sluggish feeling, but it will help your posture and circulation! And if you manage to fall asleep whilst standing... well frankly, you deserve a raise.
4. Take a walk around the block
Our CEO champions movement (obviously) and believes that if your brain is struggling to focus and you’re flagging hard, get away from the desk and stretch your legs. Something as simple as a walk around the block can work wonders on your brain.
Fresh air and some time from your desk can reset your brain and get you ready for the last few hours in the office - why not take a meeting into the great outdoors? Walk and talk, people!
5. Reduce the lunch time feast
Do you find yourself treating yourself to large lunches and chowing down? Well, a food coma won’t help your afternoon slump so be sure to eat smart. Lighten the carb portions and be sure to have a filling breakfast which will sustain you for longer so you’re not ravenous come lunch hour.
When you consume a huge meal, high glucose levels in the bloodstream can switch off neurons in the brain that help keep us awake, and trigger neurons that promote sleep. Carb-rich meals raise your levels of tryptophan, which can increase melatonin… a hormone that triggers a fast track ticket to sleepy town. Uh oh. Try reducing carbs and increasing protein and veggies, and saying NO to dessert after lunch so you last beyond 3pm.
6. Stretch it out
No need to drop to your office floor and bang out 5 rounds of sun salutations… try some more subtle stretches at your desk. Being desk bound for 6 - 8 hours a day can cause back, neck, shoulder and hip issues. Stretch it out and refresh yourself with one of these desk-based stretches:
- Drop your chin to your chest and gently roll your head from side to side, then turn your head to the left and look over your shoulder. Pause for a few seconds before repeating on the other side.
- Open your chest by placing your hands flat on the small of your back - press your palms into your back and pull your shoulder blades together.
- Extend your arm straight above your head and reach up, then bend at your waist so your arm extends over at an angle with your torso. Hold for a few seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Place your right ankle on your left knee and press the knee down - open those hips! Repeat on the other side.
Find some more ace desk-based stretches here.
Wave goodbye to the afternoon slump with these tips and see if you can power through to the end of your working day without curling up under your desk for a snooze. Or petition to have sleeping pods put in the office - a quick 10-20 minute power nap is known to reduce the deterioration of performance in a working day… but it might take a small while to convince your boss…
Here’s to being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for your whole day!