It’s that time of day when you’ve been working since the small hours, lunch seems like it was truly ages ago, you’re feeling round shouldered and drowsy and you really need a lift to see you through until dinner-time. Taking your eyes away from the clock-watching for a moment, here’s a few helpful tips to super-charge your afternoon and avoid the regular slump.
Rewind to lunch-time
Taking a brisk walk on your lunch break will give you some much needed fresh air in your lungs, away from the office air-conditioning, get your blood circulating and your body moving. It will also provide some natural daylight for a shot of Vitamin D, thereby resetting your chronological clock and keeping the sleepy hormone, melatonin at bay.
Re-think the carbs
What did your lunch consist of? Was it a fast sandwich, or a bowl of pasta and a side order of cheese & onion crisps? A carbohydrate-rich lunch can be so satisfying at the time, but it can also be the root cause of the afternoon yawns by producing serotonin and sapping all your energy. Re-thinking your lunch selection for a more protein based alternative can really help to avoid the heavy eyes later in the day.
The afternoon snack
Popping to the vending machine for a chocolate fix can become a habitual way of filling yourself up quickly and giving you a temporary boost, but when that’s over, you’ll sink; and fast. Try keeping your blood sugar levels regulated and steady by considering a handful of vegetable sticks with a nutritious dip, or a piece of handy fruit instead. Bananas, apples, oranges are all great choices for a more natural and sustained injection of sugars, fibres and vitamins. Some businesses offer their employees a fruit selection in-house by having a weekly basket delivery from providers such as Fruitful Office to help power through the afternoon slump.
Staying hydrated can be one of the simplest ways of beating tiredness. Always have a drink with you and just keeping sipping! Stay clear of the energy and sugary drinks with artificial sweeteners if you want to avoid the high/low cycle of blood sugar levels.
A tidy desk is a tidy mind
If you’re really feeling demotivated, try having a good tidy up of your desk, clear your email inbox or do some filing during a period of minimal concentration. Don’t feel guilty for not stressing; you will still have achieved something productive. Perhaps take 5 minutes out with a call to your partner, parent, or someone who will lift your spirits, or maybe pop and see a colleague for a chat instead of emailing them in the next room. Remember to have a good stretch at your desk every now and then, roll your shoulders and be mindful of your posture and your breathing while you’re working.
Little step-changes to your 9-5 routine will benefit your well-being and put the spring back in your afternoon motivation, as well as a positive charge to your mental and physical health.