We all know the feeling – you’ve got the morning out of the way, you’ve eaten your lunch and all of a sudden you’ve lost all ability to concentrate and feel like you could sleep at your desk. The mid-afternoon slump is a familiar feeling, but it doesn’t have to be. Trying out some energy boosting tips can help you regain your focus and remain productive, helping you to feel energised for the rest of the day. Our ideas will also help you to avoid slumping on the sofa as soon as you get home.
1. Get outside
Sitting outside, even just for 10 minutes is a great way to feel energised. Not only will the fresh air help you feel more awake, but it will reduce the amount of melatonin, the sleep hormone and keep you going for longer. Take a walk at lunch or go enjoy a coffee outside – you’ll soon notice a difference.
2. Cut down on lunchtime carbs
It may be convenient to grab a sandwich at lunch, but the carbohydrates could be making you feel sleepy. Your body will burn carbohydrates quicker, sapping your energy and leaving you with that full, tired feeling, whilst a lunchtime meal packed with protein will help release energy over a longer period to keep you going for longer.
3. Enjoy a healthy snack
By around 3pm our bodies often begin to feel hungry again, and whilst you may be tempted to reach for a sugary snack to perk you up – healthier options such as nuts or dried fruit will give you a much more sustained energy boost and help you feel fuller too.
4. Boost your posture and stretch your legs
Many of us spend hours and hours hunched at our desks, which doesn’t help our posture or our energy levels. Taking a screen break is key for feeling a bit more awake, so make sure you make the effort to stretch your legs every now and then and remember to sit up straight when you’re working.
5. Stay hydrated
Not getting enough water is a key reason to feel tired during the afternoon, and dehydration soon leads to headaches – further affecting your ability to concentrate. Make sure that you keep a bottle of water on your desk and drink regularly throughout the day.
6. Tidy desk, tidy mind
A messy desk can be a distraction, meaning that you get lost in the chaos and lose your ability to focus on one thing. Keep your desk area tidy, and take the time to sort through your emails too. It may still be chaos, but at least you can continue to work effectively through organised chaos.
7. Switch your coffee for a green tea
Drinking coffee late in the afternoon can keep us awake at night, leading us to feel tired again the next day and reaching for those cups of coffee. Why not switch to a green tea instead? Green tea contains much less caffeine but it will provide you with a much-needed energy boost, as well as fuel your body with antioxidants to help ward off draining illnesses that can spread through the office.
8. Listen to some music
Many of us listen to music at the gym to help us get pumped up, so why not do the same at work? Put your headphones in, play an energising song and you’ll soon feel ready to tackle the rest of the afternoon.
The majority of these are some quick fixes, but changing your diet and lifestyle can also help to improve your energy levels. For more tips and advice on beating the afternoon slump, the Live Well pages of the NHS website are full of great ideas.