Put Down the Sugar Bomb: 5 Healthier Ways to Beat the Afternoon Slump

Once we enter the office on a new workday our main goal is to have a productive one. We probably have a list of tasks we planned the day before. We start our day full of energy and hope it will be like that until the end of our shift. But, the energy levels vary throughout the day and this is something that will most likely affect our levels of productivity. 

Even though we’ve started our day full of energy, we will experience a sudden drop in energy levels usually between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. This occurrence is known as the afternoon slump. When it happens our body usually craves some shut-eye and rest. 

Since this is not possible because we are still at work, we have to be prepared for it and use the following healthier techniques to quickly cure this run-down of energy. People often try to fix everything with a chocolate bar or another cup of coffee, but these don’t really help. Try these healthier alternatives instead:

Step Away from the Computer Screen

A decrease in energy may be caused by too much screen time. Whenever we sit in front of a computer for long periods of time our eyes become tired. We are focused on a single fixed point so we can’t focus anymore. The solution is to step away from a computer and stop this eye strain from happening. Make a mental note to look away from your screen every 60 minutes. You have to close your eyes for a minute or two and keep your gaze off the screen. Use these moments to brainstorm with a colleague, have another glass of water (hydration is important, too). 

Stretch It Out and Move Around

Once you notice this drop in your energy levels, concentration and productivity, it is time to get moving. Another great way to fight the mid-day slump is to power up your body and move around a bit. You can do a few exercises like some squats, chair dips, the leaning plank or any other exercise that is office proof. 

Stretching is also recommended if you also want to beat the effects of being in a sedentary position. These stretches will ease any pain in your neck, shoulders, back, or hips which is caused by sitting a lot. 

Instead of all this, you can always go for a walk around the building. Make sure to skip the elevator and take the stairs instead. If it is a sunny day, go outside for a minute and enjoy a dose of vitamin D. You can even invite a few colleagues so you can have a quick brainstorming session outside in the clean air.  Whatever you choose to do, exercise, stretch or go outside, remember to do it in fixed time intervals. You can even set an hourly reminder to stand up, move a bit or stretch. You will avert your gaze from the screen for a few minutes and break out of the sitting routine. 

Get a green tea boost

Caffeine is a known stimulant and it should be used wisely. Many people can’t even start their day without their cup of jo. However, too much coffee can have a negative effect because it disrupts our sleep pattern and makes us even more tired in the afternoon. Have one cup of coffee during the day but do not reach for another one once the afternoon slump kicks in. Swap this craving with a cup of green tea nad get a tea boost instead. One cup of green tea is rich in antioxidants which your body will use to revive your system to make it through the drop of energy. This hot beverage has less caffeine so it won’t impact your night’s sleep.

Have a high protein lunch instead of a sugary snack

People often try to increase the levels of energy by having a sugary snack, a chocolate bar or a sugary drink. But, sugar is certainly not the answer because it was reported that a high-carbohydrate meal won’t keep you awake as much as a high-protein meal. It is actually a protein that stimulates the cells responsible for keeping us awake. 

If you want to make a healthier choice, have a high protein lunch instead. If you did not have the time to prepare a high protein meal the night before, you can always rely on meals delivered by My Muscle Chef or any other healthy meal producer. By taking care of your body’s needs, you will surely increase the levels of energy when you need them the most.

Stimulate your senses

Your sense of smell can help you become more alert once your energy drops. You-ve never even considered the effects of aromatherapy and the power of peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is known for its energy-boosting properties, positive effects on the mind, it improves concentration, and stimulates clear thinking.

It was also reported that people who use essential oils have better health. Whenever you need an energy boost, you just need to sniff some peppermint oil. You can put a few drops of peppermint oil on a cotton ball, and take it out of your drawer for a quick sniff whenever you need to wake up a bit. If you have your own office, you can use an oil diffuser or just put a few drops of essential oil into a bowl of hot water. Alternatively, you can rub several drops of peppermint oil on your hands and pat the excess on your face. Brushing your teeth will also stimulate your senses as the toothpaste often has peppermint too. Chewing gum has a similar effect.

Paying attention to these tips will eventually help avoid this dreaded drop in energy. We should pay attention to our rhythm throughout the day and act accordingly. In addition to this, we have to remember that our trusted sidekicks’ sugar and caffeine are doing us more harm than good and we should put them aside and embrace these new techniques. 

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