How to avoid the afternoon slump
Have you all had fantastic week in the sunshine?
The gym can seem like the last place you want to visit when the weather is lovely so I hope you’ve all been taking your exercise outside?
With the weather heating up we all know the importance of keeping well hydrated but many of us still suffer with an “afternoon slump”.
Shortly after lunch does your head feel fuzzy, your concentration plummets, your eyes droop and the top of your desk begins to look as cozy as a feather mattress?
There are many theories for the midday dips: the morning surge of hormones has petered out, boredom – has set in, or it may have something to do with what you ate.
What to do before and after lunch:
1. Head outside
Sit in the daylight for 10 minutes. Better still, have your lunch outside and divide your break between eating and a walk. Here's why: your office probably has artificial light. So when the afternoon doldrums hit, go outside and sit in the sunlight. It will help reset your chronological clock, keep down the amount of melatonin (the sleep hormone) your body produces during this dip and give you a valuable boost of beneficial vitamin D, reducing your risk of osteoporosis as well as various cancers.
2. Snack all day long
Simply snack on nutritious foods whenever you get hungry, rather than eating lunch per se – but watch portion sizes. Then use your lunch break for some kind of exercise, whether it's in the company gym or walking around the park.
3. Choose activating protein not energy-sapping carbs
So a tuna salad without the bread is a better choice than a tuna sandwich. A green salad sprinkled with cheese, a hard-boiled egg and some sliced turkey wins over a pasta salad. The change can really make a difference. Carbs stimulate serotonin release, which increases sleepiness. You mustn't skip lunch altogether, but the combination of eating less and eating fewer carbohydrates should lead to less sleepiness.
What to do after lunch
1. Enjoy teatime
Get into the routine of a midafternoon cup. It's a good step towards beating the afternoon doldrums thanks to that little bit of a caffeine burst and the few quiet minutes it entails. Keep a selection of exotic flavoured teas in your office and an aesthetically pleasing cup just for tea. When you feel the slump, brew yourself a cup and sit somewhere quiet (not your office) to sip and reflect. The meditative time will soothe your frenzied brain, while the caffeine will give you just enough of a kick-start to get you through the rest of your day.
2. Make an "I was thinking of you" phone call
To your wife, child, siblings, parents, a friend or a retired colleague. A 5 minute keep-in-touch call will lift your spirits for hours and reinvigorate you to get your work done.
3. Go for a 10 minute walk
And resist that chocolate bar.
4. Peppermint oil
Put a drop in your hand and briskly rub your fingers together, then rub them over your temples (avoid your eyes). Peppermint is a known energy-enhancing scent.
5. Do your filing
It's a physical activity that gets you up from your desk, bending and pulling and stretching. Plus, you can lose yourself in it, and any activity that enables you to get into a "flow" will help to pull you through the doldrums.
So guys don’t reach for that chocolate bar, that can of coke or that piece of cake to go with your cuppa. Get up and get outside and always drink more water.
See you soon
“Don’t get sidetracked by people who are not on track”