After an energetic morning, afternoons can often bring in a slump full of yawns and a lack of focus. Most of us have experienced this decreased alertness.
This afternoon slump can be a result of poor sleep or the level of hormones that vary throughout the day. Working from home has made this more challenging when the bed is only a few feet away and the couch, where you can put your feet up, is in the other room. How do you stay recharged with so many comfortable obstacles in your way?
Here is a list of tips to defeat your slump.
Tansy Rodgers, a functional nutritional therapy practitioner and founder of beU Complete coaching in Lititz, Pennsylvania, said that “the afternoon slump typically hits between 1 and 3 p.m.,” according to KETV 7.
Moving right after lunch helps digest food, stabilizes blood sugar and releases the epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones — a great combination to reduce sleepiness.
“Plus, when someone exercises before they are too tired, they will be more likely to stay committed and actually do the exercise, rather than resorting to the excuse of being too tired to make the effort.”
It can be a short walk or periods of simple movement throughout the day.
Laugh out loud
Day-to-day routines can be full of unfinished to-do lists, long meetings and approaching deadlines. That can be exhausting, mentally and physically. Adding a comedic moment to your day can light you up instantly.
“Laughing decreases the levels of cortisol (aka [your] stress hormone), stretches your muscles, improves blood pressure, and makes breathing better,” says Amber O’Brien, a medical doctor at Mango Clinic, per Real Simple.
Simple stretching can give you a boost of energy and it can be as simple as neck rolls, arm circles or seated spinal twists. If you have room to stretch a bit more, try out lunges that work your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and lower back.
“In order to feel fresh and energized, you need to circulate blood to your brain and body’s muscles,” O’Brien explains, per the report. “While stretching, the blood actively circulates to your brain and muscles of the body, which as a result, releases tension and makes you feel energized and well-prepared for the rest of the day.”
Many experts advise standing at your workstation for 15 minutes each day for general health, according to KETV 7. For the purposes of beating the afternoon slump, even a few minutes is helpful.
A walking or bike desk can also provide motion, elevating the heart rate and resetting energy levels.
Whether you work from home or the office, going outside can improve moods, reduce anxiety and fuel creativity, per the report.
“Nature restores your energy and focus and helps you to get rid of afternoon laziness,” O’Brien says. “Engaging your body in physical activity such as walking, while seeing the natural surroundings, refreshes your mood and lifts your energy levels significantly.”