The post-lunch session is usually a difficult time for most of us at work as we have to fight the urge to take a quick nap. The afternoon slump is a very real phenomenon, and working professionals around the world have reported having experienced it. It is caused by a drop in blood sugar levels and a disruption in the body’s natural circadian rhythms.
Although some companies acknowledge the value of sleep and allow their employees to take short naps, not all of us are so blessed. Most people opt for the most obvious choice: caffeine. But it is important to understand that caffeine can dehydrate your body and hamper your productivity levels.
In such a case, you have two options: you can either doze off and embarrass yourself, or you can read this list and fight your afternoon slump like a ferocious Ninja warrior!
So here’s what you can do to keep yourself up and awake at all times at work:
Avoid heavy lunches
When you know you have to head back to your desk, there’s no point in choosing to have a heavy lunch. Save those heavy tempting lunches for weekends. On weekdays, choose a light lunch, rich in proteins and fibre and low in carbohydrates. Also, avoid oily and spicy food as they take longer to digest and cause lethargy. Ensure that you do not eat your lunch at the desk. While you may think this will save you time, the truth according to research is that eating at our desks may make us more stressed and less creative.
Going out for lunch breaks will expose you to fresh air and sunlight. Taking time off for lunch breaks can decrease stress levels and increase creativity and productivity. Also, a short walk in a park or any green area will make you feel less stressed and enable you to work better.
Clean your clutter
Clean your workspace of all unnecessary clutter. Organise it according to your priorities and give it a pleasant, aesthetic feel. This will not only help you fight the afternoon slump but also help you enhance productivity. Spend some time cleaning your inbox as well. Both these activities are tedious and time-consuming, yet the very idea of having reduced the energy-sapping clutter will help you feel energised.
Stretch your tensed muscles
Sitting in the same place all day is both monotonous and tiring. Take a few minutes off to stretch your muscles. This could be a simple act of just rolling your shoulders forwards and backwards. You could also choose to engage in some light breathing exercises.
Choose your snacks well
Chocolate and caffeine sure help in fighting lethargy. However, once that rush of sugar and caffeine is gone, you will go back to feeling the same again. Consider packing a small mid-afternoon snack loaded with protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates. Raw vegetables, dry fruits, nuts or even whole-grain crackers will help you get your much-needed boost.
Work with your team
You might tend to doze off if you work alone at your desk after lunch. Try organising group activities post-lunch so that everyone benefits from the brain storming session and gets a grip on their waning concentration. Ensure that this is actually an interactive group activity and not a meeting where only a few people continue to blabber while the rest fight to keep their droopy eyelids open.
Dab a few drops of scented herbal oil like peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil on your wrist. The smell will act as an instant energiser.
Let us know if these tips helped the warrior Ninja in you win over the afternoon slump without being dependent on caffeine.
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