Feel groggy after lunch? Here are 5 ways to beat the afternoon slump, without drinking more coffee.
Is it just me, or is that after lunch lull the hardest time of day? Personally, I can spring out of bed fairly easily in the morning, and can also burn the midnight oil if needed. But the middle of the day? Struggle city over here.
If you work a traditional 9-5 (🙋🏾 ), you know that the time after lunch is often the hardest part of the day. Tiredness starts to kick in, you’ve probably been sitting at your desk for several hours, and you might feel pretty full after lunch which can cause energy levels to plummet.
The tricky part about the afternoon slump is it can make it more challenging to keep up with healthy habits. If you’re feeling super tired, then it can be even easier to phone in that after-work workout you had planned, or it can be easy to rely on takeout instead of making a home-cooked meal that will help you feel your best.
Knowing how to beat the afternoon slump can be an important part of helping you reach your goals, so here are five things you can do if you’re feeling drowsy after lunch.
Take a Walk
If you’re nodding off at your desk, the best and easiest thing you can do is get up and get some steps in! Walking is the most accessible, functional form of exercise you can do. Even if you get up and walk for just 5-10 minutes, this activity will get your blood moving and can re-energize you (bonus points if you can go outside and get some fresh air).
Studies are linking regular walks to incredible benefits including decreased sweet tooth, easing joint pain, boosting immune function, and reduced risk of developing certain cancers (source).
Have a protein and healthy fat fueled snack
When it’s well into the afternoon and you’re hungry for a snack, focus on lean protein and healthy fats such as trail mix, veggies with hummus, or tuna salad. Focusing on protein and healthy fats will fill you up and will help keep blood sugar levels steady. If you go on an all-carb diet without any protein or fat to balance it out this time of day, your blood sugar can spike and crash leaving you feeling tired and sluggish.
If you can’t leave your desk to get a walk in, try taking a few moments to stretch at your desk. Stretching can help increase body temperature, oxygen circulation, blood flow, and nutrient delivery to your muscles, which can help you feel more energized (source).
If you’re looking for easy stretches you can do at your desk, check out this post and video, where I walk you through easy stretches you can do at your desk to offset the effects of sitting all day.
Diffuse or roll-on an energizing scent
Another great pick-me-up can be right under your nose (that was cheesy…but I had to). Try diffusing or dabbing on a citrus essential oil such as lemon, grapefruit, or orange. Citrus scents can help boost alertness and increase mental stimulation.
Listen to an energizing playlist
At some point, you’ve probably pushed through a workout because of a rocking playlist. Try applying this same strategy to your afternoon slump! Studies suggest that even while sitting still, listening appealing music can increase activity in various areas of the brain (source). So during the afternoon slump, take a break from listening to podcasts and turn on some upbeat tunes instead.
If you need some ideas, follow my afternoon pick me up playlist below!
Bonus Tip: Drink more water
I know, I know. Drinking water isn’t some sexy, exciting energy-boosting tip. But as a gentle reminder, even slight dehydration can lead to feelings of fatigue. Just drink a little extra H2O, kay? 💦
What are your favorite ways to overcome the afternoon slump?
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