How to beat the midday slump
Office nap rooms are totally a thing, did you know?
“Sleeping on the job” might be frowned upon but the truth is, short afternoon naps have been proven to enhance performance and boost creativity and productivity in a workplace. With more than a third of Americans being sleep deprived, a midday power nap is a great way to beat the afternoon slump.
What if your workplace doesn’t have those snooze-friendly policies though?
HOW TO BEAT THE MIDDAY SLUMP
DRY BRUSHING IN THE MORNING
Skin is the largest organ in the human body and a pretty awesome one at that. It helps us stay warm when it’s cold, helps us stay cool when it’s hot and its primary purpose is to protect our inner organs from outer elements. Your skin also plays an important role in detoxification and if it’s invaded with toxins and dead skin cells, it can’t do its job properly.
This is where dry brushing comes in handy. It stimulates your lymphatic system, which in turn helps release toxins. It removes dead skin cells, stimulates blood flow and helps cell regeneration. Dry brushing also helps increase energy levels- especially if you do it in the morning. I find that dry brushing helps me feel energized especially during colder months when getting out of bed in the morning is a bit of a struggle. It only takes a few minutes in the morning, and it feels so invigorating, it’s a great way to start the day.
If you depend on sugar for a quick energy boost, then you probably know that those effects are often short-lived. The “3 pm sugar crash” is real. Stick to water and stay away from sugary drinks. I always try to keep some dark chocolate at the office- that way when I get those weird midday cravings, I can make a smarter choice (instead of eating those donuts or cookies someone brought in, plus, dark chocolate actually has energizing effects).
A lot of the pre-packaged food that is labeled as “healthy” is far away from being just that. Take Coca-Cola’s Vitamin Water for example. Plastering keywords such as “focus,” “endurance,” or “energy” all over the place doesn’t mean it’s a healthy option- it’s actually loaded with sugar. The same applies to a lot of granola bars or other “healthy” snacks you can find at the vending machine in the office.
Solution? Make your own snacks- that way you know exactly what you put in your body. All you need to do is make a batch on the weekend and you’ll be all set for the work week ahead. You can make a batch of your own granola bars, banana breakfast bars, or go with my favorite- almonds and fresh berries, it doesn’t get easier than that. If you work long hours, make sure you always have something small and healthy to snack on. That way you’ll be less likely to make an unhealthy decision and it’ll also help you keep your energy levels up.
STEP AWAY FROM YOUR DESK
I work behind a computer, then I come home and usually spend the rest of my day…. behind a computer, blogging. Every single time I read an article saying just how bad sitting behind a desk for long periods of time is for you, I freak out a little. Having a “desk job” means that I HAVE to take frequent breaks. I take a quick walk around the office every 30-45 minutes and have a gentle stretch- this helps me stay more focused and is especially important for me since my back injury. That’s also one of the reasons I love my Fitbit– it vibrates every hour to remind me to get up and move. Also, always take the stairs over the elevator.
Dehydration can cause poor concentration, tiredness, and fatigue, so drink up that water. You can experience noticeable fatigue, even if you’re only one percent below your optimal fluid level, this is why staying hydrated is important. I drink a big glass of water as soon as I wake up. In winter, I love having warm water with lemon, first thing in the morning and keep a big water bottle at my desk.
If you’re not used to drinking water, you can try mixing it up by adding fruit or herb-infused ice cubes or making cucumber water- you can find more ideas right here.
Another thing that really helps me is a cup of green tea in the afternoon. I mean, tea just kind of makes everything better anyway, doesn’t it? BUT, it’s also really nice to take a little break in the afternoon to enjoy a good cup of tea and slow down a bit.