An afternoon slump is a situation where suddenly in mid-afternoon you start feeling low and slumpy.
You have finished a lovely lunch with your colleagues and are heading back to the office to work on the report that your boss asked you to finish. You sit down on your new ergonomic chair and feel energized by the mini-party you had at lunchtime.
Every day, people all over the world between the hours of 1 pm and 3 pm hit a wall. It’s the void between the morning charge and the late afternoon push. A full stomach demands more blood and our body gives in to it, taking it away from our brain.
Lo and behold, we find ourselves struggling.
Let’s get one thing clear: the afternoon slump is a very real thing for most people. But—and it’s important to remember—it doesn’t have to be that way. Let’s find a way to avoid such a slump.
5 ways to beat the afternoon slump.
1. Sleep well
Getting even an hour less of sleep can result in slower mental functioning the next day. Your reactions will be slowed and your memory may suffer. The average adult needs—but doesn’t get—about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. On average, a person over age 65 needs about 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
2. Practice Hachi Bun Mei.
Hachi Bun Mei is a common concept in Japan. It basically means that you should eat until 80% full. In other words, stuffing yourself at lunch is a recipe for disaster if you’re looking to avoid the afternoon slump.
Being slightly hungry keeps us awake. We’ve all had big lunches only to feel sleepy soon afterward and that’s because our body is sending blood to the stomach to digest it all. Then, the inevitable brain fog occurs. So, the next time you find yourself wondering if you should finish off the huge sandwich you got for lunch or whether to keep it for later, do the latter. You’ll thank me.
3. Eat the Right Kinds of Food.
There are good foods, and there are wrong foods. Fast food, energy drinks, caffeine, and carbs are just a few of the things that can doom your health if overdone. Instead, think salads, protein, and greens.
4. Develop an active life.
Exercise increases your endurance and makes your cardiovascular system more efficient. This gives you more energy for doing simple daily tasks. Exercise also helps you sleep better, improves your mood, relieves stress, helps with weight control, strengthens bones and muscles, and lowers your risk for a host of diseases. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before beginning an exercise program.
5. Get Some Fresh Air.
If there’s one lesson we should have learned from Covid and the lockdown, it’s that we need to get out from time to time.
Fresh air is an underrated productivity hack. Too often, we find ourselves in front of screens these days. Many of us spend more than half our working hours in front of a screen, only to pick up our iPads or iPhones during our breaks and on the train home.
Spend time away from the digital world and get some fresh air. It’s remarkable how much a 30-minute walk after your lunch break can do for your health and sanity, not to mention productivity levels.