You're tired, unproductive and slowly feel your eyes and body dropping down face first onto your keyboard. It's the mid-day slump and you feel like you can't do a thing about it.
One common cause of afternoon tiredness can be eating large meals during lunch, according to Kristie Leong in an article for Yahoo News.
"When too much food is consumed during lunch hour, more blood gets diverted to the intestines to help digest your meal which can leave you feeling drained and unmotivated," she said in the article.
Other sources point to our biological clock. Just as we get increasingly tired as we get ready for bed, our biological clocks can also make us feel tired in the afternoon, according to Healthy Alberta. When it gets darker outside, our body temperatures tend to drop and a hormone called melatonin is released. This change in hormone levels also occurs around 3 p.m., making us sluggish right in the middle of the work day.
But there are quick ways to change your energy levels in a matter of minutes. Eating foods that are high in minerals and vitamins like coconut, yogurt and oranges can all help with overcoming a mid-day crash. Squeezing in a few stretches or taking a walk during your lunch break are also easy ways to keep you energized and motivated.
Don't get caught taking a nap at work — try these 13 instant energy boosters instead:
Change Your Socks:
This one's easy: leave an extra pair of socks in your desk. According to Greg Go, co-author of 10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget, changing your socks midway through the day (like after a long walk or lunch break) will instantly make you feel more fresh.
Listen To Music:
Just think about your favourite song and how good it makes you feel. Listening to music in the middle of the day can also boost your energy levels. “Brain-imaging techniques have linked music and its effects on our nervous system to improved mood and well-being,” says Jim Karas, a co-author of The 7-Day Energy Surge for RealSimple.com.
Do A Little Venting:
Get up and walk over to the water cooler for a quick chit-chat break. Mid-day banter or venting sessions with co-workers is a good way to get your mind off being stressed at work.
Wear Bright Colours:
Take your bright oranges, yellows and neons to the office. Wearing lighter coloured clothing and accessories at work (yes, avoid the black, no matter how serious it makes you look) can give you an instant boost of energy in less than five minutes, according to Marie Claire.
Get Your Flirt On:
An innocent flirting session won't do anything but boost your energy levels. According to an article in Marie Claire,fun and harmless compliments and pick-me-ups between co-workers will get your heart pumping and brain moving again — just be careful not to cross any lines.
Play A Game:
Now, we don't want you to spend the rest of your afternoon browsing games on Facebook or playing Sudoku, but adding in a mental challenge mid-day will help you exercise your brain.
Wash Your Face:
If it works in the morning, it should work in the afternoon. If you're feeling drowsy or sleepy in the afternoon, splash some cold water onto your face for an instant energy boost.
Crack A Joke:
Laughing not only reduces stress, but it's also known to improve your immune system, according to NowLoss.com. And hey, a good joke can always put a smile on someone else's face.
Squeeze In Some Gym Time:
If your company offers a gym membership or has an in-house gym, try working out during your lunch break for an instant energy rush. If your office space doesn't include a gym space, try these 10 exercises that can keep you fit during work hours.
Roll Your Toes:
You could do this right at your desk. Take off your shoes (and socks if you wish) and roll your toes in a circular motion or use one foot to massage the other for a quick hit of energy. "Massaging your toes can stimulate your brain to produce fatigue-fighting hormones called endorphins," according to iVillage.ca.
Have Something To Look Forward To:
Got big dinner plans or a date after work? Making plans for post-work hours or having something to look forward to — even a vacation months away — are easy ways to help keep you focused and excited throughout your day.
Try sniffing a citrus-scented candle or even lotion at work for an energizing afternoon. Or you can add a slice of lemon to your water or have an orange as a snack, according to RealSimple.com
De-Clutter Your Desk:
Tired of looking at the stacks of files or newspapers on your desk? Start your afternoon by cleaning up and de-cluttering your desk will not only give you a new view, but can also help you feel better and more energized after challenging yourself to complete a task, according to writer Mary McNeil.