That time of the day has arrived. Your eyes feel like lead as you struggle to keep them open. Your whole body feels weighted, but your computer screen continues to glare, reminding you that you’re not quite done yet.
It’s the dreaded 3pm afternoon slump, and it hits hard several times a week, at the very least. It’s that vulnerable time of day when you only have a few hours of work left, and yet you’re not sure how you’re going to make it through without a quick desktop cat-nap.
If you’re tired (ha!) of barely keeping your eyelids at half-mast, here are some ideas to help you out—short of implementing mandatory naptime at your work, of course.
Get up and move
The benefits of movement cannot be overstated in this case. Getting up and moving around can be one of the best ways to wake yourself up. Now, this doesn’t allow you to wander the office for the next two hours. You’ve got to get back to work eventually. Taking five minutes to get up, stretch, walk to the water cooler or to a coworker’s desk can have great benefits.
If your job involves having to go out of the office during the day, schedule any outings for this the afternoon. You’ll be up, moving, and active, and you won’t even have to consciously think of this step.
This one has double benefits, as it helps your body wake up and it also relieves the strain on your eyes – if your job involves spending a good amount of time looking at a computer screen.
Make sure you’re not interrupting or keeping them from their work, but consider talking to a friend in the office. Rather than sending that work-related email, go and talk to the recipient directly. Talking, smiling and laughing with others will go a long way towards helping you conquer the drowsiness.
Not all snacks are equally good for you. A chocolate bar has a quick energy surge, but an even quicker drop. Opt instead for fruit or veggies, nuts or dark chocolate. Bring something that has a long-lasting effect that you can also enjoy.
Don’t forget water either. Most of us don’t drink nearly as much water as we should, but staying properly hydrated can go a long way toward helping you to stay awake and alert throughout the day.
Lasting throughout the day without hitting a slump starts with getting a good night’s rest the night before. You know your limits, and you know the consequences of pushing those. Save yourself a lot of effort and headache and stick to a bedtime that’s suitable to your body’s needs.
Also, consider what you’re eating throughout the day. Experts say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. Find what you like, but also consider the long-lasting health benefits of those foods. Yogurt and wholegrain cereal are just a couple of the many options at your disposal. Skip the sugary cereals and go for a healthier alternative. Your body will thank you. Same goes for lunch. Getting the right nutrients at lunch is still important, though not as much emphasis is put on this meal. Protein is a go for lunch, while you may want to cut back a bit on the carbs.
Just getting through the day can be a chore when drowsiness hits you like a truck. Don’t let yourself be beaten by it! Plan ahead, interact, do a few cartwheels (it will certainly help your coworkers wake up) – there are plenty of options to pull you out of the 3pm slump.