There’s something about the hours that follow lunch. Many people feel an extreme fatigue set in, and the hours between 2pm and 5pm can be really gruelling to get through. Unless you have the freedom to create your own schedule, you are likely working and have to stay alert. In this case, most people look at coffee as the solution to the problem. Yet if you’re trying to be more mindful of your caffeine consumption, coffee isn’t an option. But don’t fear. Here are a few tips on how to beat the afternoon slump without reaching for that one cup too many.
8 Caffeine-Free Tips to Beat the Afternoon Slump
You cannot mandate productivity; you must provide the tools to let people become their best.
– Steve Jobs (more quotes)
1. Take a walk
Sometimes, getting outside and breathing in fresh air will do so much for your psyche. If the weather allows, go outside and take a brisk walk around the office building. Put on some headphones and listen to some music that wakes you up and gets you excited and pumped to go back inside and get to work again.
2. Drink water
The human body thrives when it’s taken care of. The body needs water to survive and thrive. So, start training yourself to drink lots of water. Your body will operate better. It won’t feel as sluggish. You’ll feel more alert. You might take more trips to the bathroom, but that comes with the territory. To minimize frequent bathroom breaks, sip your water. If you gulp it down, it’ll pass through a lot faster. Sip slowly to let it absorb more efficiently.
3. Listen to great tunes
Sometimes, the dull sounds of white noise and the office copy machine are enough to put anyone to sleep. If it’s allowed in your workplace, put on some headphones and listen to some music to help the brain stay engaged. Some people prefer listening to instrumental music or orchestral tunes to stimulate the mind. Whatever you choose, make sure your co-workers aren’t distracted by it. The volume needs to be loud enough for you to hear, but soft enough that it doesn’t disturb their workflow. Avoid the noise-blocking headphones too though. You’re still at work. If a call comes through or someone is in need of your assistance, you need to be able to hear them.
4. Take a 10-minute exercise break
If you can’t leave the office to go take a walk, consider heading over to the stairs to run up and down them a few times. Do a few jumping jacks in your cubicle. If you’re a big fan of stretching, do a few yoga poses and some headstands. Headstands are great for getting the blood rushing and shifting things up a bit. Once the blood is flowing and your heart rate is up a bit, your mind will feel stimulated to get back in the ring.
5. Do a puzzle
Puzzles are an exceptional way to stimulate your brain. Some people choose to play games on their smartphones; others choose to connect with others over the classics, like chess or backgammon. Studies show that solving puzzles can slow the cognitive decline associated with aging, and prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Puzzles increase a person’s ability to focus and concentrate while improving memory.
6. Eat a lighter lunch
If you ate a large lunch, chances are you’ll have a difficult time staying awake afterward. Eat a meal that’s filling yet lighter on your system. Try eating a predominantly plant-based meal for lunch. By the end of the meal, you’ll feel satiated. By the end of the afternoon, you’ll realize you made it through without feeling drowsy in the afternoon.
7. Use the power of natural herbs and oils
If you’re looking to avoid caffeine, brew up a hot cup of herbal tea, add a natural sweetener (like honey or maple syrup) and sip on it to get a natural boost of energy. Essential oils are very therapeutic, restorative and powerful too. If you struggle with energy levels in the afternoon, get a diffuser for your desk. Add water and a few drops of peppermint oil, as the menthol it contains is very stimulating. You can also add a drop or two to the pulse points of your body for an extra boost.
8. Take a B12 supplement
Many people love B12 supplements because they give you a great dose of natural energy. There are a few ways to consume B12. You can get concentrated doses through powdered products that you can mix with water for a boost, or you can take B12 in capsule form. If you really want to try something more intense, you can even get a B12 shot injected at doctors’ offices and medspas.
Ease off the coffee, not the energy
Because coffee is such a popular option, most people fail to realize all the alternatives that are available in the marketplace. While a good cup of coffee tastes great, drinking it in excess leads to addiction, damages your sleep quality, and is harmful to your your overall health and well-being. Avoid caffeine dependence by substituting with these healthier options, and you’ll notice the change!