Avoiding the Dreaded Afternoon Slump


It’s somewhere around 2 pm. How’s your energy level? If you’re like a lot of people, at this part of the day you probably are experiencing an afternoon slump. To some extent, this is a natural phenomenon, guided by our circadian rhythms. Nonetheless, “getting a case of the slows”, as my dad says, is something you can fight!

Here are six quick and easy tips for beating the afternoon slump

1) Hydrate!

First of all, this should be a no-brainer. But seriously, how many of us actually drink enough water during the day? In the past, I would reach for a sweet drink in the afternoon to give me a “boost”. Over time I realized that these drinks (laden with caffeine and sugar) really only provided a temporary fix. If I know I’ve had enough regular H2O, then I reach for my favorite pick-me up: fizzy water! Additionally, in the colder months, a great herbal tea can work wonders too to give yourself a wake-up (I like the Trader Joe’s Winter Wake Up Tea or the caffeine free Celesial Seasoning’s Bengal Spice).

2) Grab A Crisp Snack

In other words, don’t neglect to eat fresh fruit or vegetables. In the afternoon I’m always craving the exact opposite of what my body needs. I want all the sugary, carb-y treats! However, while those taste great, I know that they will just cause me to crash – and then crave more. Instead, now I try to reach for something crispy and crunchy. A tart apple with peanut butter or carrot sticks and hummus are a much better choice. There’s something about a fresh, crispy “whole food” that just reenergizes you. It’s like a nutritional restart for your body.

3) Put on some good music.

Take some time to curate a playlist that you want to come back to time and time again. Turn up the volume and enjoy the tunes for a few minutes. Bopping around to your favorite songs for a few minutes is an instant mood lift.
 afternoon slump

4) Move your body!

This is a natural follow (for me, anyways!) after putting on good music. The afternoon slump has no chance against some endorphins. If you are stuck in the office, get out of your chair and take a few laps around the workspace. Can’t leave your computer? Try some deskercises!

5) Reset your breathing

When I find that I am intentional with my breathing (thank you postpartum physical therapy!), I feel more in tune with my body. Try some breathing exercises to reset yourself. You’ll feel more awake and ready for the rest of the afternoon.

6) Take a Nap.

Forty winks. Power nap. Disco nap. Whatever you call it, getting a just-right amount of sleep can work wonders. If you have the time, there is nothing like getting a good old-fashioned nap. Obviously this won’t work for all situations but if you can swing it, give it a shot. This seems like a no-brainer but people often miss the napping sweet-spot. Research shows that the ideal nap length is 10-20 minutes. I like to put on a 20-minute meditation and set my phone alarm for 20 minutes. I usually fall asleep pretty quickly, and know that I won’t get a nap that’s too long that will make me feel groggy. With a short nap, I can wake up refreshed and recharged, completely eliminating that afternoon slump!
afternoon slump