Strategies To Cope With The Mid-Afternoon Slump In Your Working Day

The mid-afternoon slump is something many of us experience during our working day.

As lunchtime passes and the afternoon drags on, our energy levels can take a dip, making us feel lethargic, demotivated and unfocused.

This afternoon slump can negatively impact our productivity and make the last few hours of work a real struggle. However, there are strategies we can use to help overcome that post-lunch dip in energy.

Get Some Exercise

Exercise gives us an energy boost and releases endorphins that lift our mood. If you can, get outside during your lunch break for a brisk 20-30 minute walk.

The fresh air and movement will make you feel more energized for the afternoon ahead.

If you can’t get outside, even doing some stretches or bodyweight exercises at your desk can perk you up. A short HIIT workout or using the stairs rather than the lift can also help combat fatigue. 

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can exacerbate feelings of tiredness and sluggishness. Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day.

Keep a large refillable water bottle on your desk to remind you to keep sipping, aiming for at least two liters of water intake per day. 

Have A Healthy Snack

Hunger and fluctuations in blood sugar levels can contribute to an energy slump.

Eat a healthy filling snack in the afternoon such as fresh fruit, vegetables and hummus, nuts or seeds, yoghurt or oatcakes and nut butter.

Opt for wholefoods that provide sustained energy. Boost your snack with some protein to help balance energy levels.

If you’re really struggling, pop a couple of glucose chews such as Lift Glucose Activ Energy Boost enriched with vitamins to give you an energy boost.

Take A Quick Nap

If possible, take a power nap. Even just 10-20 minutes can refresh our minds and bodies. Find a quiet space, set an alarm and allow yourself to doze off.

Be careful not to oversleep – too long a nap can leave you feeling groggy. Keep naps to less than 30 minutes. Alternatively, if you can’t nap, just closing your eyes for 10 minutes while relaxing can help. 

Change Up Your Tasks

Sometimes our energy drops simply because we’ve hit a wall with the task we’re working on.

Changing to a new task or project for a while can revive your interest and motivation levels. If possible, swap your current challenging task for one you find more pleasant or energising.

Get Some Fresh Air

A quick break outside in the fresh air can be rejuvenating. Even just stepping outside for 5-10 minutes to clear your head can boost your energy.

Take a short stroll around the block or find an outside space to sit and relax for a few minutes during your afternoon break. 

Listen To Upbeat Music

Put on some upbeat energising music to get your afternoon going again. Find songs that make you feel happy and positive.

Creating a motivating playlist can stimulate and lift your mood. Just be careful not to make it too loud if you are working in an open office.

Meditate or Practice Deep Breathing

Taking a short break to meditate or practice deep breathing exercises can help calm the mind and re-energise the body.

Find a quiet space to sit comfortably and focus on your breath for 5-10 minutes. This can help relieve stress and re-center your focus for the rest of the afternoon.

Adjust Your Lighting

The lighting in your workspace can have a big impact on your energy levels. Try to position your desk near natural light from windows if possible.

You can also use full-spectrum bulbs that mimic daylight to boost alertness. Dim lighting can make us feel sleepy, so keep your workspace well-lit during the afternoon.

Why You Might Be Tired

There are several common factors that can contribute to the mid-afternoon energy slump many people experience. 

  • Insufficient sleep the night before can leave us feeling drained by the afternoon. 
  • Eating a heavy, carb-heavy lunch can cause blood sugar levels to crash, leading to lethargy. 
  • Dehydration is another major culprit, as even mild dehydration can sap our energy. 
  • Sedentary work with little physical activity throughout the day can result in an afternoon energy drop. 
  • Mental fatigue from intense focus and concentration on tasks for hours on end can deplete our cognitive resources by the afternoon. 

Identifying and addressing these underlying causes can help combat that post-lunch slump.

The mid-afternoon energy drop is common, but there are many ways we can help boost our motivation and productivity during the final few hours at work.

Implementing even small changes to your daily routine can help you tackle that post-lunch slump.