Afternoon Pick-Me-Ups for People Who Crave a Nap

Maybe you’ve had a productive morning, but your momentum starts to dwindle in the afternoon. Naps are refreshing, but they may not be an option if you’re sitting at your desk or standing in line at the post office. Try these suggestions to banish late day slumps, even when you can’t lie down.

Dealing with Afternoon Slumps

1. Strike up a conversation. Social interactions are stimulating. Call a client to thank them for their recent order. Ask your assistant what she did over the weekend.

2. Turn up the lights. Bright lights boost your mood and trigger your brain to wake up. Sit near a window or go for a walk outside in the sun. Buy a desk lamp with an adjustable dimmer switch.

3. Eat a light snack. A well-balanced snack will give you energy. Combine protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. One good choice is peanut butter on whole wheat toast.

4. Drink water. Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue. Carry a water bottle all day long.

5. Use a little caffeine. Too much coffee may make you jittery, but moderate amounts of caffeine are usually safe. Remember that it takes about 20 minutes to feel the effects of caffeine.

6. Switch tasks. Variety spices up your day. It’s time for a break if you’re nodding off while trying to complete your expense report. Watch the marketing video your colleague just sent you.

7. Move around. Physical activity is the best break of all. Walk down the stairs and take your break in the lobby. Stand up in your cubicle and bend from the waist a few times.

8. Listen to music. Arrange an invigorating play list. Treat yourself to lively jazz or a rousing symphony.

9. Inhale an aroma. Certain scents are very stimulating. Splash lemon or peppermint oil on a handkerchief and take a whiff as needed. If you have a private work space, set up a diffuser with a pleasant fragrance.

10. Sit in the front row. During your school days, did you ever choose a seat that would force you to stay awake? You can leave your office door open to make it easier to keep your eyes open.

11. Splash on cold water. For a dramatic jolt, head to the rest room. A little cold water on your face and wrists will give you a temporary energy boost.

Preventing Afternoon Slumps

1. Sleep well. A good night’s sleep is the best way to stay engaged all day. Sleep allows your body and mind to recharge. Go to bed an hour earlier and see the difference.

2. Manage your weight. Studies show that endurance levels are higher among employees who maintain a healthy weight. Carrying around excess pounds puts more strain on your heart and other organs. Eat nutrient-dense foods and exercise each day.

3. Cut back on refined carbohydrates. Even if your figure is trim, a diet high in processed food and sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar. Rely on natural whole foods that are less likely to cause spikes that leave you feeling irritable and exhausted.

4. Talk with your doctor. If you’ve made these adjustments and you’re still feeling tired, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your healthcare team can test you to rule out any medical conditions and help you create habits appropriate for your individual needs.

Say goodbye to after lunch doldrums. A few quick fixes are usually all you need to perk up and put those afternoon hours to good use.

Glen James Murdoch

Glen Murdoch is the founder and CEO of The Life Coaching College. He has a long history of working with Athletes and Teams as a Performance Coach and Analyst and has developed Australia's number 1 Life Coaching Program - The Advanced Diploma in Coaching.