Even if you’re getting your best sleep ever, once 3pm rolls around at the office, you probably start feeling that ubiquitous midday slump. You’re distracted, lethargic and hungry — a precarious triple threat to productivity. We all know pounding a Red Bull and bingeing on candy bars are no-nos, so what’s the solution? Since napping at work is a trend most companies haven’t yet embraced (c’mon guys, just 10 minutes!), we’ve put together a list of 10 ways to naturally and effectively stayed focused and alert — until the clock hits happy hour, anyway.
1. Take a walk. Often, simplest is best, as is the case here. Use a 15-minute break near 3pm to walk around your office park, down the street or even up and down the stairwell of your building. Getting your blood pumping and enjoying a change of scenery will re-motivate you enough to finish out the day on full blast.
2. Get buzzed. No, we don’t mean breaking into the bubbly early. Perk up with an almond milk matcha latte or your favorite iced green tea. You’ll get a gentle caffeine kick that won’t send your synapses into overdrive the way a triple vanilla latte will.
3. Talk it out. Of course, we don’t recommend gossiping all afternoon with your work wife, but taking 10 to reconnect with a coworker will put a smile on your face and lift your spirits. Even if you’re still talking about work, that personal connection is so important to staying positive and pepped up.
4. Check yo neck. Your 3pm slump could be literal — are you slouching? Be sure to keep tabs on your posture while sitting at your desk throughout the afternoon. Sitting up straight in your chair will immediately make you feel more awake for those times you just can’t step away. Or try out an ergonomic alternative like a standing desk or big balance-ball chair instead.
5. Pass the sniff test. Mint and citrus scents are scientifically proven to invigorate our senses (there’s a reason so many morning shower gels are grapefruit- and rosemary-scented!). So pop an Altoid, dab a drop of scented oil on your wrist or drop a lemon slice into your water to awaken yourself from the slump.
6. Snack time is the best time. Nosh on dark chocolate almonds, a piece of fruit, a handful of cashews or some raw veggies to get that natural energy boost you’re looking for. Basically anything with a bit of protein, crunch or zest will reinvigorate and satisfy you!
7. Salute the sun. If you have your own office (damn straight you do, #girlboss!), shut the door and spend 10 minutes stretching through the sun salutations. If you’re in cubicle world and don’t have a private spot to salute, a simple desk stretching exercise will do. We like this series from The Muse.
8. Switch gears. If you can, schedule your day so you start something new around slump time. Whether that’s jetting off to a meeting, returning phone calls or switching projects completely, the mental shift to something new will re-energize your focus, for sure.
9. Take a bathroom (beauty) break. Keep a refresher kit in your desk drawer that includes rosewater facial mist, minty lip gloss, a travel toothbrush and toothpaste for a luxe alternative to, you know, just literally splashing cold water on your face. The quick sink spa will be sure to snap you out of your desk reverie and strengthen your dental health!
10. Clean up your act. Now’s the time to empty the trash, dust your desk, clean out the fridge and wipe off your keyboard. Giving yourself a mental break from work by tidying your space will wake you up — and you’ll feel like you’re still being productive in the process.
Do you have any tried-and-true midday slump saviors? Tweet us @BritandCo to dish your secrets!
(Photos via Getty)