It’s 2 p.m. on a workday, and the dreaded afternoon slump hits with full force. Your eyelids feel heavy, it’s hard to concentrate, and you’re desperate for a solution. Since a nap is out of the question, you need another solution and one that preferably doesn’t involve an unwise level of caffeine.
We’ve all battled afternoon fatigue before, and it’s completely normal to feel tired as the day drags on. You don’t have to suffer, though! Use these tips to fight mid-day sleepiness so that you can finish out the workday on a productive note.
Skipping breakfast sets you up for an afternoon slump, so eating a balanced morning meal is your first step to a fatigue-free afternoon.
If you think you don’t have time to make and eat breakfast in the morning, we’ve got you covered. Try one of the recipes from our Overnight Oats for Easier Mornings article — each tasty recipe can be made the night before.
These Easy Nutritious Breakfasts for Back to School aren’t just for kids, either. Each of the five recipes can be made in a snap, and there are even grab-and-go options that are perfect for busy mornings.
Keep lunch light, but filling, and avoid big meals that will leave you feeling sluggish. Soups, salads, and sandwiches are good lunchtime staples, and you can’t go wrong with leftovers from last night’s healthy dinner.
This 30-minute lunchtime workout will get your blood pumping, which is an incredibly effective way to ward off afternoon sleepiness.
A workout break might not be feasible, but you should still take breaks even if the idea of stopping what you’re doing sounds counterintuitive. That’s because breaks have been scientifically proven to enhance productivity and creativity.
You could go for a quick walk, do some yoga stretches at your desk, read a book, or any number of other activities that help your mind reset.
A bit of cold water may be all you need to feel more alert and lively. Splash cold water on your face, or try soaking a washcloth in ice water before laying it over your eyes for a few minutes.
Working on the same project or task for extended periods of time leads to mental fatigue. When you feel it setting in, switch gears and give your brain a break with something new.
Certain scents and tastes provide an energy boost, including peppermint and cinnamon. Try keeping peppermint essential oil and cinnamon gum at your desk.
Remember to get up and get moving throughout the day:
As a bonus, you’ll also be making (literal) steps toward a lifestyle that’s healthier and more active. Once you get back to your desk, you’ll feel less sleepy and more alert.