5 Ways To Avoid That Mid-Afternoon Slump

man yawning at desk

You may very well be sitting at your desk right now with a couple of hours to go before you start your commute home (or all the way downstairs, if you’re still working from home).  Are you stifling a yawn? Have your concentration levels hit rock bottom and (horror of horrors) are you starting to get the munchies?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have probably hit the mid-afternoon slump.

But why does this happen and what can you do about it to make you feel less rubbish and more awesome?

Feeling like this is not usually down to one single reason. It is usually a combination of a couple, or several things.  See if any of the following resonate with you…

1. How balanced is your diet? Do your meals in general contain some protein, carbohydrates and fats?  Are you eliminating any food groups, or have you severely restricted your calories? Or is it the exact opposite and you’ve had a heavy lunch? Ensuring you are having a balanced, healthy lunch is key to being optimally fueled. If we eat too much food (especially if it is carb-heavy), you’ll see a spike in blood sugar, which your body has to manage. Too little food, and you won’t feel energised.  Aim to keep your carbs balanced with your protein and fats and you’ll be surprised at the effect this can have on your energy levels.  And if you feel your lunch didn’t really hit the spot, try a piece of fruit or an Eatlean Snack Bar if you’re flagging.


2. It may sound pretty obvious, but how was your sleep last night?  Just one hour of disrupted sleep can have a major effect on how we perform the following day. It can make us irritable and short tempered. When this happens, we tend to reach for quick fix foods, like biscuits and donuts  which are high in sugar. So we eat these, enjoy temporary satisfaction, then watch our energy levels slump back even further.  Sleep should be something that you plan and prepare for, and not just fit it in at the end of the day. So think about your bedtime preparation at least 45 minutes before you go to bed. If you want to be asleep by 10.30 and you jump into bed at 10.20, the chances are you’ll still be awake at 10.50. Have a hot bath or shower and get into a clean, fresh comfortable bed. And leave your phone outside your bedroom!


3. What did you do during your lunch break? Did you even have one or was it sandwich in your left hand whilst typing with your right?  Even if you’re super busy, taking just a ten-minute break can revitalise you and get you back on track. So, when you’re ready for a break, grab your coat and get outside for some fresh air. You’ll probably feel more productive and get your work done more quickly as well. And remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices! So keep a raincoat or an umbrella with you and embrace the rain. And cold weather can lead to the most invigorating feeling ever. Here’s a challenge – wrap up warm and go for a brisk walk. I guarantee you’ll feel less sluggish afterwards..


4. Are you hydrated?  Our adult bodies are approximately 65% water. Being just 1% dehydrated just affect us both physically and mentally.  Remember, that although you’re rehydrating your body, you’re also rehydrating your brain. And when you do this, you’ll feel more alive and energised. So, make sure you have some water on your desk that you can reach for and sip throughout the day. And if you are experiencing that slump, take a look at how much you’ve drunk that morning before heading towards the vending machine.


5. Does exercise even feature as part of your lifestyle? It has so many proven long term benefits, like lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, preventing and even reversing diabetes and reducing your risk of developing cancer. But there are also loads of short term benefits like improved self esteem, mood, sleep quality and also energy. So, take some action and make exercise part of your day. Even ten minutes will improve your energy levels and stop you from nodding off at critical moments.

And if all that has failed and you still feel like you could sleep for 20 minutes, have a coffee and start working on your cv – maybe you’re just bored need a new job to stimulate you!