If you’re anything like me, then your day probably goes something like this – you wake up fairly well rested, eat a light breakfast, maybe have some coffee, and then power through your morning until lunch time. Finally freedom for an hour! You go out with co-workers to your favorite lunch spot, eat and socialize in the cafeteria, or – hopefully a rare occurrence – you sit at to your desk and eat while continuing to plow through you work. Then, at about 2-3 hours into the second half of the day, it hits you – you start to feel tired, drained, and unmotivated, and all that enthusiasm and creativity you had in the morning grinds to a halt.
Other than indulging in a quiet little siesta at home, or in one of those cute little sleep pods at work (if you’re lucky enough to have them), there are a few quick ways to beat that workday slump and gain back some energy to tackle the rest of your day’s to-do list. Not surprisingly, a majority of these tips start with developing healthier habits (which will in fact have lasting effects well beyond the 3pm slump). Here’s five to try out the next time you start to feel your energy draining…
1. Get Your Blood Pumping
There’s nothing quite like exercise to get your blood and brain juices flowing. Getting in a quick workout helps increase your body’s circulation, which sends oxygen to the brain and other organs so they can function at their peak. Exercise also releases endorphins, which makes you feel happier and more positive, and it may even make you more productive. Not to mention, you’ll reap all the benefits of exercise in the process. But that doesn’t mean you need to give up your entire lunch break. Workouts can be as simple, short, and fun as 15-20 minute power yoga sessions, brisk walks, or even trips up and down the stairs – the key is to get your blood pumping. Try to mix it up from time to time so you stay interested and excited about exercising. If you work at home, or if your office has spare rooms or a gym, pop on a YouTube video (like one of my favorite power yoga videos below, or even something like belly dancing or hip hop dancing). If the weather is nice one day, take a quick power walk outside. (The clean air and being in the presence of nature can also be a great mood-booster!)
2. Listen To Music
Listening to music in the middle of the day can also boost your mood and energy levels. Back when I worked in an office, almost everyone would pop their headphones for at least a few hours in the afternoon. Music was practically our fuel – the catchier and faster-paced, the better. Now this method doesn’t work with all types of tasks, especially those involving a high level of concentration. However, if you find that you have a few repetitive or monotonous tasks to do, that’s the best time to pop on your headphones. In fact, save those tasks for the afternoon if you can. When the time rolls around, crack the volume up a bit (but not too loud to where it disturbs everyone around you…) and let yourself go while you type/sketch/file away. It’s ok to dance a little – I’ve been caught a few times myself. 😉
3. Drink More Water
Not drinking enough water throughout the day can actually cause you to feel tired or sleepy. The best way to make sure you’re staying hydrated is to keep a dedicated water bottle by your side at all times. (Heck, even take it home with you in the car, and sleep with it on your nightstand.) I picked up this little tip from xteeener, and while it may sound simple, it really works. By making it a habit to carry around a water bottle, not only are you fully prepared for the times you get thirsty (versus having to seek out water fountains at work, being tempted by those sugary vending machine beverages, or ignoring it all together), that little bottle is also serving as a reminder to drink water, even before your body tells you it’s thirsty.
4. Take a Little Emergen-C®
If you find it difficult to drink enough water throughout the day, there are a number of things you can do to add flavor to give you that extra little nudge. One way is to simply toss a tea bag and/or bits of fruit into your water bottle and let them infuse for 5-10 minutes (cool water works fine for both!). Better yet, right before you hit that mid-day slump, add some Emergen-C® Energy+ drink mix to your water.
Emergen-C® Energy+ Dietary Supplement comes in three delicious flavors – including Lemon-Lime, Mango-Peach, and Blueberry-Acai (my personal favorite). Each one adds a little fruitiness and a little fizz to your water, using natural fruit flavors and sweeteners. The best part? Emergen-C® Energy+ is formulated with natural caffeine from green tea to enhance your energy levels and help focus your mind. You can even adjust your levels of caffeine (which is great for those who are caffeine-sensitive, including myself) by sprinkling 1-2 packets into your water when the afternoon rolls around. Each packet contains 50mg of caffeine. Topped off with B Vitamins and Vitamin C to support your overall well-being, Emergen-C® Energy+ will leave you hydrated, energized, and replenished after just one glass. (And for extra support throughout the day, you can pair up Energy+ with their daily Emergen-C® packets.) They come in on-the-go packets that are easy to toss in your bag, or store in your desk drawer. When the afternoon rolls around, simply sprinkle, mix, and then sip! Try it for yourself – you can find them over on Target.com!
5. Fuel Your Body
You’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘you are what you eat’ – and there’s actually a lot of truth behind that. Greasy foods tend to make people sluggish, while salty foods can dehydrate you and make you feel tired, irritable, and, well, salty. Sugary foods/drinks aren’t any better – they may give you that energy boost initially, but just as quickly, they can cause you to crash and crave even more sugar. If you’re looking to beat the mid-day slump, try to avoid all of these types of food at lunchtime. Instead, fill your tummy with protein, fiber, and carbohydrate-rich foods – ones that actually nourish and energize the body, and leave you feeling good all over. For quick pick-me-ups (or healthy boosts to your lunch in case you do decide to treat yourself to french fries), opt for healthy snacks like figs, bananas, paleo protein/energy bars, peanut butter, almonds, walnuts, or really any type of nuts or seeds.
6. Sniff A Lil’ Citrus
It may sound crazy, but if you’re a scent lover like myself, then you know just how mood-altering they can be. Bright, citrus-y notes, for example, are known to have an energizing, uplifting effects (hence why they make perfect workday perfumes) and may even give you a mental and mood boost. Have a favorite citrus-scented lotion or essential oil? Bring it into work with you, and take a little whiff whenever you’re feeling drained. I personally love the scent of bergamot and keep a little essential oil bottle within arms-reach of my desk so I can whip it out for a quick mood-boost. Perfumes work just as well for when you want to be transported to your happy place – even if you’re just removing the cap and taking a whiff (but resist the urge to spray it if you work in an office!). Not a big fan of perfume or scented products? Keep oranges at your desk to pull out for a quick snack, and take in their aroma as you peel and bite in. Or, add some Emergen-C® Energy+ Lemon-Lime drink mix and/or a few lemon slices to your water, so you can enjoy some citrus-y goodness with every sip.
What are some of your favorite ways to re-energize when you hit that mid-day slump?
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.