We all know what that mid-afternoon sloth feeling is like, right? You’re at your desk at work and you’re trying to fight both your mind and body to stay focused. Before lunch, you’d been on top of your game, sending out emails and reports left and right without hesitation and then, suddenly, it’s like you’ve hit a wall. It’s far too early to end the day but you also feel it’s too late to have another coffee, so what now?
After struggling through the post-lunch grogginess many times, I’ve learned a few ways to combat the feeling. I’ve found that, while coffee may seem like the perfect antidote for this, it can often leave me feeling overly jittery and not all that productive. Instead, here are five afternoon pick-me-ups to beat that 2:30 feeling.
1. Matcha Tea
Matcha became a huge drink of choice for tea and coffee lovers in 2019 and I’m ready to keep the matcha train rolling all the way into 2030. I don’t like to hop onto food trends and fads but the reality is that matcha is bursting with health benefits and, historically, has been used in a variety of cultures to aid with both concentration and relaxation. Packed with antioxidants, chlorophyll, vitamins, and magnesium, it truly is a superfood. I’d describe it as being a much more gentle “cousin” of coffee; it definitely still delivers on giving you some much-needed energy, but without the jitters!
I personally love matcha tea lattes and they’re super easy to make at home. All you need is a little matcha powder, hot water, and, your milk of choice. I recently purchased a milk frother on Amazon and I can say, with confidence, that it has been life changing. I just mix a bit of the powder with some hot water, heat up the milk on the stove, and then use the frother until I get the consistency I want. Once all of that is done, you just combine the matcha mix and the milk and, voila! You have yourself a delicious matcha latte for a fraction of what you would pay at Starbucks (and a fraction of the calories!).
2. Healthy Fats
While food can be perfect for giving you that extra burst of energy, you have to be careful of where you choose to get that energy from. Your average vending machine is filled with chips, candies, and sugary drinks- not ideal for leaping over that wall you’ve hit. Healthy fats provide fuel for your body and keep you satiated longer, helping to keep you focused on your work instead of on fighting off hunger.
Try to either plan ahead and bring nuts, an avocado, or hard-boiled eggs as a mid-afternoon snack, or you can look for a 6AM Health Fresh Fridge! Our Fresh Fridges are stocked exclusively with fresh food that’s been created with your needs in mind. Whether you’re hopping on the T and forgot your lunch or just need a little extra snack to get you through the day, we’re there to keep you fueled and focused!
While you may feel like exercise is the *last* thing you want to do when you’re feeling sluggish and groggy, it’s actually the perfect way to recharge and refresh your body and mind. Light physical exercise has literally no downsides, so it’s a no-brainer! Stimulating your muscles increases blood flow and oxygen throughout the body, producing an energizing endorphin rush that can linger for up to a few hours!
Now, I’m not saying you need to change into your sweatsuit and go to the gym in the middle of the workday. Just a 15 minute brisk walk around the block is enough to stimulate your muscles and re-energize your mind. If walking outside isn’t an option, you can always walk around the office… who cares if you get a couple stares! Just tell them you’re "recharging"!
Now, I’m no yogi so please don’t come after me if I get this wrong, buuut, deep breathing as is commonly practiced in yoga can facilitate a meditative state that truly declutters the mind of all excess stress and anxiety. By taking a few moments to just stretch your body and do some deep breathing exercises, you can do yourself wonders. I personally love to use the Calm app for guided meditation.
By taking a few moments to just focus on your body and your breathing and putting aside all of the stresses bogging you down, it helps you to come out the other side feeling revitalized and refreshed! Think of it as if you’ve been wearing a huge heavy backpack all day, and when you meditate, you’re taking all of the heavy stuff out of the bag and putting them to the side. When you’ve finished you feel lighter, like a weight has literally been taken off your shoulders. This leaves you feeling more prepared to tackle the day and seize the opportunity to be productive.
5. Essential Oils
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants through distillation or cold-pressing and they can be very beneficial for daily use through what’s commonly referred to as aromatherapy. Aromatherapy has become more and more popular as research has shown people the benefits of these compounds for a variety of uses.
In terms of relieving fatigue and increasing concentration and energy, the essential oils that work best as determined by clinical research are peppermint, sweet orange, spearmint, rosemary, and lemon. In addition, they can help facilitate memory function, boost mood, and improve athletic performance. Scents are super important for us as humans as they have a huge impact on mood so, if nothing else, have some essential oils by your desk just to perk yourself up every now and again. At the very least they’re handy to have when someone decides to microwave their leftover fish dinner in the office kitchen for lunch…
So, if you’re truly trying to curb the 2:30 slump and you haven’t found an effective means yet, try out some of these tips and let us know if they work for you! I’ve found that even if I’m not necessarily hitting that wall, doing something like taking a walk, using the Calm app, and my turning on the diffuser are all just great ways to get a little pick-me-up. Giving yourself a few moments to just check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling may not seem like a lot, but it’s a great habit to develop in order to mitigate stress, relax, and refocus.