Deep breathing - Take a few minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing. Making a conscious effort to breathe in through your nose, and out through your mouth. This will ease stress and you’ll find you can concentrate better.
Sit up straight – The next time you find yourself leaning over your keyboard at work, lean back, because poor posture means your muscles are working overtime. Sit up straight and you’ll feel less tired.
Move around – Take a short walk around the office when you’re feeling sluggish. The movement will get your blood circulating and your heart rate up. Better still, take a walk outside and the sunshine will give you a much needed vitamin D boost.
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Eat protein at lunch – Simple carbohydrates like white pasta, rice and bread may leave you feeling energised initially, but you’ll soon start feeling lazy again. Instead opt for protein, such as meat, fish or eggs, which will leave you feeling not only energised, but fuller for longer.
Have a cup of tea – If you’re feeling sluggish around 3pm, you’re probably tempted to fetch a cup of coffee from the kitchen. Instead, opt for a caffeine free, low cal herbal tea that will also help keep you hydrated. There are so many different flavours to try, from Strawberry and Vanilla to Chamomile and Honey, you’re sure to find one you love and some,Ginseng and Peppermint varieties are naturally energising.
Do something easy – When you’re tired, even moderate tasks may seem daunting and impossible. Do something easy instead, like checking your emails or formatting your work, which will give you a sense of achievement but won’t zap your energy.
[Related article: Five healthier breakfasts to give you energy all morning]Call someone – Chatting to a loved one for just a few minutes could lift your spirits and put a big smile on your face. If you have the time, give them a ring – it may just invigorate you for the rest of the day.
Stretch – It’s so easy to get stuck in the same physical position that you can forget to stretch your muscles for a whole day. An easy stretch to do to get your blood flowing is to roll your shoulders forward and breathe in, then roll your shoulders backwards and breathe out. Repeat until you feel more awake.(Possibly do this one in the loo!)
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Have a healthy snack – Ideally, you want a mid-afternoon snack that includes protein, fibre and complex carbohydrates. An oatcake with smoked salmon is a tasty choice. Or, if you have more of a sweet tooth, try natural yoghurt topped with oats and berries, or a couple of squares of dark chocolate. Healthy AND delicious. Work out – You may not have time to pop to the local gym mid-afternoon, but you can do a couple of simple exercises to wake you up. Tense your muscles and hold for 5-10 seconds, before moving onto a different muscle group. You could start with your arm muscles and then work on your legs.
What do you do to beat the afternoon slump at work?