3 unusual ways to avoid the afternoon slump at work — and lose weight, too
By Brittany Anas
Come 2 p.m. on a week day, we’re reminiscing about nap time from our kindergarten days wishing it were still acceptable to roll out a cot, turn down the lights and take a quick snooze. There’s nothing like a deadline or a mid-afternoon client meeting to snap us back into reality, though. The 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. afternoon slump is notorious and universal — lunch has settled, the end of the day is so near, yet so far.
Here’s how you can power through the afternoon without getting that drowsy feeling (because a keyboard doesn’t make a good pillow). Consider these tips to be the boost that you need to finish the last lap of the race (err, work day) with a sprint. These strategies will do more for you than an energy drink ever could!
- Schedule a walking meeting: Get out of the board room or the coffee shop and schedule a “walking appointment.” The movement will give you an energy boost — and being outside will help simulate your creativity. An added bonus, we get endorphins from exercising, so your confidence and mood will also get turned up a couple notches. Business innovator Nilofer Merchant was recently featured in a Ted Talks video, embracing the “walk-and-talk” idea for one-on-one meetings. In fact, she walks up to 20 or 30 miles a week for her business meetings. Her mantra: Fresh air drives fresh thinking.”There’s this amazing thing about actually getting out of the box that leads to out-of-the-box thinking,” Merchant says. “Whether it’s nature or the exercise itself, it certainly works.” Take it a step further for casual meetings. Try shooting hoops at a nearby basketball court. Or, if you’re meeting with a fellow jogger, strap on the running shoes.
- Avoid carbs at lunch. Be strategic when you’re packing your lunch. Simple carbs like pasta and white rice will doom you to a sluggish afternoon. Wonder why that pasta dish you order always makes you so tired? Carbs spike your glucose levels and overeating them can cause your body to release serotonin (which is known to give you the ZZZ’s). A few rules of lunching: Don’t skip it, your body needs to the calories to power through the work day and a healthy midday meal regulates you blood sugar levels. An easy and healthy alternative to salads and sandwiches? Spaghetti squash! The squash is cheap and will yield several meals. The “noodles” from the squash can replace the pasta in your pasta dishes. One cup of spaghetti squash has about 40 calories and only 10 grams of carbs. Top it with a tomato or a pesto sauce, a lean protein — like ground turkey breast, slices of chicken breasts or tofu — and some chopped veggies like zucchini and you’ve got a delicious substitute for a pasta lunch. (Money-saving tip: Save on your next trip to the grocery store with grocery coupons from ShopAtHome.com).
- Take a tea time: An idea admittedly borrowed from the Brits. If you start to get a sluggish feeling, take a break from your desk and sip on some tea. Green tea is even proven to rev up your metabolism and help with weight loss. A 10-minute afternoon break and relaxing tea (with caffeine!) can be just the re-set you need to regain focus and conquer the rest of your work day. Next time you’re shopping for office supplies, pick up a box of green tea to keep at the office. Save on your entire purchase at Staples with up to 3 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com.
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