9 Ideas to Kick the Mid-Afternoon Slump
Do you find yourself exhausted by 3pm, but your day is far from over? Here are some healthy ways to get past that mid-afternoon slump so you can power through the rest of your day.
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When I was in high school, sleep was hard to come by. I had hours of homework after school. And as I’m sure you know, when your alarm is set for 5:30 am, you’d have to be in bed by 8:30 pm to get the 9 hours of sleep teenagers supposedly need. There are toddlers who stay up later, ‘miright?
By afternoon, I was ready to drop. I remember Freshman year, I had American History scheduled right after lunch. No offense if History is your jam. But I just don’t care about dudes with weird names, battles in places I’ve never heard of, or memorizing dates. So it was not abnormal for me to fall asleep in this class.
So one day, my teacher had had it. I woke up to him announcing that to help keep me awake, we were going to have a pop quiz. On what he was just lecturing about. While I was sleeping. My classmates were staring daggers at me.
It was a matching quiz, and knowing that I had no clue what the answers were, I just entered my answers as A, B, C, D, E, F, G and put my head back down. Well wouldn’t you know it, those were the correct answers. But nobody else thought that could possibly be right, so I got the only A. On the pop quiz we had to take because I fell asleep. Let’s just say I was not very popular that day.
So, if you find yourself nodding off between 1pm-3pm, you are not alone. Blood sugar drops around that time, which makes us extra sleepy. Trust me, I love caffeine as much as the next girl, but you know that a venti after school means you won't be falling asleep tonight. Which means you’ll most definitely be nodding off again tomorrow. So, the next time your eyelids start getting heavy, beat the mid-afternoon slump with of these.
1. Turn on some music
Listening to music can help you focus and get your energy levels up. This isn’t necessarily one you can try in class, but if you’re studying at home or in the library, this can really help.
2. Beat the mid-afternoon slump with some stretches
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that sitting at a desk all day is seriously mind-numbing. When you’re starting to nod off, get up, walk around, and stretch it out a little. Moving around helps with circulation and gives you a little energy boost.
3. Do some breathing exercises
Are you falling asleep and still have hours to go? Try some breathing exercises. Just like stretching, deep breathing gives you a little energy boost by increasing circulation. (And it’s great for stress too!)
4. Have a healthy snack
When I was in school, I lived off of vending machines and fast food. If that sounds familiar, you might have noticed that it doesn’t take long before you’re ready to crash again. If you want energy that will last you until dinner, grab a snack with a mix of complex carbs, protein, and fiber. Try a smoothie instead of a latte or trail mix instead of a candy bar.
5. Take a walk
We spend so much of our day cooped up inside. The nerds who research all the things have found that spending time outside really helps with stress and fatigue. Even a 15-minute walk will give you a really nice bump in your energy level.
6. Kick the mid-afternoon slump by changing tasks
This is a must for me! I cannot stay on the same task for more than an hour without losing my mind. When you’re eyes start glazing over, try taking a “break” by switching to something else. Start your homework for another subject, put your laundry away, or get your lunch ready for tomorrow. Not exactly fun, but it does keep you productive.
7. Change your location
If you’re nodding off in the middle of a study marathon, try a change of scenery. If you’ve been at your desk all day, try snagging a seat at a coffee shop or even just moving to the kitchen table. Our brains crave change, so giving your eyes something new to look at can help with boredom.
8. Take a break
You can also try taking an actual break. Go do something fun for a little bit. Get some fro-yo with a friend, do your nails, or play with your dog in the backyard. The idea of losing all that study time might make you panic. But it’s surprisingly great for your productivity. You can get more done in less time when your mind is fresh. And you’ll be a lot happier.
9. Take a nap already!
This is honestly my secret weapon. I don't know about you, but I am useless when I’m tired. It’s better for me to just get some sleep so I can actually get things done when I wake up. I’ve never been able to master the power nap, but supposedly, it’s the nap of champions. Give it a shot! It might work for you too.
Related: 8 Smart Ways to Be More Productive
It’s hard to keep your energy up when you’re trying to do all the things. But healthy habits like these can really help you get through that mid-afternoon slump. You are destined to do amazing things, my dear, so take care of you!