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Avoiding the Afternoon Slump

Struggling with low energy or a lack of focus between lunchtime and quitting time? Try some of these tips to avoid the afternoon doldrums: 

• Take a short, brisk walk for 5-10 minutes. 

• Go outside and sit in the sun for about 10 minutes. 

• Have a (preferably caffeinated) cup of tea or coffee. You may also want to have one small piece of dark chocolate with your drink, if you have the self-control to avoid eating more than that. Dark chocolate, unlike milk chocolate, contains caffeine and antioxidants that can help keep you sharp and focused. 

• Avoid eating a heavy, carbohydrate-laden meal or sweets for lunch. Instead, eat meals and snacks consisting of healthy proteins and nonstarchy vegetables. 

 • Take a few minutes to stretch or do isometric exercise, in which you tighten and then relax the muscles of your major muscle groups.

• Take stock of the quality and amount of sleep you’re getting each night. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep to avoid being sleep-deprived. 

If these tricks for beating the afternoon slump don’t work, talk to your doctor—particularly if you’re really struggling. Your slump could be the result of an underlying metabolic problem or sleep disorder, or due to undiagnosed stress and anxiety.

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