5 tips to get through your midday slump.
Story: Eudene Harry
We have all felt it. After lunchtime, you’re lethargic, tired, and constantly checking the clock waiting for the day to be over.
But, fear not! Your day no longer will be ruined by the afternoon lull. Here are some quick tips to avoid the midday slump and allow you to end your day rejuvenated:
Spend five minutes in nature
Just five simple minutes sitting in nature improves mood, decreases negative feelings, and increases your sense of awe and wonder at being part of something bigger than yourself, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Positive Psychology. If you have more time, combine being in nature with exercise. This can include hiking or simply taking a walk through a park lined with trees. This can reduce your heart rate and improve your ability to recover from stressful events.
Bring the outdoors in
Feeling overwhelmed and can’t leave the building? Hang paintings of nature scenes on the walls, look out a window, or watch a nature scene on your video device. It seems that even a picture of nature has the potential to reduce feelings of stress.
Break out that adult coloring book
Can’t absorb any new information? Take a break and take out the adult coloring book you have not taken the time to use. This distraction gives the brain the space it needs to tackle the problem while you focus on the joys of choosing the colors that make you feel better. Pro tip: Choose yellow and other bright colors if you need a pick-me-up.
Incorporate natural midafternoon boosts
Grab some green tea; it is high in antioxidants, contains a small amount of caffeine, and also has an ingredient that can help create a sense of calmness. If you combine this with a little aromatherapy, either peppermint or lemon for a quick lift or lavender to keep the calm going, you might find yourself feeling better after a quick 10-minute break.
Quick exercises to do at your desk
These release stress and restore a sense of calm while improving moods. Do any exercise that helps bring the heart rate up a little. First, do some quick triceps extensions using a chair. Follow with a stretch that relieves tension. Shrug shoulders up to the ears and gently rotate forward then backward. Follow this with an open stance, arms open wide and slightly raised as if to open yourself up to receive warmth, love, and support, then simply cross your arms around your shoulders and give yourself a hug. Cross your arms until you feel the muscles in the upper back gently stretch and start relieving some of that built-up tension. Bonus: Hugs help relieve stress and improve moods.
Laugh and breathe
Laughing decreases cortisol levels and improves moods. A simple way is to watch a funny clip or record a baby’s laughter and listen to it. That sound of pure joy and wonder can bring a smile back to your face and do wonders for your mood. Lastly, practice stopping and breathing; four counts in, hold for four seconds and release for four seconds. Do this about four times and feel the stress slowly ebb away.
About the writer →Dr. Eudene Harry is the medical director for Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center, a wellness practice devoted to integrative holistic care. She is a veteran physician with more than 20 years of experience. Dr. Harry earned her medical degree and performed her residency at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.