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THE INC. LIFE

5 Ways to Beat that Afternoon Slump

If you find yourself yawning at your desk, there are better solutions than a Starbucks run

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BY Suzanne Lucas - 09 Aug 2018

5 Ways to Beat that Afternoon Slump

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Like clockwork, every afternoon you feel like you just need to lie down for a few minutes. There are biological reasons for this and some cultures still take advantage of the "siesta." I'm a huge fan of naps myself.

But, if your business doesn't allow you to snooze every afternoon, you're going to need to beat that afternoon slump in a different way. Lots of us do this with caffeine, but that comes with its own problems.

Elin Ostman, associate professor at Food for Health Science Center, Lund University, and the director of nutrition at Good Idea gave me five ways to help beat that tiredness.

  1. Eat a better lunch. Avoid the fast carbs like pizzas, fries and white bread that make your blood sugar spike and then drop like a stone. Go for the fiber-rich, veggies, beans and pasta instead.

  2. Take micro breaks. Stand up, stretch your body and look away from your work for a while. Or get some fresh air and a quick walk outside.

  3. Withstand the cravings. Sweet treats will cause an instant rush of energy, followed by the opposite shortly after....and then its all on repeat.

  4. Exercise regularly. As little as half an hour a day of moderate exercise, like a quick walk, is associated with better blood sugar control.

  5. Replace the sugary sodas. Drinking water instead of a soda takes away lots of sugar. The naturally flavored sparking water Good Idea adds to this by its special formula that reduces the blood sugar spike after a meal. Will help you stay sharp all day.

If you're the boss, you can help your employees considerably with these things--without being pushy or preachy. Here are some ideas.

Foster a culture of taking a lunch. Brain breaks are good ideas anyway, and when we have time to sit down and eat, we have a bit more time so that we can eat something healthy instead of something fast.

Keep the breakroom stocked. Sparkling water and flavored sparkling water can replace that soda craving. Mixed nuts and fruits and a vegetable tray would be healthier than a bowl of candy.

Encourage activity--maybe provide a few standing desks. While not having fixed workstations can be detrimental to employee performance, having a couple of standing desks where employees can go if they wish can help out.

Have an onsite gym, or provide gym memberships. Having a convenient way to exercise makes it more likely that people will do it.

Of course, you can also allow a bit of afternoon snoozing, or relocate your company to Spain. Regardless of your solution, creating an environment where people can be productive throughout the day is better for your bottom line.

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