How to beat the mid-afternoon slump at work

How to beat the mid-afternoon slump at work

How to beat the mid-afternoon slump at work

Tiredness at work

This is something that many people experience at their place of work. It feels wonderful to take a quick nap every time you felt you needed it, isn’t it? However, this is not the reality for most people.

Feeling tired at work is a frequent occurrence, whether you are engaged in full time, or part time work, or you work day shift or night shift. Fatigue at work can interfere adversely with your work performance, making the work less enjoyable. This may prove dangerous in some careers.

If you belong to the group of people who feel tired at work, or struggle to stay awake, and it seems the coffee isn’t helping, then you may try some of these tips…

Take a walk before resuming work

Moving your body around and having some fresh air can help you to stay awake. A walk increases your alertness. It is best taken when the sun is up.

Have a nap before you go to work

In most cases, having a nap at work is somewhat impossible. However, if you take one before work, it can help boost your alertness. This is something that should be taken seriously by shift workers, who often work odd or alternating hours. Napping for a short time (even 15 to 20 minutes) can keep you alert throughout your shift.

Take activity breaks

Standing still or sitting for a very long time such as at a cash register or at a desk can make you feel tired. Staying active can make you think clearly and boost your alertness. If possible, take a break from you activity every few hours. For instance, you may move around the office, or up and down the building while you answer that phone call.

Work in a bright office space

If you work in the day time, ensure you keep your window shades open. If you work at dim or dark locations, or at dark periods, turn on the lights, it will help you stay alert and awake.

Drink water

You may get a temporary energy boost by sipping caffeine. However, it is much healthier to drink water, and of course, it is more effective in boosting your level of alertness. The reason for this is that dehydration can make it difficult for you to concentrate at work.

If you drink caffeine, do it early in your shift

You can boost your alertness by drinking caffeine early in your shift. However, this should be taken only at the start of the shift. Do not take caffeine late as it may interfere with your ability to sleep after work.

You should have some snacks handy

Having some healthy snacks during the day can maintain your blood sugar level all day long. Eat foods that have a healthy combination of fats, carbohydrate and proteins. Healthy snack options include:

  • Yogurt and granola
  • Whole wheat crackers and peanut butter
  • Cheese and baby carrots
  • Fruit and nuts

Do not take beverages and foods that contain added sugar, such as soda, energy bars and candies.

Do away with the easy stuff

Focusing on complex tasks can be very frustrating when one is tired. You should complete the easiest tasks when you are tired, such as filing documents, replying to emails or reorganizing your desktop. As you complete these tasks, your energy will return.

Keep yourself awake with energizing scents

Keep an essential oil diffuser or scented candles at your desk. Buy strong and energizing scents such as citrus, jasmine, or peppermint. You may also rub the oil on your temple and hands to help keep you awake and energized.

Some tunes would do

Playing some energizing and loud music such as pop or rock can increase your energy level at times. If you’re working in a shared office space, you can wear headphones so that you don’t disturb your co-workers.

Adopting the following lifestyle changes can help you stay awake at work…

  • Avoid lights before bed
  • Do not take stimulants before going to bed
  • Sleep in a quiet bedroom
  • Napping should be an important part of your daily routine
  • Limit your shift changes
  • Boost your exercise routine
  • Avoid drinking and smoking

Coping with tiredness at work

Tiredness at workplace can cause your day to be unproductive, and less enjoyable. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep you awake and alert. Adopting some lifestyle changes to promote sleep after work can keep you alert and awake at work in the long term.

When to see a doctor?

Get emergency medical attention if your tiredness or fatigue is accompanied by the following:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Severe back, abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat

Call for a doctor’s appointment if your fatigue is persistent for up to two weeks despite eating a healthy diet, having adequate rest, or making efforts to reduce stress.

What kind of doctor should I see?

Any doctor can diagnose and deal with tiredness and fatigue but your best bet would be an endocrinologist, rheumatologist or neurologist.


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