By Nicole Tinkham
Lunch is probably your favorite part of the work day (it is for us, anyway) but when returning to work you enter the long and dreaded afternoon hours that go on and on forever with no end in sight (so it seems). Since you’re used to seeing the groggy after lunch symptoms throughout the office, you may think it’s unavoidable in which case you would be wrong. We bring to you our list of the top 6 things that can help you stay awake after lunch and actually enjoy afternoons in the office!
1. WHAT you eat for lunch can have an impact
Not all actions have to be taken after the lunch hour. In fact, what you eat for lunch affects how you feel later on in the day. Although it may be easier, you should avoid fast food as it can cause you to crash an hour after lunch. Instead, go with meals that include healthy fats and protein such as a grilled chicken salad with a side of fruits and almonds.
2. Walk, stretch, and get outside
Do you have 5 minutes to spare after eating lunch? We bet you do and you can use those 5 minutes to get outside, walk around, and stretch. There are many benefits to doing this. By burning off the calories you just ate, getting a little Vitamin D, and stretching out your muscles, you’ll increase your energy and reduce stress.
When in doubt, laugh. Always. In all seriousness, it’s important to be happy and laugh as much as possible. Before returning to work, watch a funny Youtube video or look up hilarious jokes. Laughing boosts your mood and helps you stay awake so do it often and get co-workers involved!
4. Give your eyes a break
We bet you’re staring at a computer screen right now and do so for the majority of your day which can cause tiredness and fatigue. While being on the computer all day may be required, take a brief moment to focus your eyes on something else. Jot down notes on a piece of paper to remain productive.
5. Get a little crazy with your favorite song
Just before starting the second half of your day, jam out to your favorite upbeat song. This will instantly put you in a good mood and provide a little energy to help you get back to work.
6. Stay hydrated
Chugging cup after cup of coffee at 3PM is not what we consider staying hydrated! However, a cold glass of water can perk you up and keep you going, especially in a hot office (check out 10 Tips for Staying Cool in the Office This Summer). Your afternoon caffeine addiction may be a hard habit to break but try out the water method at least once and see how you feel.
Maybe you didn’t prepare a healthy lunch this morning but the other 5 tips on this list can be done TODAY so why not give them a try? This list will most likely have you feeling much more alert when those afternoon hours roll around but are not guaranteed to work. If you’re still feeling drowsy, you may have to do further research to find out what’s making you feel this way. If these tips did improve your mood after lunch, we want to hear about it! Leave your comments below or head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages.