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 will no longer be ruined by the afternoon lull. Here are some quick tips to avoid the midday slump and allow you to end your day feeling rejuvenated!
Spend Five Minutes in Nature
According to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in 2019, five simple minutes sitting in nature improves moods, decreases negative feelings and increases your sense of being part of something bigger than yourself. If you have more time, combine being in nature with exercise. This can include hiking or taking a walk through the park. 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 look at a nature scene on your phone. It seems that even a picture of nature has the potential to reduce feelings of stress.
Break Out That Adult Colouring Book
Can’t absorb any new information? Take a break and grab the adult colouring book you have not yet 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 colours that make you feel better. Pro tip: Choose yellow and other bright colours if you need a pick me up.
Incorporate Natural Mid-Afternoon Boosts
Grab some green tea. It is high in antioxidants, contains a small amount of caffeine and 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 ten-minute break.
Quick Exercises To Do at Your Desk
Here are two quick exercises that help to release stress and restore a sense of calm while improving moods. Do any exercise that helps bring the heart rate up a little bit to get blood pumping while releasing the energy of frustration. First, do some quick tricep extensions using a chair. Follow with a stretch that helps to relieve the tension. Shrug your shoulders up to your ears and gently rotate them forward then backwards. Follow this with an open stance with your 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. After all, we tend to carry a lot of stress in the upper back and neck. Bonus, hugs help to relieve stress and improve moods.
Laugh & Breathe
It is as simple as laughing. It decreases cortisol levels and improves moods. A simple way is to watch a funny clip or a recording of a baby laughing. That sound of pure joy can bring a smile back to your face and do wonders for your mood. Lastly, practice stopping and breathing. Take four counts in, hold for four, and release for four. Do this about four times and feel the stress slowly ebb away.
Eudene Harry MD is the medical director for Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center, a wellness practice devoted to integrative holistic care. She is a veteran physician with over twenty years of experience. Dr. Harry earned her medical degree and performed her residency at Thomas Jefferson University. Her most recent book, Be Iconic: How to be Healthy and Sexy at Any Age is now available on Amazon. Connect with Dr. Harry on Twitter, Facebook and YouTu