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Getting over the post-lunch slump

Falling asleep at work in the afternoon

Whether you’re working in an office or sitting through an afternoon class, we all know the woes of the after-lunch slump. You’re coming off a meal, a break from your work and thinking, and all your body wants to do is take a nap or mindlessly refresh Twitter until your eyes cross. And coming off the holidays, the next few days are going to be particularly rough.

Aside from pure motivation and enough self-control to get you over the hump, the choices you make at lunch may be enough of a difference to get you back into work mode faster.

What you do:

First of all, eating at your desk is one of the worst things you can do. Instead of being able to get away from work and think about something else for a little while, your brain is still taking in your office environment. Even moving into the break room is better than scrolling through something on your computer with one hand and holding your sandwich with the other.

Leave the office to allow your brain a break and properly switch from working to relaxing and vice versa when you have to go back in for the rest of the afternoon. If your relaxation time is spent in the same place where you’re stressed and getting stuff done, your brain will mix the two and you’ll have a hard time snapping back when you need to be productive again. And thus the slump continues, unless you can get away from your desk for a little while.

What you eat:

We’re just coming off the holidays, we all know how our bodies react to big meals – you’re not going to want to work on a full and digesting stomach. So what is the best thing to scarf down during your lunch break?

There have been a lot of talk about super foods and brain foods recently that will give you the ultimate body and mind health experience, and there is truth to a lot of these. Inc. Magazine wrote that chowing down on chickpeas and green tea is the best thing you can do for that productivity boost you need.

In the article, they interviewed Karen Ansel, MS, RDN, who is a Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson and co-wrote The Calendar Diet. She said that, if these ingredients aren’t on hand, avoid junk food and caffeine. Sure they all taste good (and you shouldn’t be afraid to treat yourself on a job well done), but their energy will burn out quickly and your slump will make an even bigger comeback in a few hours.

The post-lunch slump is hard to get passed, but making good choices at lunchtime can help you be more productive faster.

About the Author

Julie Winsel

With a background in magazine and newspaper publishing with a splash of business-sense, Julie (Eckardt) Winsel is re-pursuing her passion for writing. Now living in Eugene, Oregon, with her husband and cat, she likes vodka-crans and getting caught in the rain.


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