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10 Ways to Perk Up Your Afternoon

When the afternoon slump hits, you need a solid plan to energize the rest of the day. Thankfully, this is it!

If sleepy eyelids, persistent yawns and fuzzy concentration are part of your typical afternoon, it’s time for a new outlook. Explore these simple ideas to boost your energy and productivity and liven up your day!

  1. Schedule Collaboration Time: Cube-surfing by one’s lonesome may be productive at times but seeking out other creative thinkers for a 5-minute meetup may be just what you need to reignite your spark.
  2. Define Your Purpose: You might be able to recharge your engine just by identifying and focusing on your highest-value task for the afternoon so you can feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of a work or class day.
  3. Get Moving Indoors or Out: A 15-minute stretch session indoors or a zippy stroll outside is the easiest thing you can do to feel more awake and alert. Intentional movement quickens the blood flow and sends more oxygen throughout the body, energizing you for the rest of the afternoon.
  4. Put Toys on Your Desk: Gadgets and games can certainly enliven your mood. Revisit your childhood with a stack of slider puzzles and squeezy stress balls. Or honor your grownup status with a perpetual motion pendulum, moving sandscape or DIY Zen garden.
  5. ’Cue the Tunes: Research proves that music enhances brain activity. Whether you prefer the toe-tapping beats of your favorite jazz group or the serenity of humpback whale songs, just grab your earbuds for hours-long inspiration.
  6. Hack Your Snack: Midday snacks may help manage your dinnertime hunger later on so make sure you reach for foods with healthy fuel—protein, calcium and fiber—to power you through the afternoon.
  7. Step Out of the Ordinary: Break the 2 p.m. monotony by doing something different every afternoon just to recharge. Try a multicolor doodle, work a new muscle group or cruise an online job board; it takes just 10 minutes to be a little more adventurous!
  8. Sit Up Straight: An afternoon slump can really be a slump, if you forget how important posture is to good body mechanics. Good desk posture (feet flat on the floor, knees at or below hip level, shoulders relaxed, forearms parallel to ground and adjust the chair to support your low and mid-back) will allow you to open up your chest cavity and breathe more deeply, give you the energy boost you need to be fully productive in the afternoon.
  9. Freshen Up: If you’re at home and need a pick-me-up, brush your teeth with a minty toothpaste or splash cool water on your face. Try dropping fresh cucumber slices or a lemon wedge into a glass of water to reinvigorate your senses.

Set Your Sights on Nature: Screens and more screens seem to capture most of our day so give yourself permission to look away! Walk to a window and enjoy the gentle movement of a tree or watch a bird scurry about for food to re-engage your brain and lift your spirits.

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