It’s 2021, which means that a lot of us have been in some form of quarantine for the better part of a year. Whether you’re working from home or unable to slip out of the office to run to a lunch break spin class, the reality is all of our lives have changed, and they changed quickly.
That time between 1 pm – 3 pm is tough as it is. Add the fact that we’re not doing as much as we used to, and we can easily feel tired or find it difficult to focus in the afternoon.
Today we’re going to talk about pulling yourself out of an afternoon slump while you’re in quarantine, but first, we need to touch on something super important. We’re all unique, which means what will work to pull one person out of an afternoon slump may not work for the next. Take all of these as baseline suggestions to adapt to your own life.
Also read: My 5 am Morning Routine
Find a project/task to do
In general, lacking purpose can be extremely tough on us. A lot of us have been sticking to the same thing day after day, which can make time feel like it’s blurring together. Find a project or task that you can do to keep you busy. This could involve trying out a new hobby or activity or taking on a new project at work, just try to focus on things that can benefit you personally or professionally.
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Get some fresh air
Let’s keep it simple: giving yourself a break from artificial lights to get some fresh air in your lungs and help you clear your brain and refocus for the afternoon. This could look like anything from taking a quick walk down the street to find somewhere to sit on your lunch break.
Move your body
Get the endorphins flowing. Moving your body can do wonders for both your mental and physical health and can act as a great pick-me-up in the afternoon. From a light yoga stretch to an intense HITT working on YouTube, there is something to fit everyone’s needs and goals. Listen to your body, and do what works for you.
If you are working from home right now, this point may be for you. Sometimes, especially while working from home, changing where you are working can stimulate your brain enough to make you feel more refreshed or more awake. This could involve moving from your desk to the kitchen table or from the kitchen table to the couch. Just try to make sure you avoid your bed or anywhere that could be too distracting.
Drink more water
Drinking water seems to come up as a solution for countless things, but there’s a good reason for that. According to a survey of over 3,000 Americans, 75% indicated that they were likely chronically dehydrated. Why is this significant? Recent studies have linked dehydration to fatigue. This means that it’s extremely important to get into the habit of drinking water first thing in the morning, as well as throughout the entire day to help fight against the afternoon slump.
Make sure you’re sleeping enough
This one may seem obvious, but it can’t be ignored. To make sure you have enough energy to make it through the day at your best, you need to make sure you are getting enough quality sleep. There are a ton of different ways to prioritize your sleep, but in general, a good start is to try to limit your caffeine intake in the afternoon, establish a set bedtime, and give yourself screen-free time before bed. The better habits you can form surrounding sleep, the better you’ll likely feel during the day.
Schedule your time accordingly
We all have an internal clock, which is known as our circadian rhythm. The way this works is it gives your body cues for when you need to go to sleep, and when you should wake up in the morning. This means that some people may find that they have more energy to accomplish tasks in the morning, whereas others may find they’re more productive later in the day. It’s important to pay attention to your day and schedule your time accordingly. For example, you may find that you need to schedule paperwork and other tasks that require deep concentration first thing in the morning. If your daily work tasks are scheduled for you, see if other areas in your life can be rescheduled for your convenience, such as when you take a break.
Take it task by task
One large to-do list can quickly feel overwhelming, daunting, and even a little draining. Try breaking it up into a bunch of smaller tasks. For example, if you’re a student who needs to write an essay, break it up into tasks for your thesis, research, introduction, etc. This will likely help you feel more accomplished, which will help you stay on track throughout the afternoon.