Midday slump

Tired male African American worker stretching in office chair, exhausted after long hours hardworking, person relieving muscle tension by doing office gymnastics. Concept of sedentary work, exercising

We’ve 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 rejuvenated.

Spend 5 minutes in nature

According to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in 2019, just five minutes sitting in nature, improves moods, decreases negative feelings and increases your sense of awe and wonder at being a part of something bigger than yourself. If you have more time, combine being in nature with exercise. This can include hiking of simply 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 a nature scene on your video device. It seems that even the picture of nature has the potential to reduce feelings of stress.

Break out that adult coloring book

Can’t absorb any new information? Take a break with an adult coloring book. This distraction gives the brain the space it needs to tackle the problem while you focus on the joys of choosing the colors that make you feel better. Pro tip: Choose yellow and other bright colors 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 also has an ingredient that can help create a sense of calmness. If you combine this with a little aromatherapy, either peppermint or lemon to quick lift or lavender to keep the calm going, you might find yourself feeling better after a 10-minute break.

Quick exercises to do at your desk

Here are two 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 also releasing the energy of frustration. First, do some quick triceps extensions using a chair. Then follow with a stretch that helps to relieve the tension. Shrug shoulders up to ear and gently rotate forward then backward. Follow this with an open stance, 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 release built-up tension. After all, we do tend to carry a lot of stress in the upper back and neck. Bonus, hugs help to relieve stress and improve moods. 

Laugh and breathe

It’s as simple as laughing, which decreases cortisol levels and improves moods. This could mean queuing up a funny clip. Practice stopping and breathing. 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 20 years of experience. Dr. Harry earned her medical degree and performed her residency at Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr. Harry is the author of three books designed to empower the individual to get started on their path to optimal health. She has published extensively on the topics of reducing stress, healthy lifestyle choices, and regaining youthfulness. Her most recent book, Be Iconic: How to be Healthy and Sexy at Any Age is now available on Amazon. She regularly contributes to television and radio shows nationwide.

Connect with Dr. Harry on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. To learn more about Dr. Harry please visit, www.drharrymd.com.

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