- Do a belly scan. As you’re eating lunch, pause a couple of times, do a “scan” of how your stomach is feeling, and ask yourself one question: “Will this amount of food keep me satisfied for about the next 3 hours?” If the answer is no, take a few more bites. If the answer is yes, stop eating. Nothing kills afternoon energy and productivity like a food coma! You’re tired, bloated and want nothing more than a nap, but you’re stuck in a 2-hour afternoon meeting. And it’s warm in there. And your eyelids are getting very heavy…
- Anchor your plate. A good source of lean protein at a meal slows down the release of energy into your bloodstream, which means you’ll have more consistent levels of energy throughout the afternoon. Without protein you’re more likely to experience a short spike in energy followed by a debilitating crash that will leave you asleep under your desk.
- Change the channel. Instead of working through lunch, take a few minutes to get some mental recovery. Surf the web for a few minutes, talk to a co-worker about something non-work related, or make a short personal phone call. Giving yourself some downtime here and there will allow you to be more focused and productive over the course of your long day.
- Have a quickie…with Mother Nature and get outside for a few minutes. Sunlight and fresh air are a great way to energize.
- Take a power walk. Chances are you sit for a good part of the day. The longer you sit, the more tired you become. Get your blood and energy pumping by taking a short 5-10 minute walk during your lunch break. Go outside and walk around your building or stay inside and do a few flights of stairs.
- Workout. If a short walk can energize you, think of what a full on workout can do! In addition to boosting your energy right after you’re done, your metabolism continues at a faster pace for several HOURS after you’re finished exercising. It’s sure to get you through the afternoon slump.
About our contributing writer, Jenny Evans
Jenny Evans is a performance coach, TV correspondent, and esteemed expert on resiliency, stress, performance, exercise physiology, nutrition, and health. She’s the founder and CEO of PowerHouse Performance Coaching, a leading consulting firm that provides resiliency training to increase professional and personal performance. She also developed PowerHouse Hit The Deck(TM), a simple, convenient workout you can do anywhere. No gym required! Discover out more about Jenny — including more of her writing on stress reduction and resilience — at http://www.powerhouseperformancecoaching.com