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5 ways to beat the post-lunch slump

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in Human Resources

If you would rather nap in the midafternoon than do anything else, don't rely on a jolt of caffeine or sugar to keep you going. Boost your energy these ways:
1. Start the morning right. Exercise before work for an all-day energy boost, and eat breakfast so you'll not only fuel your body but also avoid overindulging at noon.
2. Balance your lunch. In addition to avoiding a calorie- and carbohydrate-laden meal, include some protein to boost brain chemicals that contribute to keeping you alert. If you crave a snack, many nutrition experts suggest low-fat yogurt with fruit.
3. Align tasks with energy levels. In the afternoon, avoid activities that will further lull you, such as reading. Instead, schedule phone calls and other social tasks.
4. Perk yourself up. Listening to high-energy, positive music, breathing deeply, drinking cold water or sniffing a scent such as peppermint might be rejuvenating, so try some alternatives to find what works for you.
In the winter, taking a brisk, 10-minute walk outside may yield double benefits from both the exercise and the exposure to natural light.
5. Review your habits to see whether the cause of your after-noon malaise may be a crash from your morning caffeine high, sleep-deprivation from alcohol or caffeine in the evening, watching television in bed, or a sleep disorder that robs you of true rest at night.
If the slump is most severe early in the week, maintaining the same sleep schedule throughout the weekend may hold the answer.

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