Oh the dreaded afternoon slump. We’ve all been a victim and know that it can be merciless. So what’s a boss babe to do when she’s bitten by the bug, but has goals to accomplish? Here are a couple of the tactics I use (besides getting a full night’s rest the night before, obvi):
Get Outside: Yeah, I know basic. But this seriously helps. Now that the weather is sufficiently above freezing, I love eating my lunch on our balcony or going for a stroll around the block with my dog Samurai. He’s good about getting me out from behind the computer. If you don’t have a four-legged friend, a two-legged friend works just as well.
Move: It’s not uncommon for me to take a little dance break or roll through a few sun salutations and pop into headstand around 3pm. Granted, I work from home and can get away with such behavior. If you can too, it makes a world of difference. Bonus: yogic inversions helps to switch up your life perspective as well, so they’re great to do if you’ve hit a creative wall too.
Talk it Out: If I can, I like to schedule calls for the afternoon. Breaking up the illustration work to interact with another human gives me that extra boost of energy. When I worked in an office, I tried to swing by someone’s desk instead of emailing them to get that movement and in-person combo in.
Tune In: Podcasts and radio save my life. I’m a big fan of Spotify, but occasionally I listen to a local radio station online because the DJ feels like good company (working alone from home gets weird…). Also podcasts are ideal when I’m zoning on an illustration but need to keep my mind active. Lately I’ve been liking ArtCurious (v obsessed with this), LeVar Burton Reads (it’s Reading Rainbow for adults and I’m 100% here for it), The Bridge and RABBITS.
Snack Mindfully: Hungry or bored? It can be hard to tell. If I’m bored, a cup of tea (roasted dandelion, of course) or a bit of kombucha (sippin’ on some now) hits the spot. If I’m actually hungry, I love a good, energizing fat ball from Lee From America - her recipe is the perfect, most satisfying combo of healthy fat, protein and a bit of sweetness. Highly recommend whipping up a batch to stave of afternoon hangriness.
Sip Mindfully: I know a caffeine jolt is most people’s preferred afternoon drink, but that has too much potential to throw off sleep. I recently tried a little concoction from Four Sigmatic that uses the power of cordyceps mushrooms instead of caffeine to give you energy. I like to blend the Mushroom Hot Cacao with almond milk, extra cacao and a little pure maple syrup and cinnamon. It’s so indulgent and doesn’t give you a crash at all. Oh yeah, and it’s basically healthy hot cocoa so you’re welcome.
Rest: You know how when you’re super tired and you think, “let me just scroll through Instagram for a minute to keep me awake” and 35 minutes later you’re still scrolling, still tired and now your neck hurts and you’re jealous of everyone vacationing in Europe? When I feel this coming on and all else fails, know what I do? Take a 35 minute nap instead. I know our society has this “never not working” mentality, but I’m done with that and done with ignoring my body’s cues. If I’m exhausted beyond belief (which tends to happen at certain times in my cycle), I take a nap. I wake up refreshed and much more productive than if I fought to stay awake and slowly slog through mediocre work. I know not everyone is able to do this, but if you’re in the same boat as me, try it out. And don’t feel guilty for listening to your body.
What are your tricks for beating the afternoon slump? Any weirdness like my middle-of-the-office headstands?
Signing off from an alert babe at 3:30pm.