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The post-lunch hour is tough with many of us struggling to stay awake. A full stomach and pleasant weather isn’t the best combination when you have a load of work to get through.

Who hasn’t experienced 3pm lethargy on a workday? While an afternoon nap is the best idea and is even a customary in many cultures, not everyone can afford to take time out for a nap. This means coming up with a creative way to tackle your drowsiness and get back to work. Try these tricks to bring your brain back on track, improve your mood and increase mental activity.

 

Take a reading break: One of the best ways to take a break is to use apps like Feedly to catch up on digital reads. Be it news, medical articles, or blogs, news-curation apps make it easier to keep track of your reading and allow you to take a midday break without worrying that you’re wasting time.

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Exercise your brain: Brain stimulating apps like Lumosity have different exercises that jog up your brain and help to keep you focused and sharp. Take a five-minute break to have some fun while improving your memory, problem-solving and attention.

 

Get yourself a hot drink: Make a habit of sipping a cup of tea or coffee every afternoon. The caffeine is sure to help you get back to work faster. If you can, prepare your own cup since the process of brewing your hot drink is a soothing way to beat the afternoon blues.

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Take a walk: Get up and away from your desk. Take yourself for a stroll, and even stretch a little, to get blood flowing in your body and to energize yourself. Going for a walk outside also has the added advantage of exposing you to natural light thereby increasing alertness.

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Eat some chocolate: A square of chocolate can do wonders for your drowsy head. Dark chocolate is recommended because of its vast health benefits but not everyone has the taste for it so stick to a piece of milk chocolate to put a skip in your step. Remember to never overindulge!

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Plan to have meetings at this time: It’s always a good idea to schedule a meeting at 3pm. As social beings, our brains are more active when we interact with others. Make some important decisions and get back to work with a revived focus.

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Do some filing or clear your email: Accomplish something without putting much effort by picking up mindless tasks like clearing your desk or working on that pile of files. This five minutes of productivity feels almost like a break and once you’re done, you’ll feel more motivated to get to your tough deadlines.

 

Put on some upbeat music: While you can’t have an actual dance party at your desk, put on your headphones and jam to your favorite rock music. Studies show that music stimulates brain functioning. Curate your own work playlist and rid your system of any grogginess.

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The best way to re-inflate your energy and beat that afternoon slump is to find an activity that keeps you engaged and carving some time out of your afternoon for it. Your brain will thank you later.

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