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8 Ways to Stay Awake After Lunch

8 Ways to Stay Awake After Lunch

The lunch-time hour is a glorious time of the day that I hope includes delicious food that nourishes your body and a much-needed break from the daily grind. If you’re like most people, the second half of the day seems to become so slow that time grinds to a halt. As soon as you clock back in after your lunch hour, you might find yourself in a coma-like state where keeping your eyes open requires intensely focused effort. Today I’d like to share 8 ways to stay awake after lunch to give you more pep in your step. Let’s do it!

Take a quick walk outside

Your body has a natural need for napping in the afternoon, so take a quick walk before you clock back in. You will burn some of those calories you just ate, loosen up your body—before chaining it back to your desk—and get some sunshine, which will give your body some much-needed Vitamin D. The last item on that list has the following benefits:

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  • Increases energy, immunity, mood, and alertness
  • Reduces stress, tension, body-aches, and pain
  • Provides healthier and more vibrant skin

Do some stretches at your desk

Sitting hunched over at your desk could produce chronic back pain and poor posture, and who wants that? Nobody, anywhere, ever, so do some quick light stretches to wake your body up and stretch out your kinks. Get up and do two or three simple stretches per hour to have a swagger that expresses confidence and stay awake after lunch.

Nourish your body with quality nutrition

If your lunch includes sugar-laden soda and processed carbs from a fast food restaurant down the block, don’t be surprised when your energy crashes within an hour. Instead, eat a meal that includes healthy fats and protein. Some positive options include things like:

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  • Grilled chicken or steak salad
  • Almonds, walnuts, and other tree nuts
  • Bananas, apples, oranges, berries, or any other delicious fruit your heart desires

You might want to consider preparing a healthy lunch the night before so it’s ready to go, and you can just pick it up and run out the door in the morning.

Splash some cold water on your face

Feeling super groggy? Excuse yourself to the restroom and jolt yourself awake with a splash of cold water to snap back into it.

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Chew gum

Bored out of your mind and unable to focus? Keep some gum at your desk and pop in a piece when times get tough. This will keep you alert by stimulating your facial muscles and increasing the blood flow to your head.

Laugh to your heart’s content

Before you clock back in, watch a funny video on YouTube or read your favorite comic strip and have a hearty laugh. This will boost your mood and help you stay wake. For bonus points, give one of your co-workers the opportunity to show you how hysterical they are by asking them to tell you one of their favorite jokes.

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Give your eyes a break

Staring relentlessly at a computer screen will strain your eyes and cause tiredness and fatigue. Every few minutes, focus your attention elsewhere for a brief moment. You could make this time more productive by grabbing a note-pad and making a quick list of the important tasks you need to accomplish before the day is over.

Be aware of the source of your ails

The other seven tips will give you a quick fix that will help you stay awake after lunch, but if you want to have a consistent energy boost to carry you through your days, you need to figure out why you are so tired in the first place. Are you getting 6-8 hours of sleep every night? Are you nourishing your body with healthy food that will provide you with the quality nutrition you deserve? Lifestyle changes might not be sexy, but they are your best bet if you want to feel more energetic and alert every single day. If you don’t get enough sleep, you might want to check out these eight ways to improve your sleep.

How do you stay awake after lunch?

If you have any tips to add to this list, please tell us all about it in the comments!

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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