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    May 23, 2018

    15 Ways To Beat The 3 O'Clock Slump That Aren't Coffee

    Trade in that espresso for some pictures of puppies.

    1. Handwrite a list.

    http://@paper.pens.planning / Via instagram.com

    Writing to-do lists helps your brain function (and lets your eyes take a break from staring at a screen), so give yourself a moment to jot down some things you'd like to accomplish during your day, week, or even lifetime. Creating a bucket list is a wonderful way to snap out of your afternoon routine.

    2. Clean your desk.

    gaffaneysoffice.com

    Whether your desk looks like a tornado ripped through it while you were in the bathroom or you just have some clutter here and there, cleaning and organizing it can have a positive impact on your concentration and creative thinking. Rather than mindlessly stare at the same document from 3-5 p.m., why not restore some order to your workspace?

    3. Look at pictures of puppies.

    @tomgvellner / Via instagram.com

    You heard me: Pictures. Of. Puppies. Researchers at Hiroshima University concluded that looking at pictures of baby animals improves productivity. Seriously, they found that people finished tasks faster and more precisely after being shown adorable animals. So, go ahead and tell your boss we said it's cool if you take a break to peep some cute pups.

    4. Do a crossword puzzle.

    S. R. Gruber / Via Flickr: madelynn

    Conquering a crossword puzzle may or may not boost your brain power, but perhaps even more important than that is the break you'll get from technology while you complete it. The constant stream of information from your phone and computer can hinder your memory and ability to think critically, so taking a breather from all of your screens at work can be a game-changer when it comes to productivity.

    5. Take a book break.

    @gyanyankovich / Via instagram.com

    Find a comfy spot in your office or, better yet, on a bench outside and escape into a book. Your brain will get a much-deserved respite from reading about the company budget or the slide deck you're creating. What better way to forget about work than immersing yourself in an entirely different world?

    6. Go for a brisk walk or ride.

    @the_rewm / Via instagram.com

    If you can, go the extra mile (heh heh) and leave your desk for a refreshing trip around the block. It'll elevate both your mood and your energy levels so that you can get back to work feeling reinvigorated. Even a two-minute walk can do wonders for your health.

    7. Adjust your posture.

    Tara Botwinick / BuzzFeed

    You're definitely going to hit the afternoon slump hard if you're, you know, literally slumping — since poor posture can cause headaches and affect your mood. Something as simple as sitting up straight will help you feel more alert, aligned, and positive. Check out some easy ways to stop that slouch.

    8. Stretch it out.

    Tara Botwinick / BuzzFeed

    Feeling sluggish at your desk? Get your blood flowing again with some simple stretches. They'll boost your energy, help your posture, and send you into productivity mode. There are plenty you can do right where you're sitting.

    9. Run an errand.

    Daniel Lobo / Via Flickr: daquellamanera

    The last thing you want to do after a long day's work is stop at CVS, the grocery store, and the hardware store before you can finally pull on sweatpants in the comfort of your own home. If you're able to slip out, avoid the afternoon slump by getting one or more of those errands out of the way — it'll give you a chance to spend time outside and check off an item on your to-do list.

    10. Go to an appointment.

    Ryan & Sarah Meis / Via Flickr: sarlab

    Be proactive if you know you're going to a hit a wall at 3 p.m. by scheduling an appointment for that time. Heading to the dentist — or the nail salon, shhhh — will break you out of your typical afternoon schedule, and make you feel accomplished (ahh, clean teeth) before diving back into work.

    11. Dab peppermint oil on your pulse points.

    etsy.com

    The smell of peppermint is thought to energize your mind (pssst, here's a lil' guide to essential oils) so when you're feeling drained after a morning of emails that all say "Any updates on this?", put a drop of peppermint oil on a pulse point or two. This will active the scent and hopefully help you tackle your inbox.

    12. Or, chew some mint gum.

    amazon.com

    Just like smelling peppermint oil, chewing a piece of mint gum can help kick your brain into gear with a burst of refreshment, too. Research shows that chewing gum enhances attention and promotes work performance. Get to munchin'.

    13. Drink a cup of energizing tea.

    Joanna / Via amazon.com

    I don't know about you, but if I drink coffee after 3 p.m., I won't sleep again until the following solstice. So, kick your caffeine habit and gain energy with some herbal tea that's crafted to help you recharge and refocus. Try a rooibos-based blend with ginseng, a root that's known to relieve fatigue.

    14. Eat a high-protein snack.

    thelemonbowl.com

    How about avocado toast with cottage cheese and tomatoes? This no-cook snack is easy to whip up and loaded with protein, healthy fats, and fiber that'll help you stay awake until the clock strikes 5. Recipe here.

    15. Call your person.

    etsy.com

    Feeling lonely? Call your person. Feeling stressed? Call your person. Feeling joyful? Call your person. No matter what's going on in your day, carving out some time in the afternoon to catch up with your best friend (or whoever's free, TBH) is a perfect way to reset your brain. Just hearing their voice will help you feel more supported and motivated to finish your workday strong.