It often hits as the mid-afternoon slump. More yawns, more thoughts of nap time, or just the desk blahs.
It prompts lots of people to hustle for the double-C pick-up: Caffeine and Candy. Despite the fact it’s not too healthy, it also doesn’t last very long, and the later crash can be worse than the original state.
What to do? Most experts make it simple: get up and move.
Here are some suggestions—simple ones—but moves that will deliver some natural stimulation and vigor.
- Stand up—Yes, sounds simple, but if you can get a desk device that allows you to stand more often as your work, so much the better. While up, rise up and down on your toes.
- Walk the halls—Do a brisk walk for 3 minutes as far and fast as you can. It’s an instant reviver (by the way, come back as well. Your boss might miss you).
- Stair Climb—If your building has stairs (and here comes the disclaimer: if your doctor is OK with you doing so), forget the elevator and take the stairs, even several times.
- Walk to lunch if possible. The fresh air will help.
Too much? No Time? Here are exercises you can do right from your chair and desk that will help put some aliveness back into your routine.
- Leg straightener—In your chair, stretch your legs out straight and hold for 30 seconds.
- Chair lift—Lift yourself one inch off your chair with your arms. Hold for 15 seconds
- Hip Flex—In your chair, feet flat on the floor, back against the seat back, arms on the armrests, push up with your legs until you are parallel with the floor. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat a few times if you can.
- Arm isometrics—Sitting position, arms on your desk, push down and hold for 15 seconds. Then arms under the desk and pull up for 15 seconds.
- Ceiling reach—simple. Sitting or standing, try to have your arms reach the ceiling, and hold for 15 seconds. Then drop your arms and do 5 slow shoulder shrugs.
- Praying Push—Palms together in a “praying” position, push together and hold for 15 seconds. Then link your fingers together and do the opposite—a pull-apart motion and hold for 15-seconds
If it’s stress and desk exercise is not your thing, try the opposite:
- Deep Breathing—Relax, close your eyes, and mentally count to 10 as you slowly breathe in and then out.
- Meditation—Whatever your form, relax, close your eyes, and practice the breathing technique above.
- Think about your favorite place to be—eyes closed and vicariously experience it for 3 minutes.
Each person has to find a way that works best for them. Whatever you choose, it’s likely one of these will help you find another stage of resilience and productivity as a result so you’ll get more done, stay healthier, and feel better doing it.