How to Get Through the Hump Day Afternoon Slump

Do you ever want to take a nap after lunch, or feel like your brain has turned to mush, and it takes every ounce of strength you have to accomplish the simplest of tasks? You are not alone. These quick fixes help temporarily boost brainpower.

(Photo Credit: Iwan Gabovitch/Flickr)

Marty Nemko explains in Psychology Today that the secret behind each of the following tips and tricks is increasing oxygen to the brain.

1. Chew Gum

Nemko cites studies that find chewing gum for five minutes increases memory and the ability to think. Nobody wants to look like a cow chewing her cud as others walk by, but discreetly chewing gum increases oxygenation. Forgo the bubble gum in the office, and stick to sugarless gum; it's better for your teeth.

2. Take a Walk

Even if you can't get out of the office for a few power struts around the block, you may be able to get up and walk around the office. Even pacing in your own office will likely increase oxygenation and, therefore, memory and creative thinking. A little walking may help you solve problems. 

Nemko theorizes that more vigorous exercise, such as running, requires the oxygen to be in the legs, taking it away from the brain. He wonders if this is why he does not feel more creative when or shortly after running. No need to train for the Oympics in the office; just get your limbs moving, which will get your blood flowing and the oxygen moving around and up into your brain.

3. Take a Shower

This one you can't do at your desk, but it is interesting to note that taking a shower seems to increase problem-solving ability. Part of the reason seems to be relaxation. For the record, a bath may not have the same results. Perhaps a bath does not require movement, hence there may be less increase in oxygenation.

Of course, there is always the old standby, a cup of coffee. But when you want to try something else, see if any of the above suggestions help boost your brainpower.

Tell Us What You Think

How do you get through a slump in the day at work? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Kevin 04 Jun

    It may not sound professional, but since more and more companies are going for the more casual office, they often have couches. Heck we have an RV inside the building - in addition to 10 couches around the building.

    But 5-10 minutes of just laying back on a couch and relaxing at the end of lunch will refresh you significantly.

    Seriously. After a run to Chipotle which generally puts everyone in a stupor, 5-10 minutes chilling, with or without closing the eyes, will turn you into a new person.

    If you don't have couches, seriously, beg for them, it'll change your after lunch work productivity.

    Now, I'm off to find the perfect place in the office to hang a hammock...

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