5 Tips to Get You Through the Midday Slump - BRIGID Magazine

Friday, April 19, 2019

5 Tips to Get You Through the Midday Slump

Dr. Eudene Harry tells BRIGID readers how to get through the midday
slump feeling less stressed and more focused. | Image: Radu Florin
We have all felt it. After lunchtime, you're lethargic, tired, and checking the clock waiting for the day to be over.

Here are some quick tips to keep your day from being ruined by the afternoon lull. These tips will help you end your day feeling rejuvenated!

Spend Five Minutes in Nature

According to a study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in 2018, just five minutes sitting in nature improves mood, decreases negative feelings, and increases your sense of awe and wonder at being part of something bigger than yourself. If you have more time, combine being in nature with exercise. This can including hiking or taking a walk through a tree-lined park. This can lower your heart rate and improve your ability to recover from stressful events.

Feeling overwhelmed but can't leave the building? Hang paintings of nature scenes on the walls, look out the window, or upload a nature scene to your device screen. It seems that even a beautiful nature picture has the potential to alleviate stress.

Break out That Adult Colouring Book

Are you feeling like you can't absorb any new information or focus on the task at hand? Take a break and pick up an adult colouring book (or find the one you bought months ago, but haven't taken the time to use yet)! This distraction gives the brain the space it needs to tackle the problem while you focus on the joys of choosing colours that are pleasing to you. Several studies have found that colouring reduces anxiety and depression and can improve mental focus.

Just five minutes in nature boosts mood, reduces stress, and increases that
welcome sense of awe and wonder. | Image: Antonia Bukowska

Get an Easy Dose of L-Theanine

Grab some green tea. It's high in antioxidants, contains a small amount of caffeine, and has an amino acid called l-theanine that creates a sense of calm and improves mood and mental focus.

Do Quick Exercises at Your Desk

Doing simple exercises in the middle of the day helps release stress, restore calm, and improve mood. And you don't even have to leave your desk! First, do some quick tricep extensions, using a chair for balance if necessary. Then follow with a stretch that helps to relieve tension. For example, shrug shoulders up to your ears and gently rotate forward, then back. Follow with an open stance with arms open wide. Slightly raise your arms and give yourself a hug. Cross your arms until you feel the muscles in the upper back gently stretch. This will relieve some built-up tension. After all, we tend to carry a lot of stress in the muscles of the upper back and neck.

Laugh and Breathe

Sounds too simple? Well, laughing decreases cortisol levels and improves mood. An easy way to laugh is to take a moment to watch a funny clip or even listen to a recording of a baby's laughter. Lastly, practice the art of stopping to breathe. Four counts in, hold for four, and release for four. Do this four times and feel the stress slowly melt away.

by Dr. Eudene Harry

Dr. Eudene Harry
Eudene Harry, M.D. is the medical director for Oasis Wellness and Rejuvenation Center, a wellness practice in Orlando, Florida. Dr. Harry is a veteran physician with over 20 years of experience.

Dr. Harry is the author of three books designed to empower the individual to get started on their path to optimal health. She has published extensively on the topics of reducing stress, healthy lifestyle choices, and regaining youthfulness. Her most recent book, "Be Iconic: Healthy and Sexy at Any Age" is now available on Amazon.

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