These 6 Tips Will Help You Fight Afternoon Fatigue And Focus Again

I’ve tried almost every nighttime routine there is (I’m still a night owl, unfortunately), and I’ve done my best to wake up earlier (I’m still not a morning person). I’ve learned how to manage my late-night tendencies and not snooze my alarm 20 times, but my main problem: I fall victim to the midday slump. 

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It’s generally around the second cup of coffee and my quick lunch when it hits me. The caffeine doesn’t do it, and even though I’ve re-fueled, I don’t want to do…anything. This is problematic, considering I work for She’s a Full on Monet and need to be available to work during real-people hours.

Thankfully, I’ve been applying many remedies to help wake myself up when I feel my eyes closing at my desk. Read on for the ones that have worked best for me so far!


What Causes the Midday Slump?

Afternoon fatigue comes around 1 or 2 pm, hence the term “midday” slump. When it comes on, it can be hard to focus, feel difficult to stay awake, cause mood swings, and cause headaches that may manifest in pain and slight vision differences.

The usual causes behind the midday slump are unsurprising. Too little sleep, unhealthy eating habits (eating too much, too little, or irregularly), and chronic stress can all cause a dip in energy levels. While coffee can act as a quick, temporary pick-me-up, it’s hard to remove a slump without managing your habits throughout the rest of your days. Aka, eat regularly, sleep enough, and manage your stress.

While bettering your habits can absolutely make a difference, it won’t always stop the slump from coming. If you feel it during the day, there are a few ways to combat it.

Move Your Body 

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I know: the last thing you feel like doing when falling asleep at your desk is taking a walk. I promise it will be helpful! You don’t have to sprint for 15 minutes – simply taking a lap around the office will help keep you alert. If you’re back in-office, change your conference-room meeting into a walking-meeting. If you’re glued to your desk, there are exercises you can do within your chair.


When was the last time you had a sip of water? And, no, I’m not talking about your 9 am coffee. Get yourself a reusable water bottle, fill it up, and keep it by you at all times, taking periodic sips during the day. When you aren’t hydrated, your body is depleted of electrolytes and is weakened, so drink up! And if you’re still not hydrating enough, consider drinking water that has added electrolytes for a boost.

Do A Quick Meditation

Put some headphones and zen out for five minutes. When a stressor pops into your mind, acknowledge it, then compartmentalize it. Pay attention to your breathing, repeat a positive mantra, and let your worries fall away. There are also apps that can guide you through quick sessions, like Headspace and Calm, whether you’re a newbie to meditation or a mindfulness master.

Manage Your Physical Stress

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I’m a chronic jaw-clencher, to the point where I couldn’t open my mouth for a week without excruciating pain. My point: stress manifests in and then literally destroys your body. Every 10 minutes, do a body check. Are your shoulders hunched? How’s your posture? Is your jaw relaxed? The more regularly you check in, the less likely you’ll physically carry stress.

Take 15 to Yourself 

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Sometimes, you just need a break for a second. Staring at screens can mess with your vision, monotonous numbers can make you zone out rather than focus in, and working for eight hours straight just…isn’t realistic. We’re human, and we need to take breaks. Take that lap, play a game of Sudoku, talk to a coworker, whatever you need to receive some outside, self-serving stimulation. 

Curl Up for a Cat Nap

We wrote an entire article on napping, and the general consensus: cat naps can be good for you. Don’t just cross your arms and sleep on your desk, because the quality of sleep (if you get any) won’t be beneficial to your slump. Instead, find a place that is comfortable – think a couch, or the backseat of your car (I would leave a pillow and blanket in mine) – set a timer for 20 minutes, and snooze.


How do you burst out of your midday slump? Let us know what works for you in the comments!

Want To Better Your Routines? Read These Articles:

We Found The Ultimate Bedtime Routine That Will Give You The Best Sleep Of Your Life

My 5 Healthy Morning Routine Secrets Will Make You More Productive

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