Three Cures for the Afternoon Slump

focus Feb 23, 2023

Your eyes are getting heavy. The struggle to focus is real and your work begins to suffer. Classic symptoms of the afternoon slump. The good news is that there are three effective cures that I have been using, and I hope they can help you overcome this slump in your day.

When our energy levels dip in the late afternoon, our productivity, focus, and creativity can suffer, causing us to fall short of our best selves. So, what can we do to combat the afternoon slump? I have three ideas that may help.

Take Breaks

The first and most common cure is to take a break. Although it may seem counterintuitive to stop working when we're feeling unproductive, sometimes our bodies just need a quick reset. Getting up from your desk, stretching, or taking a few minutes to relax and refresh can help clear your mind and reset your energy levels.

To help myself take regular breaks, I use a diffuser in my office with a mix of doTERRA oils that help to focus my mind. The diffuser also has a one-hour timer that reminds me to take a break every hour. While I don't always take breaks as regularly as I should, having this reminder helps me stay on track and avoid the consequences of not taking breaks in the late afternoon.

If you're interested in trying out a diffuser for yourself, I'll here’s a link to one that is similar. Remember, taking a break and refocusing your energy is key to staying productive and creative throughout the day, especially when the afternoon slump hits.

Make a Change

Tip number two is changing your environment if taking breaks isn't enough to overcome the afternoon slump. Many of us work from home and end up in the same space for hours on end. Depending on your work, a change of scenery might be what you need. When I brainstorm ideas for my videos or blog posts, I prefer to go somewhere more stimulating like a Starbucks or a park. Breaking out of your routine or environment can do wonders for your energy levels. For instance, if you usually create content in the afternoon when you're feeling low-energy, try scheduling some meetings or one-on-one client calls during that time. Human interaction can give you a boost of energy. If you work in a quiet environment and can't change locations, try adding some background noise or music to change your environment mentally.


Tip number three is all about taking care of your body. The afternoon slump is often caused by a dip in blood sugar levels, especially after finishing lunch. To combat this, consider having a well-balanced snack. But be mindful of your choices. Avoid sugary snacks that will cause a crash later on. Instead, opt for something like a handful of nuts, and if you can pair it with a complex carbohydrate, even better! Additionally, staying hydrated throughout the day is important for maintaining focus and alertness. Keeping a water bottle nearby will encourage frequent bathroom visits, which will encourage you to take those much-needed breaks.

It's important to note that the quality of your sleep can have a big impact on your energy levels throughout the day, including the afternoon slump. To combat this, it's important to pay attention to your sleep hygiene. This includes establishing a consistent bedtime, creating a routine to wind down at the end of the day, and creating the right environment for sleep by regulating temperature and minimizing exposure to screens before bedtime. These practices can help improve the quality of your sleep and reduce the likelihood of experiencing an afternoon slump.

Our bodies are also heavily influenced by our circadian rhythm, which is why getting light exposure can be incredibly helpful. Taking breaks during the day to go outside and expose yourself to natural light can have a positive effect on your energy levels in the late afternoon. So, if you're feeling sluggish, try taking a quick walk outside or just stepping out for a few minutes to soak up some sun.

By prioritizing good sleep hygiene and being mindful of light exposure, you can better manage your energy levels throughout the day and avoid that afternoon slump.


In conclusion, the afternoon slump is a common problem for creatives, but it doesn't have to be a roadblock to your productivity. Try taking a break, changing your environment, or fueling your body with healthy foods to cure the slump and get back to creating. Remember, creativity is a process, and it's okay to take a break or try something new to get your creative juices flowing again.

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