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7 Simple Coping Mechanisms to Help With That Mid-Afternoon Slump at Work

I work with many clients who describe feeling that midafternoon slump at their job. For those that work the 9-5pm Monday-Friday job, it is very common to feel the midafternoon slump around 2pm due to the simple fact that you likely needed to wake up by 7am at the very latest to get to your job by 9am. As a clinical therapist, I help my clients better understand contributing factors regarding their midafternoon slump; I then help provide possible coping strategies that might help reduce that feeling of tiredness.

I recently read an article from Fast Company that touched on this very topic, “These simple hacks can help you fight a midafternoon slump” by author Elizabeth Grace Saunders. 

Below are Saunders 7 simple hacks that might help you with your midafternoon slump!


  • Move. If you start to feel yourself dozing off in the afternoon at work, it can be helpful to start moving around! Maybe this means taking a walk to the water fountain, the bathroom, up and down the stairs, whatever works best for your work environment. Moving our body can help reenergize us. Some job environments even allow for people to exercise during their work day, as long as they get their work done. If this applies to your work environment, perhaps coordinate your exercise close to 2pm. Moving for just 10 minutes can actually be more energizing than that afternoon coffee. 


  • Daydream. Give yourself a simple mental break. If your mind is ongoing since the minute you wake up at 7am or earlier to around 2pm, no wonder you might be struggling with that midafternoon slump. Sometimes just allowing yourself to engage in daydreaming or meditating can rejuvenate you. 
  • Giggle. Give yourself time to just laugh. Yes, laughing can make your energy levels rise. Laughing allows you to release your endorphins which are the feel- good chemicals, which then can decease your stress in your mind and body. It is pretty easy to find something funny to laugh at, as YouTube is easily accessible to watch a short clip of any comedian. 
  • Rest. Give yourself a quick power nap. Something as little as 15 minutes of napping can improve motor function and increase your alertness. 
  • Music. Listen to some good tunes! Listening to some happy music can also cheer you up which then will help you to get reenergized. Maybe this means making a nice Spotify playlist and bringing your headphones to work to help with that midafternoon slump. 
  • Sunshine. Give yourself some natural light. Maybe this can be combined with the tip about moving around. You can simply just take a quick walk around the block and expose yourself to some sunlight as that can allow your brain to release serotonin (feel-good chemicals) which can help you feel rejuvenated. 
  • Chit Chat. Strike up a conversation with one of your coworkers! It not only builds social connection, but having a short distraction from your task with a friendly coworker can help you feel reenergized and ready to tackle the rest of your afternoon. 



While this list provided 7 different ideas to help combat that midafternoon slump, try to focus on the one(s) that works best for you. If you find that none of these tips are working for you, maybe reflect on other contributing factors. Do you feel like you are getting enough rest? Are you bored at work? Do you not like your current role at your job? There can be a number of factors that could be contributing to this midafternoon slump that coffee/caffeine won’t be able to fix every time!

If you are currently struggling with a midafternoon slump at work, it may be a good idea to connect with one of our skilled counselors at Symmetry Counseling today. You can contact them at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment. 

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