Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

That 2:30 Feeling at Work

Written by Peer Career Ambassador, Davele Zephyr

You just got back from your lunch break, you feel ready to tackle all of your afternoon tasks, and then all of a sudden, a wave of fatigue just rushes over you leaving you straining to stay awake. You know that if you sleep right there and then, it would be sensational, but of course you can’t because you have your work obligations. You ponder day after day about why this feeling always comes across you despite eating a hearty breakfast and getting at least eight hours of sleep, I know I did.

This used to happen to me on a regular basis during my 9-5 internships. I never understood what caused this, but according to Lona Sandon, RD, MEd, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center on WebMD, our body’s natural sleep cycle will automatically make us want to take a nap in the afternoon. This makes sense because we wake up early for work and so after about 8-9 hours of being active, our bodies are ready to rest.

Cultures like Spain recognize this as Siesta and actually allow everyone to go home after lunch for a nap before going back to work. Unfortunately, our American-style work ethic runs on a 9-5 basis and doesn’t allow for this luxury. So until more companies start to recognize our afternoon lull as a problem, for now, here are a few energy-boosting tips to help ease your afternoon fatigue:

  1. Get Up and Move– Take a brisk walk around the block, up and down the staircase, on a different floor to visit a colleague, just something to get your blood pumping. This is just a quick change to get your mind off of what you’ve been focusing on for so many hours already.
  2. Drink Cold Water- A nice, refreshing, drink of water, even infused with fruit such as a slice of lemon can certainly put a pep in your step.
  3. Eat a Snack- If that snack contains fiber and/or protein, you will certainly get a good fuel.
  4. Drink a cup of Coffee/Tea- But I am sure you are already doing this.

So as you prepare to start that 9-5 this summer, I wish you good luck, I encourage to apply these tips, and I hope that that 2:30 afternoon lull doesn’t frequent your weeks too often!

         – Davele Zephyr

 Peer Career Ambassador

Take a look at this article for more tips!