Jim Kwik Logo


Found: A Brain Coach’s Tip To Overcome The Afternoon Slump

If you’re one of the many folks reaching for another coffee around 2 p.m., you’re likely a victim of the afternoon slump. No matter how well you slept the night before, sometimes this dreadful feeling is just unavoidable—but pushing through the weariness might not be the best option. 

Just take it from top memory coach Jim Kwik: On an episode of the mindbodygreen podcast, he shares the magic remedy for late afternoon grogginess, and it’s simpler than you think.

What to do about afternoon grogginess

Rather than forcing your way through the slump, “I always talk about doing a brain break,” he suggests. “During your brain break, you do three things that are nourishing for you, three things that your brain needs: You move, you hydrate, and you breathe—something simple like that.”

See, your brain is only 2% of your body mass but requires 20% of the energy1

, he says—so it’s essential to refuel your noggin throughout the day. 

This isn’t to say there’s no room for caffeine or focus supplements later in the day—some people can handle the extra nudge and fall asleep with ease later on. Just be mindful of how that ritual makes you feel and consider coupling it with a proper brain break (like, say, a quick afternoon stroll) as well.

Remember to listen to your body, Kwik says, and learn what works and doesn’t work for you. What’s more, have an open mind when planning your brain break. It doesn’t have to be the same ritual every time; just go with what feels best in the moment. 

How to give yourself a brain break

Need some mind-nourishing inspo? See below for some Kwik-approved ideas:

  • Move: Take a walk, complete a yoga flow, stretch, go for a run, do a short exercise circuit, dance, etc. 
  • Hydrate: Pour yourself a glass of water, refill your water bottle, have some tea, call upon electrolyte powders, etc. 
  • Breathe: Try a breathwork routine, meditate, get some fresh air, open a window, etc. 

If your schedule feels way too busy to take 10 minutes for a few of these mini brain breaks on a whim, you may want to actively pencil in this time for yourself. Make it a part of your lunch break or reserve a few minutes when you know you tend to feel your afternoon slump.

Think about it this way: You’ll likely save time in the long run by keeping your brain ripe for productivity for the rest of the day rather than overloading it and pushing through.

The takeaway 

Rather than pushing through your afternoon slump, consider taking a mini brain break instead. Spend a few minutes moving your body, grab some water, and take a few mindful breaths. You just may find yourself reenergized without relying on a second cup of coffee—or if you do opt for an afternoon brew, just make your coffee break an intentional ritual.