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3 Ways to Beat the Post-Prandial Purr

The word ‘purr’ in the title of this post may have induced an eyebrow-raise: for what, pray tell, is a post-prandial purr?

Well now, comrades: said purr is the sound that I make when, after having lunch, I succumb to mid-afternoon drowsiness. Obviously. One does not snore. One purrs.

Symphonic snuffling aside, I really do struggle when three o’clock rolls around. I can have been typing away nine to the dozen before that point, and then all of a sudden, something hits: my chair feels more comfortable than ever, the climate feels warm and comforting, and my head is suddenly heavy…

Naturally I don’t actually fall asleep, but the effort of staying focused takes it out of me and I find that my productivity lessens dramatically. Some days I might as well go home after six hours – not that I am necessarily advocating a shorter work day (though it does interest me – perhaps I should move to Gothenburg).

So, in the interests of both science and my ever-increasing workload, over the last week I’ve been testing out some ‘recommended’ tips for beating the post-prandial slump. Here’s what I’ve learned to help make it (or at least fake it) through to home time:

1. Get some fresh air

The cold air was as good as a slap in the face; I’m not kidding. After a brief five-minute stroll around the block, taking in the erm, picturesequely industrial sights, I arrived back at my desk feeling fresh as a daisy. The effects wore off after about an hour, but I’d definitely do it again.

Verdict: Useful, but remember to wear warm clothes. And bring a brolly.

2. Put peppermint oil on hand and rub over face gently

Peppermint oil is meant to have energy-enhancing properties. However, apart from ensuring that I smelt like a walking After Eight for the rest of the day, I noticed little effect. And though I’d taken care to avoid my eyes, a lovely stinging sensation appeared after about ten minutes.

Verdict: May leave you with red eyes and a craving for a cone of mint choc chip.

3. Do a few exercises at your desk: roll shoulders forward and backwards, breathing deeply, for a couple of minutes

Two minutes feels like quite a long time when you’re at your desk in full view of your team, but what the hell: I gave it a go. Actually, it felt pretty good, and I did feel rejuvenated. The dull ache in my shoulders – the fault of my own bad at-seat posture – also disappeared.

Verdict: Surprisingly energising. Be prepared for some questioning looks, though; and don’t get flustered and rush or you could crick your neck!

Written by:

An Oxford University graduate, Florence is the Creative Director at an e-commerce company and the only female on the board. Out of the office she is a food and wine fanatic, action film fan, secret chick lit reader and corporate commentator for My Little Black Book.

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