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How To Overcome A Midday Slump

What can you do to get that second wind and push through that midday slump? Start here.

Workin' Girl

So, you've been working from home for the last several weeks, and it started out being awesome! Being able to roll out of bed and log on from your laptop in your pajamas seemed like a dream come true. But at this point, you're entering Month #3, and honestly, you're losing steam. It feels like you've been working harder at home than you ever did in the office. More meetings, more calls, more THINGS to get done.

If you're like me, this remote work grind has been so rough that you find yourself ready to tap out by lunchtime. So what can you do to get that second wind and push through that midday slump to finish the day strong?

Here are a few ideas:

Block your calendar for “Personal Time”.

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Set aside some time to just focus on you. Step away from your laptop. Don't take any calls. Give your mind a break from anything work-related. This will allow you to decompress and refocus on what needs to get done without feeling bombarded. You can also set aside 20-30 minutes of your personal time to completely reset your brain and take a power nap. Naps worked when we were kids and needed an energy boost, why not use them now?

Take an exercise break.

If you've been sitting down at your computer all morning, use your midday break to get a quick workout in. If your gym hasn't reopened, go for a walk or run. Also, YouTube has a gazillion free workouts that you can do right in your living room that will get the blood flowing and release those good endorphins to help your productivity in the second half of your work day.

Switch tasks. 

If you're working on something that is tedious or monotonous, switch it up! Get a jumpstart on that new presentation that will allow you to use your creativity. Begin outlining that project that you pitched to management and FINALLY got greenlighted. That creative energy will help you to push through that midday wall, and now you'll have more stamina to pivot back to your other required tasks.

Change your environment.

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If you find that your work environment at home isn't conducive to you maintaining energy throughout the day, try changing locations. If you have an office, try working from another part of the house or sitting near a window where the sunlight can wake you up. Take some of your afternoon calls outside if you can. Have a friend with WiFi who lives nearby? Try working from their place for a complete change of scenery (be sure to stay six feet apart, of course! #socialdistancing).

Turn on some tunes!

Nothing energizes me like music. So, if 1pm rolls around, and you feel yourself hitting the wall or your eyelids are beginning to get heavy, try turning on one of your favorite albums and let it wake your brain back up. Not sure what to play? Here's a pro tip: Unless you've been living under a rock, you've seen the epic Verzuz battles on IG: Swizz Beatz vs. Timbaland, Lil Jon vs. T-Pain, Babyface vs. Teddy Riley, and of course Erykah Badu vs. Jill Scott. Tidal has been out here doing the Lord's work to create playlists capturing the set lists from each of these battles right after they end, so you can pull those up and just let them run. Boom! Instant catalogue of hits to play throughout the day.

GET MORE SLEEP.

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I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but if you are constantly fading by the afternoon, you may not be getting enough rest in the first place. Spend some time evaluating your sleep patterns and if you know you've been skimping on your beauty sleep, give yourself a bedtime. This will help you to hold yourself accountable and make sure you're getting adequate rest to be your most productive every day.

You can conquer that midday slump before it conquers you. It's all about switching up your routine, taking true "no-work" breaks, and of course getting real sleep so that you can have enough energy to carry you through a full day!

For more information about Julia Rock, check out Rock Career Development or follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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Jamie Foxx and his daughter Corinne Foxx are one of Hollywood’s best father-daughter duos. They’ve teamed up together on several projects including Foxx’s game show Beat Shazam where they both serve as executive producers and often frequent red carpets together. Corinne even followed in her father’s footsteps by taking his professional last name and venturing into acting starring in 47 Meters Down: Uncaged and Live in Front of a Studio Audience: All in the Family and Good Times as Thelma.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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