You deserve this. 

By Sarah Baird
April 06, 2020
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Whether it hits at 2:00 p.m., or holds out a little longer until the 3:30 witching hour, you definitely know the feeling: the coffee from the morning and energy boost from lunch suddenly seem to run out all at once, leaving you sluggish and, well, ready for a nap. Instead of trying to fight against it, lean into it by adopting a pick-me-up ritual and having a mid-afternoon “slump snack”— particularly during these shaky-ground days of work-from-home and social distancing.

A slump snack needn’t be fancy and shouldn’t feel forced or (heaven forbid) add to your already overwhelmed, complicated current state of affairs. This isn’t the time for some meticulously arranged, twee looking little small plate to share on the group text or post to Instagram—public performance has no place here. No, this is about a delicious moment shared only with yourself (and maybe your dog) that can be as weird and wonderful as your mind (and pantry contents) can dream up. Always wanted to sprinkle a hard-boiled egg with some everything bagel seasoning and see what happens? Slump snack it! Have some leftover ham, some cornichons and a little bit of cream cheese? Roll it up, baby—it’s slump snack time! No fancy plating is required, and if you’re really feeling it, forgo a plate altogether and take your slump snack on the go. Protein-heavy slump snacks are always encouraged for their satiating-meets-energizing properties, but truly, anything is possible. (Just don’t fall back on something like a bag of chips. Come on, you’re more creative than that.) Think about it as your middle-of-the-night, refrigerator-raid meal now blissfully showing up in mid-day—just when you need it most.

How long should the slump snack ritual take, you ask? Can I slump snack right into cocktail hour? Sadly, no. A slump snack works best as a 5-minutes-or-so routine right when that peak of exhaustion hits (say, 2:30) and is best served with a side of clearing your mind. This could mean taking your slump snack into the backyard and breathing some fresh air while staring into the middle distance. It could mean eating your slump snack while watching a video of aardvarks wrestling. It could mean that 4 minutes-worth of your slump snack time is spent lovingly preparing the slump snack, if that’s your thing. Whatever it is that helps you hit pause for a second, just do it. (And pro-tip from me to you: If you find being idle a difficult task, repeating “slump snack” over and over as a meditative mantra actually, surprisingly, works.) 

Don’t be tempted to compare your slump snack to another person’s slump snack, or their ritual to yours. That would be like comparing favorite sweatpants—and who would ever think of doing that? Also, resist the urge to call it something that seems more highbrow or effete: “slump snack” works because it sounds frumpy and silly and like it might just have rolled out of bed. It’s rubbing sleep out of its eyes right before a Zoom call, not putting on full business casual attire.  

Because after the slump snack moment ends—and you dive back into the end of the day with its wrap-up meeting and chores—you’ll be thankful for that small moment of reprieve that wasn’t anything but a blip of brazenly unkempt, delicious self-care.