Fighting the Afternoon Slump With a Coffee Bar!

I first learned this trick from my mom, and maybe she learned it from her mom.

She is the hostess with the most-est, and one thing my parents do really well is coffee. Whenever they have people over for parties, or even just their own children for holidays and other events, they give us the royal treatment. They put out mugs, sugar and cream in saucers, sugar substitutes in packets, whipped cream, stirring spoons, and sometimes even flavored creamers for us all to choose from. Some of us do decaf only. Some do caffeine or half-caf. Some do flavored. Some do plain.

It is always nice and it always soothes the soul and makes us feel good. I remember such tricks when I’m home alone and I hit my slump. Do you have a slump time of day? I know for some it’s early, mid, or late morning. For others, it’s afternoon or evening. For me, it’s in that 3:00-5:00pm zone, especially during the winter when the sun sets so early behind the wall of trees on our property. The kids will come home cranky, hungry, and tired and I will have to clean the pellet stove and light it, make them snacks, help with the bathroom or with homework, listen to them squabble over TV shows or toys, and attempt to stay awake until Cassidy comes home. It sounds old-fashioned, even though I work as well. This winter, I made some changes.

Being a work-at-home mom has many challenges that come and go, but the afternoon slump can be a daily occurrence.

Coffee helps fight the afternoon slump. Not only is it a drink, but it’s an experience. Whether I’m alone, or with friends and family, I love the experience of choosing just the right mug, just the right cream, just the right sweetener, and a sometimes dollop of whipped cream. No matter how my day is going, a coffee break is the fastest way to prevent or beat the slump that looms every late afternoon on weekdays and weekends. If I’m alone, I’ll still set up my personal coffee bar and grab a book.

Since I have young kids who are now old enough to play without me needing to always be nearby, I will set up my own at-home coffee bar and invite friends with kids over. The kids get to have a play date and the parents get to have a coffee date.

This is where we have our best conversations. This is where we find solidarity & a listening ear. This is where the connections truly strengthen because there’s nothing like good talks, good coffee, and delicious treats to share. I like coffee in late morning and early afternoon, but I LOVE a coffee bar in late afternoon. Since this is New England, and Dunkin’ Donuts is king around here, I buy my K-cups in a festive flavor – Chocolate Glazed Donut. It’s the perfect pick-me-up after a long workday.

We keep a variety of sweeteners in the house, including white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, and Truvia Stevia-Based Sweetener. That’s me channeling my mom, who likes to be prepared for all her friends’ personal tastes and needs.

I also love to have different kinds of coffee creamer. Since you know I love Dunkin’ Donuts, and caramel is one of my favorite flavors for coffee, I have a big love for this Dunkin’ Donuts Creamer in Caramel flavor.

How do you take your coffee? Do you ever make your own coffee bar at home?

Here are seven other ways I love to beat the afternoon slump, weather and time permitting:

1. Head outside in daylight for ten minutes. It would have to be pretty cold for me to miss doing this.

2. Take a brain break. Read a chapter of a book, do a crossword puzzle, or beat a Sudoku puzzle.

3. Reach out to someone with an “I was thinking about you” phone call, email, text, etc.

4. Stretch! Stretching can provide a quick boost of energy, and it feels so good.

5. Chew peppermint gum or sniff peppermint oil. Sometimes I’ll even put a drop in my hand.

6. Take a catnap. My favorite? 20 minutes on the couch with the sun streaming onto my face while the kids watch a TV show.

7. Listen to energizing music with headphones.

Have a ShopRite near you like I did? I grew up in NJ where they were always king! Buy 2 participating coffee products and 1 participating creamer and get a free box of Truvia Natural Sweetener 40ct now thru 3/12, while supplies last.

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®, The J.M.Smucker Company, White Wave, and Truvia Natural Sweetener, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CoffeeRoutine

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  1. A coffee bar sounds lovely. Is it bad that I look forward to weaning the baby so I no longer have to watch how much caffeine I drink? (BTW, love that picture of the coffee cups in the foreground. Beautiful.)

    1. haha, not bad at all! Despite my intense love for coffee, I am a decaf girl. It still picks me up. I remember wanting to take Melatonin and being excited to stop breastfeeding so I could take Melatonin! Which is funny because I take it like once a month if I remember or travel, but it was the fact that I couldn’t for so long!
      Anyway, tangent.

    1. We also have a place here called The Donut Man. And a place called Glaze. And a place called The Donut Dip. And a donut place called Sunrise Bakery. And a Dunkin’ on every corner.
      Wanna visit?

  2. Hi Tamara, mid afternoon is when my slump hits and my energy level runs low. I do enjoy a nice black coffee, Nescafe instant is my favourite (I’m a simple girl at heart and Starbucks hate me). I have never had the pleasure of a Dunkin Donut doughnut and I really want to try them. I think they have them on the mainland and if I see one when we are over there next we will be stopping and sampling a few.

    I love all your tips for beating the afternoon slump apart from number two, that one never works with me. Phoning a friend for a chat, getting outside, listening to up tempo music and taking a cat nap all work, but if I sit still to read a book, do a puzzle or even to blog when my energy level is low I will nod off, much to the amusement of the family.


    1. When I lived in California, there were no Dunkin’ Donuts near me. I was sad! But they had other things too. I’m certain that there’s coffee near you that I’d love to try!
      I tend to nod off when I watch TV but never reading.

  3. I just finished my afternoon cup of coffee! I look forward to it every day. I just need to try to stop eating something sweet with it, because that sugar spike is doing me no favors.

  4. I need a coffee right now and this post really tempted me. It’s raining and I will walk over to the best coffee in town for a mid aft pick me up. I love coffee at home but don’t indulge in all the extras. coffee with the other moms was always special when the kids were little. Love your coffee bar. Great tips for energy pick up. Thanks, Tamara 🙂

    1. Oops! That comment was meant for another because she had made a good choice!
      That said, what you describe sounds delightful. It was warm and sunny here today and that just made me want iced coffee instead of hot. I guess I always want it.

  5. I’ve never been a coffee drinker. Everyone told me I’d start in college, but I just don’t like the taste. This sounds fun though!

  6. Well I have English and Celtic roots so “Afternoon Tea” is totally a thing with me. And since it normally is between 3-5 I think our ancestors knew something about that “slump” time of day too. I remember having tea with my grandparents when I was at their farm, and it’s still something I will do to this day. Maybe not everyday — but most days I am home; absolutely. This is the breather before kids come home and bring the noise, demands, and dirt with them. It’s a mental break for sure. It’s when you use the good china cup passed down from your late grandma, and actually take the time to brew a proper pot of tea. If shortbread cookies appear; well, I’m just honouring traditions! Ha

    1. I was just talking to Live By Surprise about the same thing. An afternoon tea, please. That would totally un-slump me and especially if cookies were there. Dipped in chocolate, though. Is that a thing? Shortbread dipped in chocolate?

    1. It’s a good one! Like today it’s the Monday after Daylight Savings and it’s cold and rainy. Going outside would probably anger me!

  7. I certainly need a pick me up in the afternoon! Those are awesome tips and a great deal on the Truvia!

  8. Okay, I’m not a coffee drinker but that chocolate glazed donut flavor may be a game changer. I’m a HUGE Dunkin’ Donuts fan!

    1. I can’t do any caffeinated coffee. It’s so sad! The coffee bar still perks me up, but it’s probably more from the sugar since I do decaf.

  9. Thanks for the tips! Need them now because as you know, I’m a newbie in the WAHM club. I still work at night though so my routine is quite different from yours but I’m thankful I don’t have drastic schedule changes anymore. Going out is my best bet although quite challenging in this super hot country of mine. Even 5 minutes outside is a killer. I drink chocolate because I can’t do coffee. We do have pink coffee which I love to try just because it’s pink.

  10. I’m totally off of caffeine, as of the New Year, but I still love to break up the afternoon with a little decaf goodness! The Dunkin k-cups are always my go-to. And even though they don’t have caffeine it still helps put me in the right frame of mind to keep chugging away at work for a few more hours. – Katy

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