An eight-hour 9-5 work day is the standard, with some of us coming in earlier and staying later in recent years. Many of us choose to forgo a few hours of sleep to squeeze in some extra work. This makes us more dependent on things like coffee to get us through the work week. While it’s an effective wake me up for those groggy mornings, it’s important to not stay too reliant.
Let’s be honest. After lunchtime rolls around, we’re past our peak of productivity. The food coma sets in, the rush of your early morning coffee has worn off, and your mind is wandering. Even though it’s often socially accepted, this cycle of sleep-deprivation, reliance on caffeine, and mental grogginess through the week is not sustainable.
Instead of these hard jolts to our system to shock us into productivity, there are more gentle alternatives. In lieu of caffeine-heavy soda, energy drinks, or even soda, go for a refreshing cup of ginseng tea. Research has shown that tea is effective in improving your focus and mental clarity - the perfect antidote to those groggy mornings. Ginseng doesn’t carry any of the side effects associated with coffee - like nausea, irritability, or a late-day energy crash.
Herbal teas like ginger, licorice, and reship are all revitalizing elixirs. Similarly, aromatherapy can positive influence your mood. Diffusing lemon, jasmine, rosemary, pine, or peppermint oils is known to boost your energy and concentration levels. A scented candle can produce the same effect.
Yerba Mate has the same buzz of coffee with additional nutrients. Mate is derived from naturally caffeinated leaves of South American holly trees. It is known for not having that “crash” sometimes caused by coffee later in the day. It can also be prepared as many ways as coffee - hot, cold, in a French press, or traditional coffee machine.
Although not as immediate in its effect, your diet is also helpful in allowing you to be your best self at work. Energy boosting foods include apples, trail mix, and dried fruits that offer the protein, good fats, and fiber necessary to maintain your mental and physical stamina throughout the work day.
Music has also been shown to affect your energy levels and attitude. Put some thought into your playlist on your morning commute to ramp yourself up for a full day. Ten minutes of exercise is also all you need to get your blood pumping and oxygen flowing to your brain and muscles. Get some jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and stretches in the morning or when you begin work. Go up and down the stairs, take a walk outside for some fresh air, and you should feel some anxieties quelled and energy levels up.