The first thing I used to do every morning was down a cup of coffee. Then, about one hour later, I went for my second cup. Around 2 or 3 p.m., when I was starting to feel a little sluggish, I tended to have my third cup of the day. Essentially, I lived on caffeine. Despite the fact that caffeine flowed through my veins 24/7, I’ve recently been trying to cut back. Sure, caffeine gives me an instant boost of energy, but it affects my sleep, gives me jitters, and isn’t something I want to be dependant on.
But, because I’m trying to have just one cup of coffee per day, I’ve had to find other ways to stay energized. While it wasn’t easy to make the switch right away, I have found that it is possible to feel awake without spending $10 a day on coffee. Here are some simple, easy ways to boost your energy throughout the day that won’t cost you a thing!
When we’re tired, we tend to go for the junk. Instead of grabbing a snack packed with sugar or carbs, go for something that has a lot of protein. Yes, something with sugar will give you a small burst of energy, but it won’t last long. Snacks such as veggies, greek yogurt with fruit, turkey wraps, or a peanut butter sandwich will satisfy your hunger and not cause you to crash.
I used to only take naps if I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open. However, I’ve recently learned that taking short naps is very healthy and a great way to maintain energy throughout the day. If you have the time and the capability, try taking a midday 20-minute nap.
Even if you don’t think you’ll actually fall asleep, just close your eyes for that amount of time. The odds are you’ll fall asleep, at least for a brief period of time, and wake up feeling refreshed. However, do not allow yourself to sleep for more than 20 minutes. If you do, you’ll wind up feeling groggy and sluggish.
Focus on drinking water throughout the day and stay away from any sugary drinks. Fatigue is a common symptom of dehydration, so make sure you’re drinking enough water. In fact, keep a giant water bottle near you at all times as a reminder!
Another great way to alert our bodies to stay awake is to move them. Since most of us are working from home these days, take a short 30-minute break during your day and go for a walk. Yes, it’s probably cold in most parts of the country, but that crisp air will wake your body up right away. Exercise also releases a chemical called norepinephrine, which contributes to feeling awake.
If you’re in serious need of an energy burst, pop some gum in your mouth. Chewing gum has actually been proven to increase alertness and memory function, so if you’re trying to finish an important project or get through that last hour of work, a piece of gum may be your best friend.