If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that coffee is amazing. A good cup of coffee has a warm, comforting effect on the body and mind, especially as the weather cools down. Caffeine reliance, however, is real. We can become dependent on, and even addicted, to the energy burst a cup of coffee provides. Over time, our bodies can become numb to the kick of caffeine, meaning we need to put more in to get the same effect. Caffeine is also processed by the body for hours after it is consumed, so that afternoon pick-me-up is still picking you up at 9 or 10 PM. While there’s nothing wrong with coffee in the mornings, there are alternatives for the afternoons and evenings.
- A Brisk Walk: If you’re feeling run down mid-day, try going on a quick walk outside. The fresh air will refresh your mind and the walk will get the blood flowing in your body. This is especially rejuvenating in the fall and winter when the air is cold. Inhale through your nose, expanding your ribcage and stomach, and exhale through your mouth, completely emptying your body.
- A Good Stretch: Again, you want to get the blood moving through your body. A quick, thorough stretch session will wake up your entire body. Inversions (like downward dog or touching your toes) will get blood to your head and twists massage and hug your organs. You can even do some deep squats to open your hips after sitting in one position for a while. This is a great article that will guide you through some stretches (pictures included!).
- A Warming Cup of Herbal Tea: You can still get the warming effects of a hot drink without the caffeine. Herbal tea is naturally caffeine free and is a lovely way to warm your body. If you’re feeling unfocused and tired, a hot drink can focus you and wake up your senses. Beware, though! Some herbal teas (like chamomile and lavender) can have a calming effect. Try stimulating teas like peppermint, ginger, or cinnamon. The sharp smell and taste will wake you right up.
- A Good Nights Rest: If you sleep well, you won’t want to sleep during the day. If your body is not used to getting 8-10 hours of sleep, will get surprised by the effects. We underestimate the amount of sleep our bodies actually need because we can function even when we’re sleep deprived. Allowing your body to rest and recharge is one of the most effective ways to get sustained energy throughout the day.
- A Tall Glass of Water: Most of us are dehydrated because we do not drink enough water on a day-to-day basis. Hydration helps your brain function, meaning you will be able to focus and stay awake. Try to get more than the daily 8 cups a day!