12 Non-caffeinated Ways to Wake Up at Work
BY Kevin Daum
Whether you are sleep deprived or just bored, sometimes caffeine just isn't the way to go.
Some days, I am just downright sleepy. Maybe it's the late night writing, constant travel, or my busy social schedule in New York. But every so often, even with a good night's sleep, I get to the middle of my day and I just feel ready for a nap. I find myself dozing off at the computer mid- Z z z... oh, sorry.
I suppose I could have coffee or an energy drink, but the caffeine makes me moody and just postpones my crash until later. Then I really feel like a snoozer. Well, whether or not you believe caffeine is healthy, there's no need to ride the stimulant roller coaster. Here are a dozen surefire, natural ways I have found to wake up and feel revitalized.
1. Go Outside
All those florescent lights, computer screens, and conditioned air can take their toll. Go and spend 15 minutes walking around outside. Rain or shine, cold or hot, the fresh air and change of scenery will help you break the monotony of a sterile environment.
2. Get Physical
People might think you strange to start exercising in the middle of the office, but elevating that heartbeat will pump some oxygen through your body and right to your brain. Try jumping jacks, skipping rope or a little yoga. You can even go run up and down the office stairs. Just go until you break a little sweat.
3. Be a Brainiac
If you can't stimulate your body, stimulate your brain. Try a crossword or play Sudoku. Better yet, grab a co-worker for a quick bout of Battleship so you get those competitive juices flowing.
4. Just Chill
Give yourself a brisk awakening. Try drinking super-cold ice water; add lemon. The more you drink the better. Splash a little on your face. You can also put ice against your wrists and temples, or suck on an ice cube.
5. Chow Down
A little mastication can actually wake you up, so have a snack. Avoid a heavy, carb-filled, sugary snack. Instead, choose an aromatic protein and a fruit. Try spicy beef jerky and some cucumbers with chili powder, or watermelon with a little cayenne pepper.
6. Pump Some Adrenaline
Nothing like a good fright to keep you alert and attentive. Watch some horror or action movie trailers to give you a nerve-shattering boost.
7. Move That Body
Perhaps the position in which you are sitting is a bit too relaxed. Reposition your chair. You can change it, sit in it backwards, cross your legs in the seat, or just remove it and stand up while you work.
8. Oil It Up
Keep a lotion or essential oil on your desk. Make sure it has a strong, bright scent like citrus, peppermint, or jasmine. Rub it on your hands and temples. If it's real strong, put a little on your upper lip to awaken your senses and keep it from disturbing your neighbors. Stay away from lavender, though; it's known to make you sleepy.
9. Dance! Dance! Dance!
Put on your headphones, punch up your favorite dance tunes and dance hard for five to 10 minutes. Sure some people may laugh at you, but the embarrassment will also help you wake up.
10. Make 'em Laugh!
Grab a co-worker and trade jokes for five minutes. The laughter releases endorphins and will get your body moving. If you don't know any jokes, watch some funny videos to get things going.
11. Go Online Shopping
The rush of buying something new is always good for a perk up. Make an early birthday or Xmas list, or better yet, buy someone you like a gift. Thinking about doing something nice for someone else is sure to get your blood flowing.
12. Call Your Mom
It sounds strange, but a conversation with your mother is bound to wake you up. Possibly it's the deep emotional connection to the woman who woke you for years. Regardless of your current relationship, either the stress or the charm of calling her will get you going. Besides, she probably thinks you don't call her enough anyway, so it couldn't hurt.