Many people fall unconsciously into a daily morning routine. They wake up groggy after going to bed too late, stumble through getting ready for the day, retain semi-consciousness during the commute…Then finally, arrive at work and go right to the kitchen to retrieve that morning elixir, that caffeine fix, that first cup of coffee.

But coffee isn’t always the best way to get that morning pick-me-up. In fact, it can even exacerbate a bad start to the day. The caffeine in coffee is addictive, and if you don’t get it in time, you can be met with a brutal headache. Coffee stains your teeth and makes your breath bad. And if you put lots of sugar and cream into your coffee, you’re drinking a lot of calories and setting yourself up for a crash later.

1. Walking

Walking is just about the best thing you can do to wake yourself up, caffeinated or non-caffeinated. It gets your blood flowing and your muscles working, and the changing scenery provides some visual stimulation as well. It’s especially great if you can incorporate walking into your commute, so that you feel refreshed before you even step into the office. You can also exchange your mid-morning coffee break into a walking break. Even just a quick jaunt around the block can provide a real benefit.

2. Morning Protein

I get it, you’re very busy in the morning and don’t have time for breakfast. So then you stop for coffee and well, ok, a doughnut, too. Sugar as your first meal of the day sets you up for an all-day rollercoaster of crash and burn. Carbs in the morning will actually make you more tired later. Give your body some fuel first thing in the morning that it can actually use. Proteins are more beneficial to your body and are more satisfying to your hunger pangs.

3. Water

Drink a glass of water when you first wake up to get your metabolism started and your body lubricated. When you get to work, drink another glass. If you miss the warmth of a cup of coffee, try drinking warm water, perhaps with some lemon. If you want more of a jolt to your system, try a glass of ice-cold water to refresh yourself. If you usually drink 2 cups of coffee, try substituting even just 1 with a glass of water. Besides, coffee is a diuretic, so the water will help replenish your fluids.

4. Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is great substitute for coffee, with nice flavors and soothing warmth, but with less or none of the caffeine of coffee and many darker teas. Herbal tea also offers benefits like vitamins and antioxidants.

5. Pump Up Music

Nothing really gets you going like a great, upbeat song. Keep a pair of headphones at your desk, and plug them in whenever you need a 3-minute mental break. Don’t work if your colleagues catch you singing along - they’ll be jealous of your energy!

6. Sunlight

Studies have shown that access to sunlight is an important element of happy workplaces. It’s also important to keeping your sleep rhythm regular and as a source of Vitamin D. Try to rearrange your workspace to get yourself more direct sunlight. See if your boss will allow you to move the water cooler near the window so everyone can get a little more sunlight. Or take a walk around the block to get the benefits of walking and sunlight.

Published on: Dec 20, 2017