Most of us have a love affair with caffeine. I get it. It can be warm, bubbly, comforting, and non-judgmental on how much we use it.
I find myself indulging in a coffee when I don’t even need one. I am used to the habit of grabbing one when I’m just the slightest bit tired. I’m not the only one either, the US consumes about 400 million cups of coffee everyday. That is about three cups per person. That’s crazy amounts of caffeine! You’d think we would be sick of it by now, but turns out the addiction is as strong as ever.
We’ve all heard that we should cut back. But it’s very uncomfortable thinking that our only source of energy is being taken away. I can’t be a productive member of society as a zombie…right?? Somehow, there must be another source of energy besides that warm, lovely, good smelling liquid that we are just so addicted to…
The one thing about gaining energy is that it’s a process. Nothing (good for you) will give you immediate energy that is sustainable throughout a few hours. The best way to find long lasting, natural energy is to prepare for it and let it manifest. This means that if you want energy tomorrow, you must start preparing for it today. Tried and tested, here are some energy boosting tips sans caffeine that are worth a try!
1. The Night Before
- Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep. This means having a dark room, turning off the tv and phone, and avoiding a nightcap.
- Consider applying a magnesium lotion. This will help you drift off into peaceful sleep.
- Does your mind race about what you have to do the following day? Write down all you have to do the following day, and rank them in priority. By having a priority list of to-do’s, this allows our mind to rest instead of worrying about tomorrow. If you need more guidance on this, check out our blog on getting restful sleep.
2. The Morning
- No snoozes! Wake up and get up when your first alarm goes off. I understand this is difficult sometimes (as it’s difficult for me ALL the time). It makes it much easier to get going for the day instead of messing with your sleep cycles.
- Avoid social media and emails first thing in the morning. It’s very common for people to do this. But this process leaves us drained with no energy to spend on ourselves in the most important time of the day. If you have time left over, check your phone in your car after arriving at work and it’s a win-win.
- Start your day! A full exercise routine is great for the AM time. Exercise gets your blood pumping, your brain active, and a sense of accomplishment before even getting to work. Yet, if you’re not a AM workout person like me, you can still get the benefits of a morning movement routine. This can be a myriad of things that you enjoy. Try going for a quick walk, some quick morning yoga, stretching, or playing with kids/pets . GoNoodle is a favorite of mine. Whatever gets you up and moving for even 5-10 minutes will work. I have been known to dance around in my living room with my pj’s still on and I have more energy than most…..just saying. 🙂
- Drink warm water. I know, it sounds weird, but I slowly got convinced to try it by Amelia Freer in her book, Eat, Nourish, Glow. She speaks on our body becoming addicted to the feeling of warmth in the morning, and not coffee. I ended up giving it a try, and love it! Keeps me happy, keeps me hydrated, keeps me healthy.
- Set priorities for the day. Yes, the same task as from the night before. You can write a new list or review your previous night’s list to help give you a sense of structure for the day. It takes energy to be overwhelmed. So why not plan to bypass the overwhelm and use that energy for something else!
- High-vibing music! Make yourself a playlist of songs that make you feel energized and happy, no matter the genre. A little positive feeling in the morning can manifest into long lasting energy all day long. Gloria Estafan may or may not be my wake up alarm to “get on my feet…”
- A motivational audiobook or video. Podcasts, inspirational videos, and testimonials always light a fire in us to get up and utilize the day. Don’t underestimate the power of the documentary – audio or visual. I know quite a few people who saw “Supersize Me” then quit eating McDonald’s for a month. Imagine having that motivation in the mornings everyday. How much energy and motivation you would have for a productive day?
3. The Day
- Start with FOOD! It’s easy folks, if you eat ho-ho’s all day, you will probably feel like a ho-ho that day. If you fill your body with fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats, I guarantee you will be brimming with energy all day. Now, I understand that this is a big switch for some of you. You don’t have to go all Kevin and broccoli from The Office, but you do need to understand this is probably the most vital change to increase your energy. Have no idea where to start with eating healthy? Check out our two nutritional programs we offer.
- Adding to food – cut down on the junk. Do you need that mid afternoon cupcake? Or is it just tempting because it’s in your environment. Would you drive somewhere to get a cupcake when at home at 2 pm? Probably not. Work on recognizing some of your daily triggers that lead to unhealthy snacks. Which in turn, drain your energy.
- Avoid the energy drinks. See above. Energy drink = basically a cupcake. Looks good, sounds good, does no good for you – except maybe mimic a heart attack.
- Avoid large meals. We usually overeat due to emotional reasons,such as tired or drained of work, whining kids, an overworked brain, etc. However, too much food at one sitting is a sure fire way to immediately drain you of energy and secretly push you towards the couch for an unproductive nap. If you need a little guidance on how much food you should have, check our website, or this handy-hand portion guide. Lol, pun intended!
- Take a hike buddy. You heard me. Get outside! Give a little presence to mother nature and enjoy a walk around your building, or even sitting outside with you bare fee in the grass (called grounding). A little fresh air and scenery is a great way to produce some more energy into your day.
- Peppermint oil under your nose will give you a nice boost of energy and a sense of clarity. Dab a spot right on the upper lip will wake you right up. Keep in mind that this is a temporary energy boost and not sustainable like changing your diet will. Plus, you don’t want to walk around smelling like an Altoids tin all day, every day.
- Restrict your lounging around. Yes, Netflix and relaxing sounds good all the time. But it drains your energy and messes with your sleep when it is time to actually lay down. Get your body up and moving, and take a short relaxation break here and there.
- Correct posture while sitting at your desk makes a huge difference on your energy levels. A walking or standing desk is even better.
- Be social and laugh more! Energy is contagious, so why not immerse yourself with high levels of it? Take a short break here and there to tell your coworker a joke, or plan a lunch or walking date with a friend. What better way to build energy while also building relationships?
A lot of ideas were just thrown your way, and I know it can be a lot. Since you have made it this far, all the way to the bottom of the article, that means you must be interested in upping your energy levels. To make a reasonable change without getting overwhelmed, choose one option from each category (night, morning, day) and try to implement those three things over the next week.
See how you energy levels change, and slowly start adding. Just a recap, here are the main things to work on:
Use your early morning time to build energy throughout the day. Don’t succumb to lending your energy to things that won’t serve you.
Move! At any time of the day, and do something you enjoy.
Quality food is the most important, and will produce the most energy.
Be social! Find relationships that will fuel your energy levels, not drain them.
And don’t forget, a cup of jo will help here and there, but is not the fix-alll!