City life is always exciting, always busy and forever changing, but sometimes with the constant commuting and long work hours, we feel exhausted and tend to gravitate towards the one thing that keeps us sane: coffee. If you’ve every lived in a busy city, you know the coffee culture runs deep and no matter what area you live in, you’ve got a coffee shop that might as well be your second home. While this cozy spot may be your place of comfort on long weekends, and while a hot skinny latte every morning may bring you more joy than is even imaginable, there are other things besides coffee that can help keep your mind energized throughout the day. Why bother, you ask? Well, while the occasional Americano is like heaven in a paper cup, we – as busy city-goers – often go overboard. For your skin and stomach, it’s not so great to drink more than two cups a day, and while those first two may keep you awake (and you probably drink more), your tolerance will soon grow strong and eventually, coffee won’t even keep you up anymore! That’s not what we want. Keep enjoying your morning coffee, but if you’re looking to slow down or your midday iced latte is not kicking in, here are some backups:
Eat A Balanced Breakfast
One of the key hacks to staying away during the day is having a healthy and hearty breakfast. I know what you’re thinking, “everyone always makes a big deal about breakfast” well, that’s because it’s true. Even if you’re not especially hungry in the morning, make yourself some oatmeal, or have a yogurt and some fruit to keep your mind and body working for the next couple of hours.
Take A Stroll Outside
The movement, fresh air and people on the street are sure to help distract you from your tiredness and help bring fresh ideas and energy to mind. It’s always good to go grab a smoothie, snack, water or even just a quick walk around the area to get your mind juices flowing.
Make It Bright!
Having light – either outside or inside – is a fast and easy trick to cure drowsiness. Turn on a lamp or sit near a window if it’s daytime and shake it off! Try not to go for warm or dim lighting, as they may have less successful results than blue-tinted LEDs or natural light.
Take A Technology Break
Many of us spend our hours sitting on an office chair, starring at our computer screens, and when we aren’t doing that, we are likely to be looking at our phones. Take a break! Talk to your co-workers, call up your friend, go get a snack! Both sitting and looking at your screen for prolonged periods of time can cause fatigue. Change it up and when you come back, you’ll be ready to keep on working.
Turn Up The Music
If you’re not doing something like reading intricate articles or writing extensive essays, it’s always good to have some music playing in the background to keep you motivated. Change up your coffee house jazz to some upbeat tunes, play some catchy songs and sing along! Take a dance break if you must! What better way to keep yourself energized and positive?
Snack On Some Protein
Chewing on some tasty almonds or low-cal protein bars or shakes is the ideal way to keep your metabolism running and your mind alert. Avoid sugary treats or drinks, since after the immediate sugar-rush comes a crash and you will only end up feeling more exhausted.
Exercise. Exercise. Exercise.
If you’re a freelancer or tend to work from home, exercising during the day is the perfect way to keep yourself alert and productive. If you’re in a rut, it simply means it’s gym time. Not only does a workout help boost your energy but your endorphins too, so you’ll be more productive, alert and happier while working. If you’re at the office, you probably shouldn’t just run off to the gym or start doing jumping jacks whenever you’re feeling tired, but what you can do is go on an errand; maybe go to the store and get some office supplies or offer to bring everyone coffee from your local shop. Another tip: try taking the stairs!
Take A Shower And/Or Nap
Of course, this only applies to those who work from home. If you’re one of the lucky ones, these remedies are the most satisfying and refreshing of them all. If you’re not great at midday napping, a cold shower is probably the better choice. Sing some shower tunes, wash your hair and get ready for a few more hours of super productive work!
Make A List
While you already have work in front of you and you probably know exactly what you’ve got to get done for the rest of the week, making a list of tasks is always a good idea. Not only will this create a temporary distraction from your work routine but it will also help you organize your ideas, appointments and schedule so that you are set for the rest of the week. Be sure to jot down what you’re looking forward to doing on the weekend too, thinking of getting “drinks with friends” is sure to keep you motivated for at least a few more hours.
Take a deep breath, leave your desk and go chat with your work buddies. Getting your mind off work and laughing with others is the perfect energy boost you need. Make plans for happy hour, or a group fitness class – that’s sure to get your spirit up and running.