It’s tough, truly tough, to get through the workday without inundating your glands with caffeine, but you’ll find yourself better off if you do. Why? Caffeine gives you false energy. Drinking a bunch of coffee, for example, is like getting dressed up with nowhere to go. You end up spinning your own wheels trying to get something done when in reality you probably could have accomplished it faster with a calm, clear head. But how, you ask, is it possible to get your work done without the sweet, glorious caffeine coursing through your veins? Some people need the Whitepages just to find their own bathroom without their morning coffee. For these people, the following bits of advice will be especially useful:
Exercise in the morning. Your own body contains an endless wellspring of energy, you just have to train yourself to access it. By increasing blood flow and releasing powerful chemicals in the brain, exercising regularly opens up new sources of vitality that will give you a strong foundation for your work week. Not only does exercise increase your physical stamina, it strengthens and sharpens your mind.
Take breaks and stretch. Sitting at a cramped desk for several hours in a row has a way of restricting the blood vessels of our circulatory system and dramatically decreasing our energy. If you find yourself struggling, take a stretch break and your limbs out. It’s good for your mind to take breaks and reorient your thought patterns and it’s good for the body to stretch your joints and muscles.
Eat a healthy lunch. Nothing sends you into a midday slump worse than a heavy lunch. But it is possible to come out of the midday meal without feeling like you need two consecutive naps. Try replacing that fatty hamburger with a nutrient-rich salad. It’s almost a mathematical certainty you will have more energy in the afternoon if you don’t eat a heavy meal. Still hungry? Eat some pistachio nuts. Save the hamburger for the weekend, when you can vegetate afterward.
Get an ergonomic chair. Bad posture is an epidemic and it causes a lot more problems than people think. Not only can it lead to severe back pain, bone spurs, and herniated discs, chronic bad posture can cause headaches and restricted breathing. Not a good recipe for an energetic workday. In fact, bad posture may be the secret number one cause of grumpy employees. It might be a good idea to suggest to your employers buying ergonomic chairs for the office. If they can expect better productivity out of it, they will think it’s worth the investment.
There is no sure-fire way to guarantee that you will have energy during the day. Our bodies are mysterious vessels that require heavy maintenance. Sometimes we don’t get enough sleep, or our immune systems aren’t protecting us properly. Regardless, you can still maximize your own natural energy levels without coffee by exercising, taking breaks, eating healthy, and having good posture.