What gets you up in the morning? Are you a coffee addict or a tea-totaller? Perhaps an early morning jog gets you feeling pumped and ready to begin the day? Whatever you're up to, you've likely had moments of downtime where your mood lags, and your A-game is more Zzz. For many of us, Coronavirus has particularly locked down those states of mind. If this sounds like you, we've got a few tips on how to feel brighter, more vibrant and alert.
Sound & Light
Get a fresh pair of eyes.
Those two balls floating around your face are continuously hard at work even when the rest of you isn't moving. Fixating our sights on a single light source for extended periods (i.e., laptops, phones, tablets) causes eyestrain and has a massive impact on sleep. Mainly, it makes it difficult to drift off, and your slumber much more shallow. Studies suggest looking away from the screen and at distant objects helps relax your eyes and reduces fatigue. So, stop reading this and look at that weird sky outside your window.
Escape the gloomy cave
This might seem counterintuitive to our last piece of advice, but hear us out. Spaces with dim and dusky lighting are a definitive cause of tiredness. This is partly to do with our circadian rhythms. While the term sounds like a forgotten 60's jazz album, circadian rhythms are linked to your body's internal clock and sleep/wake cycle. The stimuli respond primarily to light and darkness in your environment, so if it's dim, your body thinks it's night and consequently begins to slow down. This is fine in the evenings, but not so great if you're looking for a morning or mid-afternoon boost. Try using a warmer, higher intensive light source to keep alert in the mornings and afternoons. As the day turns to evening, slowly dim the light to keep those sweet circadian rhythms in harmony.
Let the music be your guide
It's something so simple that it almost warrants an eye-roll, but music is a fast way to boost your mood and reduce stress. For the same reason you probably don't listen to whale songs when out for a jog, playing loud, energetic music wakes you up through auditory stimulation of the brain and offers your mind something new to flow alongside. Whether you're a fan of heavy metal, R&B or analogue-synth-coolwave (to coin a new genre), pop in the headphones and pump out the jams. There's even recent research that suggests singing might help increase antibodies in our bodies to prevent sickness, but we don't know what your vocals are like - if you're in a crowded cafe, maybe hold fire on this one.
Food & Drink
Eat a Healthy Snack to Boost Energy
Whether Dairy Milk, Haribo, or Ferrero Rocher are your (sweet) bag, we all know that the sugar coma that follows a sugar snack binge. Mental fogginess, lethargy, and that general eugh. So maybe substitute that "blood sugar / refined flour rollercoaster" with something a little higher in protein, unsaturated fats. We're certainly not dieticians, but nuts, fruits, vegetables (with a sweet dip) work for us.
Throw cold water on it.
Dehydration is a surefire way to feel sluggish. Your brain is 73% water (100% if you've just watched The Notebook), and a tall, cool glass of water every hour wakes up your mind, metabolism, and senses. If you're feeling even more adventurous/crazy, a cold shower is the most effective way to counter drowsiness - that icy shock is like a cattle prod to your nerve tracts and electrifies the senses. It might not be the most pleasant activity, but it's the quickest and most effective method to boost your mood without any need for caffeine.
That being said, we all know the wonders of caffeine - some of us love the immediate perk it provides, others find it jitter-inducing and maybe even nauseating. If you do like it - chugging on your Starbucks' litre-sized Trenta over breakfast isn't the way to go for long-lasting alertness. Like CBD, smaller doses spaced throughout the day will help maintain your boost while ensuring your sleep isn't disturbed when you turn in for the night.
Whatever you choose to do, try not to take things to extremes. Obviously, we don't recommend guzzling ten cups of coffee, doing fifty push-ups, and then listening to hardcore trance while taking a nap. While leading a healthy lifestyle and a good night's sleep are the most effective ways to keep at your peak, using some of the tips above should help you get the most out of your day.