Sometimes, staying awake in the office is one of the most difficult things we have to face. Even if we like our jobs, there are just times when beddy-bye land calls and it seems there is no way but to heed that call. Or drink tons of coffee and energy drinks.
Now, I am not averse to coffee, even if some believe it to be an unnatural way to stay awake. Energy drinks – that’s another matter.
For the purposes of this article, let’s focus on how to wake up at work naturally – without ingesting unhealthy stimulants of any kind.
How to wake up at work naturally
1. Go outside.
It’s really the best thing to do. The more you try to fight your sleepiness while staying at your desk, the higher the chances of your falling asleep. Just force yourself to get up. Walk around the office, or better yet, get out of the building for a few minutes.
2. Have a quick yoga fix.
If you practice yoga, then you know how some poses can help you re-energize. Here is a good resource on energizing yoga poses which you can do anytime. Personally, the Forward Fold does it for me.
- From Mountain pose exhale forward hinging at the hips. Bend the knees enough to bring the palms flat to the floor and the head pressed against the knees.
- Feel the spine stretching in opposite directions as you pull the head down and in and press the hips up. Work on straightening the legs to deepen the stretch in the backs of the legs.
- Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths, actively pressing the belly into the thighs on the inhalation.
- To release: bend the knees keeping the back straight, inhale the arms out to the sides and inhale the arms and torso up back into Mountain pose.
3. Use essential oils.
Essential oils aren’t only for relaxing massages or soothing headaches. Certain oils can stimulate you enough to chase the desire to snooze away. Keep a stash of oils in your desk.
- Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
- Lemon (Citrus limon)
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Make sure you buy pure essential oils. To wake yourself up, simply put a few drops on a piece of tissue and inhale.
4. Call your mom.
I’m serious. Whether you enjoy a long chat with her regularly or you call out of a sense of duty, it doesn’t matter. Either way, you’ll perk up. An enjoyable chat – including some tidbits of family gossip probably – will add some zest to your day. A not-so-casual chat with lots of eye-rolling will wake you up just as well. Maybe even more.
If you absolutely can’t sneak in a power nap, then at least one these four activities are sure to wake you up at work.