5 Energizing Ways to Wake Up Besides Coffee
Because we all need a little extra boost sometimes
If you’re a coffee drinker, the thought of skipping one of your favorite things about morning is a hard stop deal-breaker.
So, this is for those times when you’ve powered down your first cup, moved onto a second, and still, you’re not quite awake. Rather than overdo a good thing and end up jittery but still tired, here are 5 great ways to dial up your energy in the morning or anytime, minus the caffeine buzz.
- Stimulating scalp massage. This practice stimulates the nerve endings and feels instantly invigorating.
Begin with palms held finger distance in front of the forehead, outer edges of the hands touching, gently rake your fingertips or fingernails in short repetitive stokes from the hairline to the center of the head, until you’ve covered the entire scalp. If you’re open to inversion, sit on a chair and bend forward, hanging your head between your knees as you massage. Return to upright slowly and gently to avoid lightheadedness.
2. Essential Oils. A whiff of your favorite invigorating scent, sounds hokey but it works! Peppermint and lemon oils are two classics you can’t go wrong with. Whether you take a few deep whiffs or add a few drops of essential oil and water to a diffuser, tingle your senses and wake up your day.
3. Cold Therapy. Author and extreme athlete known around the world as the Ice Man, Wim Hof swears by Cold Water Immersion (CWI), a form of cold water therapy which improves the natural recovery process of the human body. While you may not be ready for the Polar Bear Plunge, one approachable option is to finish the last 5 seconds of your shower with a super cold rinse. When practiced on a regular basis, cold water exposure helps to improve your cardiovascular circulation, reduces muscle inflammation, and facilitates weight loss.
4. Dry brushing is simple, effective and it’s incredibly easy to incorporate into your routine. Experts recommend spending a few minutes in the morning rather than before bed to enhance the energizing qualities. Brushes are under $10 and easy to pick up at your local organic market, or even Whole Foods has them.
Look for a body brush with firm, natural bristles) which you use to gently brush your skin in an upward motion, starting from the ankles up to the chin, avoiding any sensitive areas. According to Cleveland Clinic Dermatologist Dr. Khetarpal, dry brushing helps to increase blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage, plus it feels great!
It has the additional benefit of stimulating your nervous system, which can make you feel invigorated afterward, the way getting a massage often does.
5. Breath of Joy
This breathing method counters the shallow chest breathing associated with anxiety as it clears the mind, leaving behind a sense of focus and clarity. A great way to start your morning!
The 5 step Breath of Joy
- Stand with feet hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent, as though you are about to sit down in a chair.
- Inhale to 1/3 of your lung capacity through the nostrils as you swing the arms up and straight out in front of you, keeping them parallel until they come to shoulder level.
- Continue to inhale to 1/3 capacity as you stretch your arms out to either side in a T position at shoulder level.
- Inhale to full capacity and continue to swing the arms straight up over the head, palms facing each other.
- Now open your mouth and exhale completely with a loud “ha” while you bend your knees more deeply, sinking into a standing squat swinging the arms back behind you. you can repeat this up to 10 more times as you focus on coordinating the movement of the arms with the movement of the breath, finding your own rhythm.
One, two or all of these energizing practices make a great start to your day, with or without the coffee!
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