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How to Stay Perky Without Caffeine

By Sara Butler

The days are getting shorter which may make it a lot more difficult for you to feel energized throughout the day. Before you reach for that fourth cup of coffee, consider incorporating some of these suggestions into your day to help perk you up.

Let the Sunshine In

Whoever came up with the adage to “rise and shine” was really onto something. When you get sunlight first thing in the morning it sends signals to your brain to help you wake up. This helps to decrease drowsiness and lift your mood. If you get up in the morning before the sun has come up, you should consider getting a light box to help. Flip it on in the morning and let it cast its glow your way for about 20 minutes to reap the benefits.

Take a Cold Shower

When you take a shower, turn it to cold during the last couple of minutes. This might elicit a few choice words, but it also can help to wake up your brain. If you don’t think you can handle a full body cool down, try splashing some cold water on your face in the morning and see if you can work your way up to a shower.

Laugh a Lot

If you can get a good belly laugh going then it can give your blood flow a boost too. Take a break and find a funny stand-up act or read a funny David Sedaris article – whatever gets you rolling will help give you a boost!

Try Some Good Carbs

Forget reaching for that latte to perk up, eat some carbs for some real sustained energy. Try something with some fiber and protein to help keep your blood sugar steady and your tummy feeling full. A baked sweet potato with nuts or a piece of whole grain toast with avocado is perfect for the job.

Watch Cat Videos Online

This one isn’t a joke. The Media School at Indiana University in Bloomington has found that viewing cats involved in ridiculous acts online helps to create positive emotions and increase energy. The grumpy cat may be grumpy, but you won’t be!

Chew Gum

Chomp on a piece of your favorite gum to help give you a boost. Chewing gum has been proven to increase your alertness, and has also been found to improve reaction times, focus attention and even give your mood a lift. Plus, it won’t cause you to crash from a sugar rush like other things might. Be warned: You’ll only get about 15 minutes of a boost at a time, so use your gum powers wisely.

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