It Ain’t All About The Caffeine…

Those who know me personally have read title and are thinking, “Who is this person? And what have they done with Shawn?” It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of coffee and caffeinated beverages. I never used to be. I first drank a cup of coffee all these way back in 1997 while attending college. It was a particularly harsh day and one of my classmates suggested that I grab a cup of coffee. Until that point, caffeine had never touched my system (minus whatever trace amounts may have been incidentally ingested, passively). That afternoon, I felt like I could have climbed Everest in record time. My love/hate relationship with caffeine was born!

But the big secret behind coffee and caffeine (I’ll simply say “caffeine” from this point on, as to include energy drinks), is that it’s a stimulant that alters brain chemistry so that you feel less tired. And eventually, that’ll only get you so far. Especially if you’re running the gamut through a day where you’re especially tired. And considering there’s a finite amount of caffeine you can ingest before you cause damage to yourself, So what are some alternatives to help you stave off fatigue and get you through your day? Here are a few ideas…

1. Break Your Routine: If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’re likely surprised by this. But as much as I like structure and routines, breaking those same routines can help get you out of a slump, when you’re tired. I can’t seem to find my source, but I read a research study that showed that monotony can be as exhausting as lack of sleep. If you feel yourself starting to get groggy through your day, switch things up and come back to what you were doing later;
2. Drink Plenty of Water: I know, I know… water isn’t caffeine but considering your body is mostly made up of it and dehydration will leave you feeling increasingly tired, it MIGHT be a good idea to consistently gulp some down throughout your day. you know, BETWEEN cups of coffee and energy drinks;
3. Take a Walk And Get Some Fresh Air: People take this one for granted but in reality, if you don’t subscribe to yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises, a walk is the next best thing. Not to mention that that whole daylight thing helps to balance out the circadian rhythm and gets that old Vitamin D thing involved;
4. Exercise, Damn You: I think I mention that increased exercise and fitness is a benefit in almost every post. It stands to reason that regular exercise will help increase blood flow, improve blood sugar levels and will stave off fatigue. Speaking of blood sugars…;
5. Monitor and Control Your Blood Sugars: As a Diabetic, nothing quite takes the wound out of your sails like fighting your way back from an extreme blood sugar drop; and last but not least
6. Take A Nap: No need to remind everyone that I’m a HUGE fan of naps. And Japan has already proven that naps during the work day help with fatigue increase productivity and some companies even provide dedicated break rooms for napping, now. I had a supervisor who used to close her door during every launch hour to “meditate” for 30 minutes. Although napping at work can be problematic at the best of times, if you have the opportunity, you should grab a quick snooze. Sometimes, a person genuinely just needs a quick snooze.

There you have it. bear in mind that fatigue, sleepiness and exhaustion should be temporary. If you find that you can’t keep yourself awake, even during critical times, maybe talk to a doctor. There are a number fo conditions that could cause it. But if you’re just having an off day and coffee doesn’t quite seem to be kicking in, switch up your routine, go take a walk, have a workout or grab a nap. Hmm,… a nap sounds like a great idea! Excuse me… ☯️

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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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