I will admit that I have had a tough one this week, and my energy levels have been low. I haven’t been sleeping enough, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends every day and night, and I have been feeling a slump of exhaustion hit me in the afternoon.
It has also been causing my brain to feel foggy and scattered so I’ve felt all over the place rather than centred and grounded, and my short term memory feels completely shot.
Luckily, I know that this state is temporary- we all have crazy weeks sometimes. Next week will be less busy and I will get more sleep and automatically have more energy. But what I am pleased about is that despite how manic this week has been and how tired I have felt, I haven’t succumbed to a single coffee hit.
I have, however, indulged in dark chocolate, drunk green tea, eaten heaps of vegetables, diffused lemongrass oil and used Valor, lemon and peppermint essential oils like crazy- all as a way to nourish my nervous system and compensate for the extra burden of stress and lack of sleep that has been happening.
It is actually quite amazing how many coffee alternatives there are to stay awake. We can increase our energy through herbs and food- honesty! It isn’t necessary to rely on caffeine at all, which actually can make things worse for our body’s hormone, endocrine and circulatory systems when we are already in stress mode.
- Get Herby
Herbs such as burdock, dandelion, gingko, nettle, oak and Siberian ginseng are known for their ability to strengthen the nervous system. Often these will be included in drinks or as supplements, but you can probably also find them at your local health food store (or online) as dried herbs which you can steep in boiling water and drink like tea.
- Keep Calm
When you are stressed, busy and prone to exhaustion, then it is more important than ever to keep your nervous system feeling calm and relaxed. You can do this through drinking chamomile and valerian root, using lemon balm, and eating oats, which all have properties that induce feelings of calm.
- Get Tea Happy
Even though the first thing you want to do when you are tired and want a pick-me-up is to reach for the caffeine, this is not recommended as it will just make your already tired nervous system more jittery. Instead, explore coffee alternatives such as Yerba Mate, green tea, black tea, or Rooibos (African Red Bush) and drink these throughout the day. I find that the whole tea making and drinking process is one that helps to calm me, even before I have taken a sip!
- Keep Up the Calcium
Did you know that calcium has a soothing effect on the nervous system? Therefore, try to eat calcium-rich foods in your meals, especially for your evening meal when it will be easier for your body to absorb the calcium. This does not mean drinking more milk, but instead adding in dark leafy greens such as broccoli, kale and spinach which are very calcium rich.
- Do you have any tried and true alternatives to drinking coffee to stay awakw? Please share in the comments below!
If you would like to learn more about how food and diet can support you in having more energy, then you might want to check out my home study energy workshop Alive and Energised. This package includes an mp3 recording, a full transcript and actionable worksheets that will get you knowing exactly what to do to start getting more energy and feeling more alive each day.