Hate Coffee? Alternative Ways to Get Over the Mid-Day Slump
We've all been there. Mid-afternoon hits and we are ready to hit the sack. That post-lunch laziness sets in but there are still hours of work left. Many folks reach for a cuppa Joe, and that caffeine kick does the trick. The rest of the day is manageable thanks to that much-needed pep. But what if coffee isn't your thing? Slug it down, or find something that tempts your taste buds as it provides that energy surge to get your engine running? The latter seems logical, so here are some coffee alternatives that will get you over that mid-day slump, leaving you super-sharp and alert.
Refreshing and slightly sweet, nature's coconut water is a pleasing pick-me-up that is natural and light. One reason you may feel tired mid-day can be due to dehydration. According to WebMD, coconut water is, "super-hydrating, with more potassium than four bananas." It is low in sugar, so you will not suffer that spike and crash like you might with super-sugary sodas and juice drinks.
Trueself recommends drinking coconut water straight up or making a tasty coconut water-based smoothie. "Mix 1 cup of coconut water with 1 cup of berries and ½ banana. Top with coconut flakes." Make one at home before work and keep it in the office fridge for when you feel that slump surfacing. A few sips and you're good to go 'till closing time.
Withmatcha, mid-day slumps have met their match. Go for the green stuff and you'll be on "go" until it's time to go home. According to Dr. Axe, "Matcha is an excellent alternative to coffee. A two-gram serving contains enough caffeine to give you an energy boost and is delivered slowly to your body over a period of 6-8 hours." No jitters, only steady and reliable energy to make every workday moment count. Sip some throughout the day and you will never be sidelined by a sudden slump.
What makes matcha so magical? As Trueself explains, "Matcha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid that stimulates alpha brain waves, and the EGCg content revs up your metabolism."
Maca is amazing when it comes to giving you a boost without the buzz. Livestrongexplains that maca root offsets the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, which "causes the adrenal glands to slow down and function at a less than optimal rate, causing extreme tiredness and a general feeling of malaise. Maca can be found as a whole food, powder, liquid, tablet, or capsule." It is versatile and proven effective.
As per Trueself, maca tastes buttery and nutty, making it a nice addition to a simple smoothie. Whip one up in the morning and let maca's magic keep you energized and on-the-ball from sunrise to sunset. Check out this easy-to-make maca milkshake recipe courtesy of Trueself, made with milk, fruit, cashew butter, and maca powder. An energy-boosting blend.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know it keeps Mr. Sandman at bay too? According to Shape, "A simple apple is a great energy-boosting, mid-afternoon snack. Full of vitamin C, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, an apple can deliver a boost of energy and stabilize blood sugar."
As Stemiltsimply explains, "You don't need expensive supplements or drinks for energy. It you're perpetually dragging, get more sleep and eat healthy, fresh food." The crisp and juicy snack is portable and delicious. And remember to stick to the whole fruit rather than juice which can have lots of added sugar that will bring you down as fast as you spiked.
Chocolate, you had us at hello. But aside from dark chocolate's decadent taste, it can be a nice mid-day slump stumper too. As long as you keep your portion size in check, you will avoid over-indulging yet get the pick me up you are after.
According to The Hearty Soul, "It contains antioxidants that will give you energy. Make sure that it's dark chocolate, as milk chocolate contains added sugars which may give you an initial feeling of more energy, but will result in a crash in all likelihood, with a net result of feeling more depleted than before you ate it."
For even more snacks with a caffeine kick, check out five recommended by Topdust. From peanut butter to popcorn, these caffeine-infused treats are unique and energizing.
When you're not crazy for coffee, energize with an alternative.
Every time payday rolls around, I’m on top of the world. Jeff Bezos-level rich - even though I’m anything but. And then somehow the very next day, rent is due.
The cycle continues. The next payday, bills for my apartment. I find myself without a surplus of savings since I just moved and newly-furnished my apartment completely.
Even more terrifying is the looming presence of the holiday season. Halloween’s officially over and before we know it, hello Thanksgiving…and then there’s Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s. It’s insane.
I’ve been feeling very British lately. Not in a Union-Jack-obsessed, “Keep Calm and Carry-On” way. I went through that phase in 2012 with everyone else… no thank you. And it’s not even a surge of patriotism catalyzed by the Queen dying — I’m firmly team Diana and team Meghan.
Now that fall is officially here, the holidays will sweep in and I’ll have to contend with the fact that I won’t be spending them with my family in the UK. I went home to London earlier this year, so there’s not much left in my travel budget for another trip across the pond. A few domestic jaunts might be in my future, but the closest I’ll get to England this winter is watching Love Island and Love, Actually.
So in that spirit, I’ve been filling my days with content from my favorite Brits. I’m listening to all the old British rock bands I grew up listening to, patiently awaiting the new Arctic Monkeys album, and rewatching anything with Michaela Coel in it. I even shipped myself an order of British Baked Beans, so you know it’s dire.
I’ve also been watching British YouTubers like Grace Beverley — my favorite. Generally, I only go on YouTube to watch Vogue Beauty Secrets and AD Open Door videos. But I’m so glad I stumbled on Grace. Her content is a mix of London lifestyle (what lured me in), relatable entrepreneurship, and mindful productivity. I’m not a hustle-and-grind-girlboss, but as a creative person in a 9-to-5, I need all the help I can get to stay plugged in. So, the video “how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmed” changed my approach to WFH.
Grace outlines her own productivity method: the to-do table. Instead of making a simple to-do list, she divides her tasks into a table that anyone can follow. As someone who’s survived with to-do lists for years, I recently implemented Grace’s method, and it’s revolutionized my workdays.
how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmedwww.youtube.com
I follow her routine to a tee. Here’s how it works:
Essentially, she divides her daily responsibilities into four categories: quick ticks, tasks, projects, and non-negotiables.
- Quick Ticks: Actions that take less than 5-minutes
- Tasks: To-do’s that take up to 30-minutes. Probably don’t take too much brain energy.
- Projects: Long-term list items. These help guide your priorities, even if you’re not crossing them off in one day.
- Non-negotiables: Pick 3 things each day that you must get done. This is how you’ll truly measure success.
With everything written down and sorted, next address your schedule. Meetings, deadlines, and time blocks — whatever works best for you. Write it down. Then make a pact with yourself to stick to them.
This way of categorization provides a roadmap for prioritizing your day — making you far more productive. Have you ever spent the entire day on small tasks and then suddenly realized you hadn’t moved the needle on any task? Or do you spend way too much time on tasks that aren’t a priority? No more. With your non-negotiables laid out, you know what to laser-focus on and what to dedicate energy towards.
Also, it pays to know your working style. I’m not a morning person. Yet, I have to be up and at ‘em super early. So, first thing in the morning, I march through my Quick Ticks to warm me up. I set a time limit, so I can knock out some easy wins which is totally inspiring. Then I move on to bigger things without lingering on emails or admin. For others, it might be more helpful to tackle the big things with all that early-in-the-day brain power earlier.
Grace has great tips on avoiding overwhelm and burnout. My favorite is taking more intentional breaks rather than scrolling through social media. I call this scrolling “productive” because I’m “coming up with pitches.” Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. It’s more productive in the long run to giving my brain a break with non-screen related stimuli.
Grace’s solution? Set a timer to read a real, an actual book. I’ve never thought of this. It’s a genius way to check off some books on my TBR and kickstart my creativity. After reading a good book, I’m completely inspired to write. So having books near my desk helps me step away from the computer during my lunch break for an actual reset. (And yes, the current books I’m reading are by British authors: Assembly by Natasha Brown, and Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalolu.)
In my pursuit of switching out my WFH set-up and getting my life together, I’ve engineered my workstation for success. With my new WFH essentials and Grace’s productivity technique, I’m revitalized for work — despite the fall blues and my melancholy about the pending holidays.
Here are the things getting me hyped for work and helping me crush my Grace Beverley-inspired to-do tables — no lists in sight:
Pack your bags — Southwest Airlines is having a major sale! Fares are as low as $59 one-way if you book by October 3rd.
This end-of-summer super sale is a game-changer for your travel plans through the end of the year. Summertime travel gets all the glory. But why not take advantage of your long weekends, holidays, and PTO this fall. You’ll be surprised at how much travel you can fit in. Keep the fall/winter season exciting with domestic trips that give you all the excitement without breaking the bank. All thanks to Southwest.
Here’s the breakdown:
Where can you go?
You’ll find discounted tickets to and from most airports. Sale fares apply to cross country travel, and even Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean! Whether you’re visiting a new city or revisiting your last beach vacation, this sale has fares to make your travel dreams come true.
What do the fares cover?
Southwest Airlines has multiple fare tiers, each with various benefits. Wanna Get Away fares start at $59, while Wanna Get Away Plus fares start at $89. You can also find great deals on Anytime fares, which offer priority boarding and express lanes. Then there’s Business Select tickets for a luxe experience at an affordable price point.
Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member?
You may think these sale fares are too good to be true. Is there a catch? Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member to access them? You’re in luck — anyone can attain these fares for a limited time.
But, insider tip, you should consider signing up for Southwest Rapid Rewards. With a free sign up, you earn points and miles with each trip you take. And with this sale, each dollar you spend on these discounted tix can stretch super far until you eventually earn free travel. The only thing better than a sale is free stuff.
I’ve been browsing the Southwest Airlines site, checking out flights and dreaming.