Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.
But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:
Sight – Visual Stimulation
The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.
1. Maximize your exposure to light.
Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.
Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.
2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).
Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.
Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.
Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.
3. Take note of your environment.
Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.
By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.
Hearing – Auditory Stimulation
What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.
4. Engage in conversation.
Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.
Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.
Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:
5. Listen to upbeat music.
Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.
Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.
Smell – Olfactory Stimulation
If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell…
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