Staying Alert During Work From Home: Healthy Alternatives To Caffeine
Bonny Shah

Bonny Shah
17 June 2020

This article is authored by Bonny Shah. Bonny is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

In a world full of distractions even while you’re trying to focus at your work desk, working from home comes with an added set of challenges. Your regular 9-to-5 is now interspersed with the disorientation of being at home without any work environment stimulus.

With such conditions, focus doesn’t come easy and the endless mugs of caffeine-filled coffee takes more away from you than it gives. It dehydrates you, which further leads to fatigue and disorientation. The caffeine quick fix leads to long-term adverse effects on your mind and body.

The good news is that there are better and healthier ways to gain that focus without compromising on your health and well-being. So, here are some great methods to stay alert at work, while working from home.

Fidget and Fiddle

Remember Fidget spinners? They’re a great tool to keep your mind sharp as your hands keep themselves occupied. They demand that amount of energy and alertness from you that you need to get through a tenacious afternoon at work. If you don’t have any fidget spinners handy, objects like rubber toys or stress balls work as great alternatives too.

Keep a fixed sleeping schedule

Most adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. This can vary from individual to individual but getting around the same amount of sleep each night may help the body balance its energy levels. It is also a good idea to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. Having a regular schedule may help the body get more rest, which could help the mind stay alert and active throughout the day.

The Refreshing Replacement

Eat Breakfast

Replace your mugs of coffee with a refreshing and hydrating drink or a minty tea. A lemony drink, a fresh citrus fruit juice or a hydrating watermelon juice is the perfect way to help you get re-energized. If you enjoy tea, a minty flavour is the best way to boost your senses and make room for a focused afternoon of work. You can also brew a cup of herbal tea using spices like cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and turmeric at home. It can help you feel fresh and alert.

Keep it moving

A simple walk inside your house, a quick pace up and down your room or a basic exercise is all you need to lift yourself out of the afternoon drowsiness. It kicks in that necessary dose of adrenaline that helps you keep going and stay focused. Try and take a 10 mins break each hour and do some stretching exercises as sitting for long hours can make your body stiff. Alternatively, you could also climb up and down the staircase of your building as it will help you be more active.

Take Deep Breaths

Count each breath and make each breath count. It can be difficult to fully inflate the lungs when sitting for long periods of time. Taking time to practice deep breathing each day may increase the amount of oxygen in your body and help reduce fatigue. It also helps you clear your head and shift your focus back to work.

Lighter lunch

Lastly and most importantly, what you eat defines your afternoon. Start your day right with a healthy breakfast of fruits, yogurt or dalia. When it’s lunchtime, it’s important to stay away from the greasy and carb-loaded processed foods. They make you sluggish and drowsy. To stay focused, eat a healthy lunch. Stick to leafy greens and veggies, lean proteins and complex carbs. A dal made with Tata Sampann’s Unpolished Moong Dal is packed with nutrition and has all the deliciousness that your afternoon meal deserves.

The next time you find your mind drifting off, your first instinct might take you to that cup of joe but in reality, it’s doing you more harm than good. Focusing on work while at home is a difficult task but these simple tricks can make all the difference for you to find your focus.


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