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Monday, January 04, 2016

Back to Work | 5 Essentials for Survival

January 4th 2016 - Z Day - The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us.. well at least that's what it looked like this morning!  
Coffee in hand, bed hair and make up-less faces filled the train carriages and streets on my journey to work. Utter silence. Those who dared speak were given death stares by their fellow commuters. I don't think the terms 'morning person' and 'commuters' can ever go hand in hand. 
Everyone's been dreading the day we'd go back to work after Christmas and the New Year. Every time we have a week or two off.. or even a day off, it seems to fly by and the next thing you know, your alarm is buzzing at 7 am and you're back at work. Mentally preparing ourselves since the new year, we're still not quite ready to face the early mornings, 8 hour days, late nights and sleep deprivation. But sadly, the day has arrived. 
By lunchtime my energy levels have sunk, and due to my New Years Resolution, I refuse to snack on sugar, so shall try to plod along until 5:30. Last night's leftovers consumed, hot chocolate guzzled and heaters on full blast; today is just a haze of emails and paperwork and fighting off the urge to lay down and nap.
I'm getting through it though! Hooray! Only a few hours left, the hour long commute home and I can snuggle back up under my duvet! Oh wait.. I need to re-join the gym today. *cries*

Here's the 5 things that are helping me through today (and most importantly, keeping me awake!)

1. Caffeine
Everyone needs their caffeine fix. I'm not a huge fan of coffee.. In fact, the smell kind of makes my stomach turn.. too earthy for my liking! So Diet Coke is my caffeinated drink of choice and is really helping me stay awake. Grab a Costa/Starbucks or a can of sweet sweet nectar and drink to your hearts content! We MUST fight the urge to sleep! Make sure you supplement this with plenty of cold water to keep your body ticking over and counteract the dehydrating effect of caffeine.
2. Perfect Amount of Warmth
I hate being cold. Literally, winter is the worst season and makes me wish that we were a species that hibernated. Even though being cold actually speeds up your metabolism, as it makes your body work harder to keep you warm, therefore would keep you awake, it's important to start your first day back at work in absolute comfort. It's all about finding the middle ground. My office is super cold so have shut all the doors to create a heat pocket around me. With a standalone heater on my feet, I have a mixture of cold and hot around me. Not too hot/cold I'm uncomfortable, but the perfect mix to make it JUST right. Too warm and you'll start getting sleepy, too cold and you'll be unproductive.

3. Light
Working in low light can also trick your body into wanting to sleep, so make sure your work area is well-lit and there's plenty of natural light. If you're not near a window, make sure you have a lamp turned on and everything you're doing is illuminated. This can also help with your eyesight as your eyes wouldn't have to strain as much in order to see.
4. Food
The best way to keep your energy levels up is to eat! Start the day with a healthy bowl of fruit and yoghurt or porridge that will fill you up and give your body lots of vitamins to help it function. Lunch should be had at around 1 pm, so that you're not reaching for the snack drawer at 4 pm. Lunch should also be healthy but filling. Anything too substantial or fatty could just make you feel even more sluggish! If you have to snack, eat a banana, as it's full of potassium and can kick start your brain and boost energy levels.
5. Regular Breaks
Jumping straight back into an 8/9 hour day after daily lay-ins and late nights isn't going to be easy. It's best to ease yourself back into it. Take short, regular breaks throughout the day, making sure you leave your desk and stretch your legs. 5 minutes could be all you need. Easing your brain in as well as your body will actually make you more productive and will keep you more alert!
If you follow those 5 things for the rest of the week, you'll be full of energy by next week Monday and actually feel so much better in yourself too!
What things do you do to ease yourself back into work?
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2 comments

  1. This is such a great post, I am currently struggling to get back into a routine after the christmas break! :) xx

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    1. It's so difficult! I'm struggling even now!

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