I absolutely ADORE the cold. There is something marvelous about filling your lungs with clean cold air. Winter weather is wonderful for clothes and yummy comfort food. There is not a lot wrong with winter weather, even the occasional icy roads in Texas leads to a nice day off spent laying in pajamas watching Christmas movies. The only negative for me is winter’s ability to keep me from wanting to get out of bed in the morning, and for encouraging me to go strait home after work and jump in my pajamas! Right around the time change, when we gain an hour, and the evenings go dark, my social life does a huge nose dive. Waking up for work doesn’t get easier either, even with that extra hour of sleep. It’s too cold to get out of bed in the morning. Is this me or does everyone else go into hibernation mode as well? Maybe it’s because I am a teacher with an early schedule, and I work through my lunch break. Whatever the reason, I can’t afford to sleep through the winter (like some mammals do).
Without meaning to, I’ve come up with a few winter coping mechanisms for staying awake, they are quite lovely!
1. Substitute morning coffee with drinking dark chocolate.
Though coffee is one of the holy gifts from God to his people on earth, it tends to send me into crazy work mode, I get tons done during the day after a cup of coffee in the morning, but I am quite useless after work. I’ve noticed that switching to hot chocolate in the mornings wakes me up without the jolt coffee gives me. Don’t go for that sugary flavored hot chocolate. Buy a nice drinking chocolate. I buy one from Whole Foods (can’t remember the name). It’s slightly sweet and slightly thicker than regular hot chocolate mix. You can add a few drops of peppermint oil to your chocolate for an extra eye-opener (and it’s delicious).
2. Drink peppermint tea in the afternoon.
So yeah, peppermint is huge for me on staying awake throughout the day. I love Refresh tea from Starbucks, I keep a box in my classroom and at the house, if I am feeling a bit sluggish, or I feel myself slipping into hibernation mode, I’ll sip on some tea. It not only warms me up but wakes me up.
3. Use peppermint essential oil.
Ok, I know, I know, I probably should just put peppermint in the title of this post. One of my favorite things to make is a coconut oil scrub. I mix coconut oil with epsom salt, then I add a few drops of peppermint oil. I use this in the shower or as a foot scrub. It definitely wakes me up in the morning!
4. Eat an apple.
Did you know that eating an apple will wake you up better than a cup of coffee will? (Apples are also very good for your teeth.) I didn’t read this, my dad the expert on health did. I don’t love apples, but if they are super crisp and sweet I’ll eat them. I’ve found that I like HoneyCrisp and Gala apples because I’ve had the most luck buying them when they are crisp. I can’t say the same for red delicious apples, in Texas at least, they do not come from the store in “crisp” form.
5. Coffee coffee coffee
When all else fails, a lovely lavender latte will wake me up! It’s quite possibly the most perfect drink in the world!
(Also remember to drink plenty of water. This is not one of the 5, but might be the most important. When we stay in doors with the heater on, it tends to dry us out! Hydration is key to not getting run down. Try counting your glasses of water and make sure you get at least 8 8ozglasses. You might need one glass more during the winter months.)