The best part of waking up is... well, figuring out how to wake up in the first place. Society's reliance on a hot cup of coffee every morning has almost become a sad cliché, just like grumbling about Mondays, the weather, and the Kardashians. And while the Kardashians might not be going anywhere anytime soon, you can kick the caffeine habit.
After you've hit the snooze button for the fifteenth time and arrive in an utterly disheveled state at work, it's time to explore some more potent options. Adulting might be hard, but you don't need coffee to do it. You just need willpower. And you've got tons of that, along with free time, and extra money, right?
1. Shock and Awe Approach
It's not considered cruel and unusual punishment if it's self-inflicted, right?
Do you remember the Ice Bucket Challenge from 2014? You could dump a bucket of ice water over your head every morning, but a much more convenient option is just to take a cold shower. This shocks your body into fight-or-flight mode and you'll be wide awake and extra alert as a result.
As an added benefit, just like coffee, cold showers can potentially help stimulate weight loss. That makes up for mild hypothermia, right?
2. Let There Be Light
One of the best-known benefits of melatonin is that it acts as a natural sleep aid. A pitch black bedroom is also conducive to better sleep. Flip the switch and you've got yourself a natural "awake" aid.
Exposure to certain wavelengths of light reduces the production of melatonin. So, the first thing you should do every morning is to go outside (if it's extra cold, that's an added bonus - see tip #1 above) and take in that fresh air and sunlight. Or, you know how experts say you should avoid TV and phones right before bedtime? Reverse that and start pinning those 'terests and booking those faces before you even roll out of bed.
3. Get That Blood Pumping
What's the opposite of lying in bed and complaining about getting up? Getting up and complaining about wanting to go back to bed, of course!
You could be thoroughly exhausted afterwards, but working out or going for a run is a great way to wake yourself up in the morning. The blood gets pumping and the happy endorphins start flowing. There are all sorts of wake-up exercises you can do, including simple stretches and yoga poses.
Then again, maybe you're not exactly the gym-going, yoga-posing or path-running type. But that introduces an entirely different challenge for another time: how to get in shape without exercising.
4. It's in the Game
If you're not willing to exercise your body in the morning, then flex that squishy grey matter between your ears. You could partake in some theoretical astrophysics or advanced calculus first thing in the morning, but you're probably better off stimulating your brain with some video games.
Mentally challenging games, like Words With Friends, are a good place to start. Competitive games like Street Fighter are even better. Angry Birds is a physics game and counting likes on Facebook is like math. That means you're smart. And now you're awake too. And late for work because you just wasted the last two hours flinging fowl at devilish green swine.
5. Oils Are Essential
You don't need to be a hippie vegan soccer mom who insists only on locally sourced, hormone and GMO free, gluten-free, fair trade, organic quinoa for your kale salad (not that there's anything wrong with that) to recognize the potent punch that essential oils can deliver.
Certain scents are particularly effective in waking you up, like peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil. A couple dabs will do. You should probably keep the canola oil in the kitchen, though, unless you're looking for some sexy physical activity (see tip #3!) in the bedroom. That'll wake you up for a few minutes, but you'll probably fall back asleep afterward.
Giving Up Is the Best Strategy
Coffee is one of the world's greatest wonders, like sliced bread and fast Wi-Fi. If you're still bent on cutting the deliciously arousing wonder bean from your diet and you insist on being alert during your waking hours (so demanding!), then the best advice is to go to sleep. Get enough sleep at night, take a refreshing afternoon nap, and you'll be good to go... all the way to the kitchen to brew a fresh pot of coffee.