ONE THING THAT WORKS: MACA
It's the little things. Or so the saying goes.
With that platitude in mind, this is the second in a series of tried-and-tested tips that have helped me in my daily working life. They're not the big-thinking, life-changing overhauls that can change the direction of your career, but rather the little tricks and rituals that I return to when I'm feeling overwhelmed or stuck: things that work for me, and that I hope work for you, too.
I'm fascinated by energy: maintaining it, boosting it, working with your own personal peaks and troughs in order to get stuff done. I think this obsession stems partly from a frustration with my own energy levels (or depletion there of - my mind has a tendency to 'one-up' my body) and partly because it seems, to me anyway, that the most successful people are simply those who have the oomph to get the job done. What gives one person more physical energy than the next? How can some people thrive on five hours' sleep a night, while others struggle to get by on a solid eight? These are the questions I sometimes mull over. Let me know if you have answers!
In the meantime, I've built up a little arsenal of techniques and products that help when I don't feel like I'm functioning on one hundred. Some are really basic (sleep enough, eat enough, drink more water and less alcohol) but others I've discovered through extensive Googling and a process of personal trial and error.
Maca is definitely one thing that works: a Peruvian root, most commonly sold in powder form, which provides an amazing natural energy boost with none of the weird jittery feelings of caffeine, or the crash that comes with sugar. It's also a nutritional powerhouse, with huge hormone-balancing benefits for women in particular. I also quite like the taste - malty is the best way I can describe it.
When I'm trying to cut down or avoid coffee, I'll blend a big teaspoon of maca with a cup of warm almond milk, cinnamon, and honey, to make a hot drink that's both comforting and energy-boosting. The powder can be pricey (I get this one from Amazon) but in my opinion, the benefits more than justify the cost. For a million more ideas on how to use maca, check the recipe rabbit hole that is Pinterest.