Feeling like you need a boost? Here are 7 pick-me-up tricks that will have you re-energized in no time.
1. Get a Whiff of Citrus
The smells of oranges, lemons, and grapefruits have been shown to be energizing, so simply add a slice or two of your favorite to a glass of water.
Or introduce citrusy scents into your morning routine, since several major beauty brands—Suave, Dove, and Dial, to name a few—now offer citrus-infused, wake-up-the-body washes. For a quick midday refresher, moisten a cotton ball with a few drops of citrusy bergamot oil and inhale.
2. Pull Your Hair
No, really. “If you gently take handfuls of hair and pull the skin away from your scalp to get blood flowing to that area of the head, you can relieve a lot of potentially tiring tension,” says Marlene Merritt, a doctor of Oriental medicine and a nutritionist at the Merritt Wellness Center, in Austin, Texas.
Flushing out toxins helps the body run more efficiently, which also means you’ll have more energy. Simply lie in bed for two extra minutes in the morning and focus on taking deep breaths, since “many of our toxins are expelled by breathing,” says Karas.
4. Be Nice to a Stranger
“Sure, the sentiment feels a little bumper stickery, but when you do something kind, your energy goes up,” says nutritionist Jonny Bowden, author of The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy. Starbucks customers at drive-throughs around the country have been paying for the next customer behind them in a grassroots acts-of-kindness movement.Find other ideas at actsofkindness.org.
5. Pop a Peppermint
Smelling peppermint “stimulates the trigeminal nerve, which stimulates the area of the brain responsible for arousal and can make you more alert,” says Hirsch. (So that’s how Santa stays up all night).
6. Do Interval Exercise in the Morning
“Researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University, in England, found that exercising before or during lunchtime leads to a more productive workday,” says Karas.
But don’t spend 45 long minutes on the treadmill at one consistent pace. Bowden notes that alternating bursts of rapid activity, like running, with slower activity, like walking, over the course of about a half hour is a more energizing way to work out than endurance-focused exercise. Finally, in addition to your regular workout, one-minute sets of jumping jacks throughout the day will get your blood flowing.
7. Show Your Hands Some Love
“Take a golf ball and roll it between your desktop and your hand, from the base of the thumb, where your hand webs out, down to the wrist,” says Kevin Kunz, a coauthor of Complete Reflexology for Life. “There’s a really sensitive spot there. Stimulating it will perk you up,” says Kunz.