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How to Get More Energy Anytime

Updated on March 3, 2012

Need to Wake Up?

We've all experienced the afternoon slump. It's that period of time, usually following lunch, when your energy level wanes. Suddenly, a feeling of drowsiness overtakes you. You'd love nothing more than to close your eyes and take a nap. If you are home, that might be an option. But more often than not, you are in a situation where napping is feasible. Perhaps you are at work, in school, or at home taking care of your children. Unless you are lucky enough to be like Seinfeld's George Costanza with a secret napping spot beneath your desk, you probably have no choice but to soldier on through your day, feeling lethargic and unproductive. Don't fear - there are some surprisingly simple and effective ways to beat the afternoon slump and get you back on your way to feeling energetic and productive.

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Five Ways to Boost Your Energy Fast

1. Move Around

Sometimes all that you need to boost your energy is to move your body. This is especially true if you typically spend long periods of time at a desk. I try to get up and move throughout the day, even if I don't have a real reason to do so. If you are feeling drowsy in the afternoon, immediately get up from your desk, even if it is just to use the bathroom, or to do an errand or task you have been putting off. I sometimes even get up from my desk and take the stairs to the second floor of my building for a quick walk. By the time I get back to my desk, my energy level has usually returned. If you are able to do something even more intense for a few minutes, like jogging in place or jumping jacks, that is even better. I have been known to slip into the bathroom stall at work to jog in place for a few minutes when I have been afraid I might fall asleep on the job! Just be sure not to overdo it, or you might make yourself even more tired!

2. Use the "Doughing" Technique

This is a technique I learned from yoga, and it is quite effective at increasing energy. Simply make a fist with each hand and lightly pound your body from top to bottom as though you were kneading dough. Start with your shoulders, arms, chest, belly, down to your thighs and calves. Take at least five minutes to knead and pound all of your body parts and you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly it gets your blood flowing and your energy rising.

3. Have a Glass of Water

Although our first impulse when we feel sleepy is often to grab a caffeinated beverage like coffee or cola, a glass of water is a better choice. I often find that when I am feeling drowsy it is because I am dehydrated. This can be especially true when you are spending the day in a dry, stuffy office with no fresh air. A tall glass of water is sometimes all you need to feel perky again. And there is no danger of experiencing the highs and lows that come with caffeine.


4. Step Outside

You may feel tired because you haven't had any fresh air in a few hours. If you can, go outside for even a few minutes. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of sunshine and crisp air to revive your spirits and give you the energy to get through the rest of your day.

5. Talk to Someone

Maybe you have been working for hours without having a meaningful conversation with anyone. Or maybe you have been stuck in the house cleaning, cooking, and tending to the children. Either of these two scenarios can leave you feeling isolated and tired. If you can, pick up the phone and call someone, preferably someone you really like and who is upbeat and will make your laugh. Or poke your head into a colleague's office for a quick hello. Interacting with fun people throughout the day will help perk you up.

Sage Carter shares ideas, information, and advice for better living. Visit her at


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    • sagecarter profile image

      sagecarter 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for stopping by - these tips have worked for me and I hope they can help you!

    • twilanelson profile image

      Twila Nelson 6 years ago from Carmichael, California

      Thank you for these tips, since I work from home I need all the help I can get in the afternoon especially on a slow, rainy or boring day. Again, thank you.