Pop a peppermint. The scent of peppermint decreases fatigue by up to 25 percent, according to researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University, in W. Va. Keep a bowl of peppermints on your desk to get you through the late-afternoon slump; or light a peppermint-scented candle, and let the invigorating aroma help you keep from dozing off while finishing those expense reports.

Brush your body. According to the ancient Chinese healing art of Qigong, using a dry brush can help your lymphatic system – located just beneath your skin – to drain toxins. Run a long-handled brush with nonsynthetic bristles over your limbs and torso in the direction of your heart, using long, sweeping motions. Brush from the tips of your toes to the tops of your thighs, and the tips of your fingers to the tops of your shoulders.

“It’s very stimulating, and such a great way to wake up your senses,” says Sondra Kornblatt, co-author with Susannah Seton of 365 Energy Boosters (Conari Press, 2005). “You also can use the brush to tap on each shoulder for a minimassage that releases tension.”

Savor a stretch. A few minutes of stretching can loosen tense muscles and help you feel more alert. Set aside a few minutes to do some simple stretches during the day. In addition to giving you energy, it has the added benefit of decreasing muscle soreness and improving flexibility.
Stock up on snacks. Eat healthy snacks, such as nuts, cheese, fruit or yogurt. These energy boosters will help keep your blood sugar level even, enabling you to avoid experiencing extreme energy peaks and valleys. “Try to have foods from two to three different food groups on hand for snacking,” advises Sue Moores, a St. Paul, Minn.-based registered dietitian. “The combination of fruits and veggies, whole grains and protein will give you more nutritious and lasting energy.”

Avoid high-fat and fried foods, as well as those that are high in sugar. According to Moores, these types of foods provide a quick burst of energy, but can leave you feeling hungry and depleted just 30 minutes later.

Have a good laugh.
Giggle, guffaw, chuckle, snicker, chortle – no matter what you call it, laughing is good for your health. It reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, elevates mood and boosts the immune system. The next time you need a burst of energy, try reading the comics, watching a funny movie or viewing stand-up comedy clips online. Dr. Orloff also recommends connecting with others who share a zest for life and a great sense of humor.

“Laughter is contagious,” she says. “It increases endorphins, our body’s natural painkillers, and reduces our stress hormones. Laughter is good therapy.”