Feeling Sluggish? 10 Ways to Get Your Energy Up in 5 Minutes or Less

We all feel a bit less peppy from time to time. But your cure is just a few moments away!

Listening to Music on Headphones
Simon Webb & Duncan Nicholls/OJO Images

No matter how hard we try, we all feel a bit less peppy from time to time. But your cure is just a few moments away!

Listening to Music on Headphones
Simon Webb & Duncan Nicholls/OJO Images
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Listen to Music

It's no surprise why our brain's pleasure centers light up when we hear music. (The same brain structures that are active during euphoria-inducing stimuli like sex and drugs are clicked on with a good Glee mashup, too!) So, plug those headphones in and work along to your favorite jam.

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It's fun, it's harmless (or, at least, it should be), and it's effective. Nothing gets the heart pumping and the brain working like a little flirtin' action, just don't do anything stupid. Keep it to conversation — thinking on your feet, cracking jokes, and intellectual banter will energize you plenty.

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Drink Tea

Better than coffee, tea is the beverage of choice for an energy boost. (Notice we didn't say to get a six-pack of crash-inducing 5-Hour Energy drinks). Studies have shown that drinking a cup of black tea four to six times a day reduces stress hormone levels in your body.

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Take a Cold Shower

Katharine Hepburn swore by cold showers, and she had an epic energy level. If you can't commit to an all-together cold one, take your usual shower but turn off the hot water completely for the last two minutes to invigorate you. If you still can't handle it (come on, try it!), or if you want a mid-day alternative, splash some ultra-cold water on your face. We recommend keeping a spritz bottle in the fridge for moments such as these.

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Step Outside

Sure, the last thing you probably want to do when you're feeling a little blah is bundle up and go walk around aimlessly in the freezing cold. Well, do it anyway. Just a few minutes outside in the fresh, crisp air — and away from your desk — will work wonders on your energy and mood. Obviously, this trick works well on a warm, sunny day, too. It's the gift that keeps on giving all year round.

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Wear Bright Colors

Ironically, your current state is partially determined by the mood you project to others and the reciprocating mood they project back to you. Wearing dark, somber colors get you the same reaction. But, bright colors and fun, interesting patterns give you an equally bright, peppy response. We know, we know … black is so flattering! Just save those duds for days you don't have an energy deficiency.

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Smell a Lemon

Vitamin C is a miracle worker. Not only does drinking it help, but even smelling the stuff can revitalize your senses and cure chronic fatigue. Citrus scents from oranges, lemons, and limes stimulate alertness. So grab the fruit, or a lemon-scented body lotion, and sniff away.

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Take a Disco Nap

This one's tricky. If you don't keep it short — five to 10 minutes, max — the power nap could have the opposite effect. So, set a smoothing-but-stern alarm and jump up from your bed, couch, or chair (the most recommended location for your mini-snooze sesh) when time's up.

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Eat a Piece of Chocolate

Like a nap, this one can present a challenge if willpower is something you are lacking in addition to energy. To help limit your intake to one piece, keep some individually wrapped chocolate squares on hand. Eating one will give you an endorphin buzz. Plus, the slight amount of caffeine chocolate contains — dark chocolate has more than milk chocolate — won't hurt, either.

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Hit a Pressure Point

Acupressure techniques have long been used to cure migraines, stress, and tension. Although the ancient tradition isn't as popular as acupuncture, it's sans those pesky needles, and we like that. So, pinch the point between your thumb and forefinger for several minutes to give you a quick energy boost.

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