Whether you got way too little sleep last night or the 4 p.m. slump is hitting hard, you need an energy boost—fast. Enter 5-Minute Energy, a new book by Isadora Baum that suggests more than 200 activities to put a little pep in your step. Here, seven of our new go-tos.
Tell a Joke
Or watch a quick, funny video. Studies (like this one from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln) suggest that laughing can help you stay awake. According to Baum, laughing also “lowers the stress hormone cortisol, which has been shown to zap energy and increase negativity.”
Sure, most people rely on meditation for its calming effects, but the ancient practice is also good for a quick burst of energy. Apps like OMG. I Can Meditate! offer mini meditations that’ll help you de-stress and add a little extra juice to get through the day.
Chew Some Peppermint Gum
Per a study at Coventry University, chewing gum stimulates the autonomic nervous system, which increases alertness. Chewing also increases blood flow to the brain, which can wake you up. Baum adds that peppermint gum is particularly effective, since “studies show that the smell of peppermint can uplift mood and energy as well as bring a sense of mental clarity and focus.”
That mindless activity that got you in trouble in school could actually come in handy as an adult. According to Baum, “Research has shown that doodling can be a form of art, sparking creativity and the imagination and helping you feel more invigorated and productive throughout the day.” Works for us.
Drink Warm Lemon Water
This citrusy drink boasts a number of health benefits (from jump-starting digestion to boosting your immune system), and Baum points out an additional one: Boosting your energy. That’s because warm lemon water helps keep your body in an alkaline state. A body that’s too acidic, she says, “can suffer from low energy, fatigue and digestive problems, so keeping yours in a healthy, balanced state will allow you to thrive and maintain a better mood and more stamina.”
Make (and Listen to) an Upbeat Playlist
We suspected music was making us feel better, but a study by the University of Missouri proves it. Researchers found that upbeat music can positively affect your mood. Baum suggests customizing an energy playlist “that you can keep on hand—that way, when you’re short on time or on the go, you can easily access it in a matter of seconds.”
Like meditation, yoga is a great way to relax, but certain poses can actually have an energizing effect. Case in point: the classic bridge pose, which helps free energy bound up in your spine, will help you get a boost during the day. Baum also suggests spending a few minutes in tree pose to awaken your senses.