8 Tips for an Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

Tired woman yawning on a bridge
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Say so long to your 3 p.m. coffee run. While there's nothing wrong with a little caffeine, there are so many other healthy options that can help power you through that foggy midday slump. Read on for eight ways to recharge when you're feeling scattered and sluggish.

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2 Inhale an Uplifting Scent.

Whether it's cinnamon, lemon, rosemary, peppermint or eucalyptus, there are plenty of invigorating scents that have been shown to help fight off mental fatigue. Just be sure to choose a room spray or essential oil that is 100 percent pure and free of synthetic chemicals or fillers, such as Nieves Cloud of Protection spray, which contains juniper berry and juniper needle.

Listen now: Marie Forleo Shares Her Secrets for Avoiding Burnout

Image Credit: Chloe Millar
Laptop and cup of tea
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3 Practice a One-Minute Meditation.

Having trouble concentrating? Research suggests that meditation can alter your brain and actually help you focus. To get started, try this simple technique: Remain seated at your desk with your eyes open. Begin to inhale and exhale, focusing solely on the sensation of your breathing — even counting your breaths as you go. Try to relax your face, your shoulders, your back, your arms, your legs. If your mind wanders (and it will), simply return the focus back to your breathing.

Del Monte® Fruit & Chia™ Fruit Cup®
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4 Grab a Satiating Snack.

Pass on unhealthy snacks and choose something that contains both flavor and fiber, such as a handful of almonds, slices of apple with peanut butter, or a Del Monte® Fruit & Chia™ Fruit Cup®.

Read more: 8 Non-Caffeine Ways to Boost Your Energy

woman in pool
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5 Try a Cold Splash.

A 2014 study from the North American Journal of Medical Sciences showed that exposure to cold activates your sympathetic nervous system and increases levels of endorphins and noradrenaline in the blood. In other words, it creates a small increase in heart rate, blood pressure and alertness. Unless you're employed at a luxury spa, your work likely doesn't offer an in-office plunge pool, but you can still get a similar effect by washing your face, hands or the back of your neck with ice-cold water.

Woman wearing headphones
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6 Listen to Your Favorite Upbeat Song.

Ever notice how songs with a driving, up-tempo beat can help you run longer or work out harder? That's because the right music is incredibly energizing. Make a playlist of your favorite faster-tempo tunes and put it on whenever you need a quick pick-me-up. You get bonus points — as well as more energy — if you sing along!

Read more: 14 Protein-Packed Breakfasts to Power You Through the Morning

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7 Sip Some Herbal Tea.

When you need an extra boost in the afternoon, herbal teas may be just the ticket. Try a ginger tea, such as Traditional Medicinals Organic Tulsi With Ginger. You can feel ginger herbal tea raise the body temperature slightly as it kicks your metabolism into high gear. This root is popular in Asian countries because when the body temperature gets slightly raised, it doesn't feel as hot outside as it may actually be.

Peppermint tea is another great non-caffeinated option. A 2012 study in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that peppermint tea can increase focus and concentration.

Image Credit: Chloe Millar
Woman with straight back skipping up stairs
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8. Straighten Up and Skip Along.

Slouching isn't just bad for your back, it can also leave you feeling down — both physically and mentally. So straighten up, and try some skipping instead. That's right, skipping. According to a 2012 study, people who skipped for even just a minute felt more alert and energized afterward, while those who walked with their shoulders hunched found their energy depleted and their mood depressed.

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