8 Tips for an Afternoon Pick-Me-Up

Tired woman yawning on a bridge

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.

1 Get Back to Nature.

Woman walking outside

Just 15 to 20 minutes outside not only increases your energy, but it also give you an instant mood-boost, according to research from the University of Rochester. Step away from your desk and go for a brisk walk around the block.

2 Inhale an Uplifting Scent.

credit: Chloe Millar

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

3 Practice a One-Minute Meditation.

Laptop and cup of tea

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.

4 Grab a Satiating Snack.

Del Monte® Fruit & Chia™ Fruit Cup®

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

5 Try a Cold Splash.

woman in pool

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.

6 Listen to Your Favorite Upbeat Song.

Woman wearing headphones

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

7 Sip Some Herbal Tea.

credit: Chloe Millar

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.

8. Straighten Up and Skip Along.

Woman with straight back skipping up stairs

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.

What Do YOU Think?

Woman taking a break

What are your favorite ways to recharge when the dreaded 3 p.m. slump hits? Which of these options are you most excited to try? Let us know here!

Read more: 7 Quick Protein Ball Recipes to Give You an Energy Boost

How Much Caffeine Is in Crystal Light?


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.


Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.