6 Non-Traditional Ways To Boost Your Energy Mid-Day

I’ve recently become a night owl — something that has severely hurt my next-day energy levels, and caused me to constantly seek out ways to boost energy levels when I inevitably hit my mid-day slump. Many of us have become familiar with the traditional ways to boost our energy — have a little extra caffeine, go for a quick walk, drink a cold glass of water, etc. — but what about those out-of-the-box ideas? There are plenty of weird, non-traditional ways to boost energy levels that you perhaps have never considered. Thanks to a whole bunch of expert voices and research on the topic, we can be sure they are accurate, and can help ourselves understand the science behind the tactics, too.

It’s the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, and you’re working on the most mundane task of all time while you watch the clock tick by slowly. All you seem to be able to think of is how you can’t wait to get home, change into your sweatpants, and go to sleep. How will you ever get through the next few hours? Don’t worry, girl, I’ve got your back. Did you know, for example, that simple chewing minty gum can give you an instant energy boost? There are a ton of other simple things you can try that I’ve detailed here. I’ve tried them all, and can assure you they actually can be really helpful.

Next time you’re in this awful, sleepy decline in your day, here are six non-traditional ways to boost your energy.

1. Massage Your Ears

This might sound incredibly strange, but it’s true. According to Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, internist and fatigue expert, this tactic works best if you apply pressure to the outer rim of your ear by pinching the rim of each ear and rubbing for 10 to 30 seconds. This invigorates your whole body. Why? Your body’s energy pathways pass through your outer ear, according to Dr. Teitelbaum. He told Huffington Post, “Massaging the ear unites all of the meridians, and gets the energy flowing.”

2. Chew A Piece Of Gum

Yes, chewing gum mid-day will help reduce the smell from that gross lunch you had (ick!), but chewing mint gum in particular could also get your energy going as well. Chewing gum increases the heart rate and gets blood flowing to the brain, according to LiveScience. That mint flavor can help stimulate the nervous system and decrease fatigue, too, according to registered dietician Heather Bauer. Next time you find yourself yawning at your desk in the middle of the day, grab a stick of minty gum and begin to reap those benefits.

3. Choose An Upbeat Afternoon Playlist

Oddly enough, when I used to work in an office I would listen to a station on Songza that didn’t play any music, just emulated the sounds you hear in a coffee shop. Now that I’m a freelancer and often work from a coffee shop, I can’t get enough of static, office-like sounds. (You always want what you can’t have, right?) However, despite what strange sounds I might be listening to, I always notice my brain goes a little dim around 2 p.m. each day. If you tend to feel this, too, music can help!

According to Everyday Health, amping up your playlist boosts your energy. This means switching to an upbeat station, ideally playing instrumental music of whatever genre you choose. According to Fast Company, research has found that background music without lyrics can boost productivity and happiness. This is particularly true when you’re working on repetitive tasks (yes, the same kind that can seem boring and draining!). Try switching to non-lyrical, upbeat music during your “slump” in the day, and you might quickly notice a change in your energy level.

4. Have A Kiwi (Or Two!)

If you love kiwi, you’re in luck, my friend. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals that naturally boost energy. For instance, they contain vitamin C, potassium and fiber, just to name as few. According to Counsel & Heal, research shows that adding two kiwis to your day can significantly lessen your fatigue. Try having one in the morning with breakfast, and then a second in the afternoon at the time you tend to feel most drowsy.

5. Watch A Funny SNL Skit

Watch a skit or something else funny on YouTube, or run down the hall to chat with that coworker who’s always making you laugh. Laughing is known to increase your energy levels according to Robert R. Provine, PhD, author of Laughter, in addition to its ability to boost our mood. According to Everyday Health, laughing speeds up our body’s circulation and increases our breathing, which in turn sends more oxygen to the brain. Before we know it, we’re feeling incredibly upbeat.

6. Do A Kind Deed For Someone

When we stop and consider who are likely to be some of the most on-point and energized people in the world, it’s the mega-successes that have founded companies from the ground up. I can barely find the energy to get to the gym after work, while these individuals are going, going, going non-stop, and building something from nothing.

So, let’s take a bit of advice from one of these folks. Kim Kaupe, co-founder of ZinePak, a music and publishing company, spoke to Entrepreneur about her trick for getting a mid-day energy boost: She offers help to others. Kaupe said she devotes 15-minute chunks to doing something non-work related, like grabbing a coffee of responding to personal emails. During those times, she makes an effort to do something kind, like hold open a door or ask in an email whether a friend needs help. According to Kaupe, not only does she then feel a sense of satisfaction, she also feels a boost of energy.

As I was typing this article I felt the mid-day drowsiness hit, so I tried a couple of these tricks again. It was a success! Next time you feel your eyelids becoming heavy at the mid-day mark, try theses non-traditional yet valid tactics and you, too, might find your energy level boosted back up.

Images: Pixabay (4); zeevveez, chrishunkeler, kerezee/Flickr