1. Take a quick walk.
According to one study at California State University at Long Beach, a 10-minute walk provided enough oxygen to the bloodstream to increase a person’s energy for two hours.
2. Take a quick nap.
And when I say “quick,” I mean 25 minutes maximum. And don’t do it within eight hours of your normal bedtime. But a quick nap can reenergize you just long enough to get your work done so you actually can get to sleep.
3. Eat a quick snack.
And I’m not talking about a plate full of spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread, because that’s heavy enough to put you to sleep. Instead, eat a light and healthy snack such as an apple with peanut butter or yogurt with nuts—something that has just enough carbs and protein to fuel your engine to the finish line.
4. Look away from the screen.
Staring at a computer for hours on end can induce fatigue in even the hardiest soul. Take a break, look around your room, pet your cat, or work on your makeup. Look at anything else but your computer screen for a few minutes, and you’ll feel refreshed.
5. Pull over to the side of the road.
If you’re driving and sleepy, that’s a very dangerous situation. Find a rest stop and get a quick nap before you wind up another tragic casualty.
6. Call someone you know and talk.
A quick conversation can lull you from your stupor, especially if you disagree with the person on key topics—nothing can wake you up like a hot argument over politics, religion, or boys.
7. Turn up the lights.
Studies have shown that increased lighting can lead to increased alertness. There’s a reason people prefer to fall asleep in the dark. It’s the same reason birds start chirping when the sun comes up—because it wakes them up.
8. Blast some tunes.
Few things can make you sit up straight in your chair and start howling at the top of your lungs than your favorite song dialed all the way up to 10. It gets your heart pumping and your brain moving and your ass shaking.
9. Take some deep breaths.
If you aren’t able to take a 10-minute walk or at least get up and stretch, do some slow and heavy breathing, drawing your breaths from your abdomen rather than your chest. It will fill your bloodstream with oxygen and snap you into awareness.
10. Drink some water.
Dehydration is a major source of fatigue. Fill up those thirsty cells throughout your body with a much-needed infusion of H2O and marvel at how good you feel!
11. Take an occasional break.
I realize you have work to finish and that taking a break can get in the way of that, but disrupting the monotony may also short-circuit your fatigue.
12. If you’re tired, do the easy tasks first.
Simpler tasks require less physical and mental energy, so if you get those out of the way first, it’s likely that you’ll be rejuvenated by the time you have to do the things that really require hard work.
13. Use aromatherapy.
Essential oils such as peppermint, citrus, and jasmine are known to stimulate the mind and body. Plus, they smell fantastic.
14. Drink some coffee.
Duh! Caffeine is a stimulant. A hundred or two hundred milligrams (one to three hot, steaming cups of coffee) should be enough to keep you going until you can finally crash and get a good night’s sleep.