Energize Your Day

Find the extra energy you need with these simple tips.
Suzanne Powell Mills

Wake up. Shower. Get dressed for work. Get the kids ready for school. Prepare a healthful breakfast. Feed the dog. Make the bed--never mind. Rush out the door before you're late. It's barely 8 a.m., and the day is already hectic. A sabbatical far, far away seems like the perfect solution, but your schedule won't allow for that just yet. So, until you have time for that special getaway, try working these energy-boosting tips into each day to help you fight fatigue.

1. Start With a Stretch
Before you face another fast-paced day, awaken your body with a few moves that you can do without getting out of bed. For example, point your toes, and raise your arms above your head. Follow up with a few deep breaths. Just a few minutes of stretching can release physical tension and help clear the mind.

2. Socialize Your Schedule
Make lunch plans with a friend. Visit with coworkers. Call your favorite aunt. Just avoid getting caught up in the monotony of a certain task-- your brain needs outside stimulation. You may even find that you're more productive when you allow time for enjoyment.

3. Use Good Scents
Soaps and lotions with appeal-ing aromas often evoke positive feelings. Keep a bottle of your favorite close by. Use it anytime your spirits need a quick lift. The scents of lemon, peppermint, and rosemary help energize. Fragrances such as lavender can offer a feeling of calm.

4. Turn Up the Volume
Music is the magic mood lifter. Certain songs can give you a sudden surge of energy. Think about the tunes played before athletic events--they're meant to excite people. Fortunately, you don't have to be at the big game to feel that rush. With computers, iPods, and car stereos, the right song is only a switch away.

5. Drink Up
Hydration is a key factor in maintaining a healthy energy level. Though important, water may get a little boring. Low-sugar fruit juices serve as good alternatives and often provide important vitamins. Or try flavored decaffeinated tea when you want to spice things up a bit.

6. Brighten Your Day
You'll automatically feel livelier when you're surrounded by vibrant colors. Just as a dull atmosphere can bore you, a fun one can spark creativity. It's easy to use this tip at home or at the office. Set a bouquet of flowers on the dinner table, place colorful picture frames on your desk, or just throw on a sassy scarf.

This article is from the January 2006 issue of Southern Living.