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healthy energy boostWho's tired? If you raised your hand, or couldn't find the energy to raise your hand, you are not alone. Between work, kids, and the myriad of other obligations, we're all exhausted. Yet, our to-do list does not make allowances for the daily nap. It's time to kick start your energy reserves!

Instead of pumping caffeine into your body, there are ways to feel alert and alive in a way that does not involve chemicals. Here are 8 ways you can boost your energy, naturally.

1. Run Up the Stairs

Or around the block, or in place. You'll give your brain a jolt and your blood will start pumping.

2. Have a Snack

Instead of chowing down on a big lunch, snack throughout the day to keep your energy levels steady. Some suggestions for healthy snacks that won't give you a sugar crash include: almonds, snap peas, and grapes.

3. Hit the Water Cooler

Sometimes when you're feeling sleepy, you're actually dehydrated. Water is the best way to keep your body feeling great and awake when it really needs a drink.

4. Skip the Booze

Just don't reach for the booze if you're feeling tired and thirsty. And if you feel rundown on a regular basis, avoid alcohol as much as possible to sleep better and stay energized.

5. Meditate

No, not a nap. Just a time out to clear your head. Whether it's five minutes or half an hour, your brain will be recharged and you'll feel refreshed.

6. Get Outside

Oxygen is a natural stimulant and you will get drowsy if you're just sitting slouched over your desk, shallow breathing. Take a walk outside and breathe deep for an instant pick-me-up.

7. Make a List

Feeling overwhelmed with work and responsibilities is a quick road to exhaustion. The next time your afternoon demands a nap, make a to-do list instead. Seeing everything you have to do in black and white can help you feel more in control and give you the boost to get back to it -- without the zzzzzzs.

8. Reach Out and Touch Someone

Connecting with others through a stimulating conversation is a fast way to re-focus and wake up. Avoid simply texting or instant messaging, however, and have a face-to-face or voice-to-voice instead.

How do you make it through the afternoon slump?


Image via Yogendera174/Flickr