Post-Holiday Insta-Pick-Me-Ups!

Healthy SELF, SELF Magazine
Healthy Living
January 2, 2013

Julia Savacol, SELF magazine

Not feeling particularly energetic today? Maybe, you know, a bit sluggish post holiday? We totally feel you. Fake it with these handy tricks.

Drink Hot Chocolate:
Savoring a sweet mug of cocoa and inhaling the aroma may activate an area of the brain linked with arousal, helping us wake up, says Bryan Raudenbush, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.

See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

Try Relaxing:
Studies show that relaxation techniques such as deep breathing can decrease levels of energy-zappng stress hormones like cortisol. Count down slowly from 10 to 0, following each number with a deep inhale. Exhale like a sigh, allowing your belly to slowly deflate, says Alice Domar, Ph.D., executive director of the Domar Center for Mindy/Body Health in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Wear Red: Because we associate the fiery hue with fear and danger, it can help rev us up during sports by signaling the brain to be on alert, finds a study in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.

See more: The No-Cook Diet


Do the Twist:
Spinal twists increase blood and oxygen circulation throughout your body, which makes you feel rejuvenated, says Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. Sit at the edge of your seat, feet flat on the floor. Place left hand on outside of right thigh as you twist to the right, placing right hand on back on chair. Take three to five deep breaths to deepen twist. Repeat on opposite side.

See more: The Flat-Abs-Fast Secret

Sniff Peppermint:
: The scent stimulates blood flow to the brain, increasing alertness, researchers report in the International Sports Journal. A minty candle, lotion, shampoo, tea--pick your pleasure and breathe in. Now you're ready to rock!

More from SELF:
6 Moves for a Great Butt
5 Simple Steps to Cellulite-Free Skin

Foods That Fight Belly Bloat
6 Secrets to Firing Up Your Metabolism

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