5 Friday Night Energy Boosters

It's Friday and after a long work week, all you want to do is go home and curl up with a good read. Your girlfriends are pushing to meet up for dinner and maybe a few drinks, but your PJs are calling your name.

According to researchers at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, women who regularly see good friends are the healthiest because they feel less stressed out and have more emotional support and energy.

You deserve a good break before heading into the weekend, but how can you muster up the energy to go out? Read below for some energy-boosting tips that you can do right now.

1. Get pumped with peppermint
Try peppermint, recommends Bryan Raudenbush, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at West Virginia's Wheeling Jesuit University. His research indicates that the smell of peppermint enhances performance and alertness and can reduce fatigue. Try Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm with peppermint oil or chewing a sugar-free peppermint gum.

2. If you work at a desk, keep your blood flowing.
Hunching over your keyboard can prevent deep breathing and good circulation, plus strain your spine causing backache and fatigue. Get up once an hour to walk around and stretch your legs. This will encourage circulation in your muscles, prevent stiffness and give you an instant energy lift.

3. Try this exercise right at your desk:

  • You need an office chair with a rotating seat to do this; otherwise these directions will be mighty confusing.
  • Sitting up tall in your office chair, scooch back so that you can just hold on to the edge of your desk with your outstretched arms.
  • Pick your feet up off the floor.
  • Keep holding on to the desk with your arms relatively straight so that your upper body stays facing forward and begin swiveling your lower body and the chair seat to the right and left.
  • You don't have to do any fancy breathing; just make sure you're not holding your breath.
  • Continue for about a minute.

4. Beat an afternoon slump with a form of traditional Chinese medicine
According to this tradition, touching acupressure points on the body can remove negative energy, reduce stress and increase vitality. Use your knuckles to tap rhythmically on your sternum (the center of your chest) to the beat of one heavy tap followed by two lighter ones. You can also clear your head by rubbing your earlobes, which are a rich source of acupressure points.

5. Listen to music
Listening to upbeat tunes is always a surefire way to get motivated. Turn to your favorite radio station or try a music site like Pandora. If you have iTunes on your computer, make a Genius Playlist. You select one song that you love, example: "Bon Jovi - It's My Life," and the Genius function will search your iTunes library for songs that fit together. It's a good way to keep your ears surprised and rediscover your old music.

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.