This is the season of having way more to do than you have energy for. No worries–these tricks will help you access that extra oomph.
WHAT WILL HELP: Even a short stroll can give you an instant boost. And if you don’t work out at all, now’s the time to start. Researchers at the University of Georgia found that sedentary people raised their energy levels by as much as 20% and decreased their fatigue by 65% after starting to do 20 minutes of low-intensity exercise three times a week (daily is even better!).
Your office party was last night, but you have to work this morning as usual.
WHAT WILL HELP: After you take your nice warm shower, give yourself a 30-second splash of cold water. Once the initial shock wears off. you’ll get an invigorating burst of energy as blood flows from the surface of your body toward your core to conserve heat, kicking your circulation into gear. Bonus: An arctic blast may help your mood. One study found that the icy temps encouraged the release of endorphins, which could have an antidepressant effect.
YOUR SISTER’S HUSBAND LOVES TO PICK POLITICAL FIGHTS WITH YOU OVER DINNER. THIS YEAR, YOU JUST CAN’T.
WHAT WILL HELP: This breathing technique can help you feel sharper so you’ll more than hold your own: Press your left nostril with your finger and breathe in through your right nostril. This stimulates blood and oxygen flow to the left side of the brain, which can awaken the brain’s verbal and critical-thinking centers, says Fiona Gupta, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.
Your peppermint mocha isn’t pepping you up the way it used to.
WHAT WILL HELP: If you’re drinking more cups of it or a larger size than normal, the caffeine may be keeping you up at night, making the next day worse. Keep in mind that a Starbucks Venti (20 oz) has two to four times the caffeine in an 8-oz home brew.
ALL THAT TRAVEL AND LUGGAGE SCHLEPPING HAS WIPED YOU OUT.
WHAT WILL HELP: Sitting in a car or plane and carrying heavy bags can lead to muscle tension, which can sap your vigor. “I recommend yoga poses that lengthen overactive, tight muscles in the back, sides, and chest,” says Dana Santas, a yoga coach and consultant for elite athletes. Try this one: Lie flat on your back, then bring your right knee toward your chest. Next, place your left hand on the outside of your right leg and gently rotate to the left. Without forcing it, allow your knee to fall to the left while reaching your right arm out to the right. Hold for five breaths. Release and repeat on the other side.
There’s no time for a nap before you take your kiddos to see The Nutcracker.
WHAT WILL HELP: Stand for a few minutes in front of a bright desk lamp or go outside for a shot of natural light. “Light is a lot like food,” explains Norman Rosenthal, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. You can go only so long without eating before you poop out. Similarly, “with light, when you’re feeling slumpy, you get a boost,” he says.
There’s so much drama in the world that it’s exhausting.
WHAT WILL HELP: Turn off the news and watch a goofy Christmas movie. Bad news can activate areas in the brain that are related to the stress-response system–not a setup for a peaceful night or a peppy tomorrow.
Scrooge-like people are a morale drain.
WHAT WILL HELP: Do something considerate, which can give you a bump and wipe away energy-sapping stress. Let a person with only one item go in front of you at the grocery store, or break up the ice in front of an elderly neighbor’s house.
YOU’VE GOT HEAPS OF WRAPPING TO GO, AND YOU’RE FLAGGING.
WHAT WILL HELP: Stand and stretch, then check your seated posture when you get back to work. Sit up straight with both feet on the ground. Scientists at San Francisco State University confirm that maintaining an upright posture may rev you up.
DRINK MORE TO STAY JUICED
Cold temps, dry indoor mall air, or too much wine can lead to dehydration, which can make you feel blah. Calculate how much water You need to beat the drag.
Your weight (in pounds): [down arrow]  Divided by 2.2 = Multiply that number, Depending on your age (Younger than 30)  x 40 =  (Between 30 and 55)  x 35 =  (Older than 55)  x 30 =  Divide that by 28.3 to find how many ounces of [H.sub.2]O you should have per day. = 
IDENTIFY ENERGY SUCKERS
We love our extended families and friends–truly, we do! But there are those who lift us up and those who–well, suck the spark right out of us without meaning to. Take this mini quiz to figure out whom you can handle only in small doses so you can keep those relationships positive.
Your bond seems to be happy and healthy–this person adds to your energy.
Invite her for a meal (not an overnight) for ideal face time.
This person can be draining–hang out in a group or wait until January.
AGREE [right arrow] DISAGREE I'm excited to pick up the phone when this person calls to catch up.    I feel relaxed during    our get-together I am 100% myself    around him or her. We put equal effort into    our relationship.