Everyone needs a pick-me-up now and then. Coffee and energy drinks are easy fixes, but don’t forget those side effects they often bring (insomnia…upset stomach). Here are some safe, simple ways to get over the afternoon slump…

Easy, minty energizer: Having an afternoon slump? Brush your teeth! It gets you up and moving for a few minutes…and the rush of mint from the toothpaste perks you up. Having a fresh, clean mouth also can discourage you from snacking on sweets (which tends to be a not-so-great solution for fatigue).

Acupressure fatigue fighter: Energy lines directly connected to internal organs and body functions run through your earlobes. To activate this acupressure fix, use your thumbs and index fingers to rub your earlobes for about 15 seconds. It should wake up your entire nervous system.

More pressure to stay awake: If you need to stay alert and you feel like you’re about to nod off, press your elbows against your sides and press your knees together for a few seconds. Exerting pressure this way will increase your blood circulation, and you should feel more awake and responsive. This is a good energy boost at that afternoon meeting scheduled right at nap time. You may look a little odd for a moment, but then again, none of the people dozing at the meeting will notice.

Productive tea time: Another pick-me-up solution for those long meetings is to drink iced tea. Sipping anything chilly keeps your energy up, but iced tea also contains a small amount of caffeine and the amino acid theanine, which helps make the brain more alert.

Thanks to GovLoop.com and Unilever Food and Health Research Institute (in the Netherlands) for help with these tips.

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