Where Did My Energy Go?
If you are like many of us, you may be asking yourself, “What happened to that youthful energy I once had? You know – the kind you see in young children and puppies. “Oh if only I could have their energy!”
Sound familiar? It should. Society as a whole is at an energetic low – stressed out on the news cycles, their workloads, their responsibilities – all the while being taxed by less sleep and let’s face it – not so great diets.
Doesn’t ENERGY affect absolutely everything? How do you feel when you wake up and how you look at your day ahead? How you greet your spouse and kids? Your job performance? Your relationships – both personal and professional? In talking energy, I’m talking about 2 kinds – both physical energy AND mental energy. As you know, they affect each other. How do YOU feel throughout your day?
If you are dragging yourself out of bed after hitting the snooze button 2 or 3 times, then robotically getting into your day after grabbing breakfast on the go and that all important extra-large java, you have plenty of company. America really does run on caffeine! Most likely, this scenario is followed by both a mid-morning AND an afternoon slump. More coffee, please!!
In addition to the physical low you are experiencing, if you are having a hard time getting excited about the current project you are working on, your work day or are putting off, again and again, the things you know you SHOULD be doing, you are most likely experiencing a mental downer as well. You know – that little black cloud that has taken up residence right over your shoulder. What happened to that passion and joy and excitement you once felt?
Over the next four weeks, I’ll be talking about how you can make some very doable tweaks to affect how energetic you feel both physically AND mentally. And how these super simple tweaks, when done consistently, can generate the energy you crave and get you living in a more fully charged state.
How to Increase Energy:
Let’s start today with a personal assessment. How do you feel right now? In your body and in your mind?
The first step to acquiring MORE of anything or improving anything is a check-in and acknowledgment of where you are right now. Most of us are habitual ignorers. We try and power past or ignore anything that isn’t quite right.
So take a look – how are you REALLY feeling? On a scale of 1-10, if you are anything less than an 8+, let’s make our first shift right here and now.
I want you to stand up. That’s right. STAND UP! Most likely you are reading this sitting down so I invite you to take 30 seconds, stand up, take a breath and go get a glass of water (and drink it!)
Did you actually do it? Great!
What just happened? You just oxygenated your brain and hydrated your body. You interrupted a mental state that may have been stuck or even in a downward spiral. In that 30 seconds, you moved. You took action. And, your brain and body are much happier for it.
Now, can you increase that 30 seconds to 3 minutes or even 5 minutes? Could you set a timer on your phone for every 45 minutes to do just that? To interrupt whatever it is you are doing AND thinking and move up out of your chair? To stand up, breathe and take a short brisk walk whether it’s just down the hallway or outside in the fresh air briefly? And hydrate again? Yes, you can.
Then set your timer for 45 minutes and do it again.
Build Habits that Will Increase Your Energy:
If you can build this very simple hack into your everyday routine, you will be proactively taking steps to increase your energy and creativity levels just when you are about to go into a slump.
Even this small amount of action can release the feel-good chemicals in your brain. Regardless of how much sleep you had last night or your current workload. If you also dare to give yourself a pat on the back for taking action, your pleasure-seeking brain will start looking forward to your next action break.
Next time, we’ll be doing a little deeper dive into your physiology and how to use it to increase your overall energy levels. Until then – move, breathe, hydrate and re-charge!