Energizing Your Year with Healthy Choices
4 min read
Energy Management over Time Management: Inviting More Energy into Your LifeWe live in a high-speed, rapid-fire world when it comes to work and expectations. Terms and phrases like 24/7, burning the candle at both ends, obsessed, and overwhelmed are not used as words to describe insanity, but to characterize our daily lives. We fuel ourselves on caffeine, slow ourselves down with alcohol or starchy foods, give up sleep to our busy schedules, and take sleeping pills to ‘catch up’ on sleep. We are constantly connected digitally, but we never have the energy to truly connect with those around us. We rush, we hurry, we are wired up, but melting down. We are often too overwhelmed to slow down, reflect and connect. This is how you one day seem to never have enough energy, or worse, become burnt out.
To effectively reenergize the way you work and live, shift your focus from forcing yourself to get more work done to showing up as better YOU. It starts with taking responsibility for the energy-depleting behaviors you currently have. It is not news to most that nutrition, activity level, sleep, stress, and emotions all have an impact on energy levels.
To overcome this vicious cycle and survive in today’s world, you must begin to assess and improve your energy management.
This is the reason setting lofty goals at the beginning of the year so often fail. Defined in physics as the capacity to work, energy comes from the multiple components of health: the body, the mind, and the spirit. In each area, energy can be enhanced and regularly renewed by establishing healthy behaviors that are done consistently and daily. The goal of these behaviors is for them to become unconscious and automatic, truly a part of your routine.
The real question for so many: Where do I find the energy to make changes to numerous or all areas of my life if I am already depleted?
Begin your shift to a more energized year, by first assessing all areas of your life and identifying what is robbing your energy most. You are likely aware of what needs most attention or improvement in your life. But there is something powerful about seeing it all at one time. Not sleeping well, having no energy for your relationships, drinking at night, working through meals, feeling angry or anxious all the time and not having any energy for exercise is not an uncommon picture for many busy workers today. Seeing all this on one side of the scale and your energy level on the other is how you should begin to look at your life balance. Just start with the small steps you can, because you want to gain the energy you need to make these lasting changes.
Energy Management for the Body:The body naturally works in cycles throughout the day where energy and mental focus is at its highest and gradually begins to dip. Hunger, yawning and inability to concentrate are signals to these naturally occurring downward phase of these cycles. Instead of plowing through, grabbing more caffeine or sugary foods, try a short break. Intermittent breaks for renewal throughout the day should be carefully planned, preferably every 90-120 minutes. You must truly disconnect and give the body and mind a break if you want to better manage energy. Go for a walk, stretch, go up and down the stairs a few times or practice some breathing exercises. You can get a great deal of recovery in just a few minutes. A regular exercise plan is so supportive to an energized life. This should be your ultimate goal but starting with these regular restorative work breaks is nonnegotiable. You need to start there!
How well are you managing your emotions and your stress? This is another area that is tough to battle if you are exhausted and sleep deprived. Our advice for this area is to take your sleep and rest more seriously. There is nothing more restorative and energizing than a good night’s sleep. For one person this may mean giving up snacks, nicotine, or alcohol at night. For another it may be putting away devices an hour before bedtime. Relate it to how well you want to manage your mental health the next day and the motivation and shift will gradually happen.
Energy Management for the Mind:
When you can take more control of your emotions, you can improve the quality of your energy, regardless of what stress you are faced with. What will give you a more positive mindset? Most people realize that they tend to perform best when they’re feeling positive energy. The key here is to establish what that means for you. What emotions do you need to better deal with, what people do you need to surround yourself with and what daily rituals will improve your spiritual well-being. Just a few minutes a day dedicated to mediation, journaling, deep breathing or reflection can begin a meaningful shift in a higher energy direction.
Energy Management for the Soul:
All year long, we encourage you to keep challenging yourself with this powerful question: what is nourishing me in my life and what is weighing me down? Let go of the added weight of energy depleting habits and breath in new revitalizing energy this year.