When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.Paulo Coelho
It doesn’t matter how lucky you are or how much money you have. If you’re constantly tired and feeling run down, a million dollars in your pocket or a hot date won’t make you any happier.
Have you ever noticed how when you’re doggone tired, things you normally enjoy make you drag your feet? Going out to your favorite indoor rockclimbing gym, grabbing a bite to eat with your best friend, or even taking your dog out for a walk after work can all be a drag.
Energy is everything.
Did you know that 1 out of 25 drivers actually report falling asleep at the wheel?
6,000 people die every year from drowsy driving!
Increasing energy levels is more important than meeting goals, doing happier tasks, or giving back to your community. Because without vitality, nothing else matters and all motivation, legacy, and your why all goes out the window.
In order to increase energy, we can take a very simple approach: figure out why you have low energy in the first place, and replenish, replenish, replenish.
So, what are some reasons why you may be running low on energy?
Ultimately, there are three reasons why:
- lack of rest
- lack of health & balance
Let’s focus on what you can do now to get your energy back and recharge your batteries.
Here are quick and easy ways to address any of the three reasons for your energy drains:
- intense music: on average, a song is approximately 3 minutes long. Pull out your phone, pull up your favorite, most upbeat song, and jump up and down (at least bob your head along if you don’t want crazy stares).
- meditation: all you need is 10 minutes. That’s .7% of your day! Investing in less than 1% of your day leads to deep relaxation, stress relief, mental clarity, increased performance, and increase in creative thinking as well as feelings of bliss.
- short exercise: you don’t need to spend 1+ hours at the gym to see results in energy levels. Doing short bursts of exercise requires nothing but your body (and a small space – a cubicle works!): 3 sets of 15 pushups, 40 jumping jacks, 3 sets of 15 squats… even bouncing up and down in the same space as if you’re on a trampoline works!
- play pretend: something a lot of us don’t know is that our minds and bodies are so intricately connected in ways we have yet to learn. Whereas traditional psychology will tell us that our emotions control our bodies, the opposite is actually much stronger in connection – our bodies control our minds (hence, Amy Cuddy’s research on body postures). Take a second to pretend you just won first place in the Olympics 100-meter sprint – see it, feel it, hear it all. Notice what happens to your physical state when you can place yourself in the moment of an experience that you’d feel absolutely alive in.
- cuddle: hugging someone for 20 seconds floods your body with a feel-good hormone called oxytocin.
- sleep more: you should be waking up before your alarm. If you find yourself constantly waking up to your alarm, it means you’re not getting enough sleep. You should aim to sleep +/-7 hours of sleep per night. But take baby steps: all you have to do is add 15 minutes of extra sleep per week until you reach your goal (anyone can adjust sleep schedules by 15 minutes!).
- sleep better: did you know… a staggering 71% of Americans go to sleep with their phones?! 35% of us reach for our phones first-thing when we open our eyes. Not the best news to hear, especially when we think about the quality of our sleep. Our phones emit a blue light that inhibits the release of melatonin – which results in difficulty of falling asleep and staying asleep. If you can’t bear to be apart from your phone (or tablets/laptops) more than an hour before sleeping, you can download apps that reduce the amount of blue light that come from our gadgets.
- afternoon recharge: there is nothing I love more in the afternoon than an afternoon nap. I also know that there were times in the past that I would put my head down for a nap and only feel like I was hit by a two-ton truck upon waking up. If you want to charge your batteries quick (much more efficient than an afternoon coffee), set your alarm for 15 minutes, and place your head down. If you do it right, it’ll feel like you just barely closed your eyes when your alarm goes off. And it’ll feel oh-so-good when you get up and move around.
physical health and balance
- nutrition: did you know that bananas beat sports drinks 100% when it comes to maintaining energy and sports recovery? Aim to add one small thing (low-glycemic foods) to your day that you may not otherwise: fruit, nuts, non-starchy vegetables. One small blueberry or strawberry counts in my book! You’ll see that the more often you add just one small thing to your day, the more you’ll crave high-vibe foods that energize you.
- water: drink more water. I found that it’s hard to do when I have a coffee in my hand (of course I’d rather sip on my coffee than water!). A bona-fide rule I have in place to help me drink more water? Before I can drink any coffee, I chug a whole glass of water. Whenever I get up from my seat, I’ll make sure to drink some water. You can make a connection too – find something you tend to do once every hour or so. Put up a post-it note where you can see it; for example, you can create a post-it that says EMAIL = WATER. Every time you check email, chug some water.
*If (after working on all three areas) you can’t seem to recharge your batteries, it might be time to see your physician as it can indicate:
- vitamin deficiency
- anxiety and/or depression
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- heart disease
- under-active thyroid
Live with intention. Lead with inspiration.