Are you feeling exhausted?
Tough love time.
You feel tired because you are not creating the energy you need in your life.
And I can say that, because I have been there. Taking responsibility for my physical, mental and emotional energy was the best thing I have done, and also a hard thing to do. I was so easy to tell the story of 'I'm just so busy, no one understands how busy I am', without realising I had to do the work to create the energy I need.
We're going to talk about creating physical and mental energy fairly separately, but the two do intertwine. Here's how to do it:
1. Create physical energy by MOVING.
You gotta prioritise exercise and working out. When I upped my workouts to 5-6 times a week, my energy soared. It is a lie that you tell yourself when you say 'I'm too tired to exercise'. Increasing your fitness improves your energy levels - it gave me a completely different experience of life. Yes it's hard, yes it's uncomfortable, but is it worth it - definitely. It will give you a mental boost straight away, as well as looking after your mental health longer term. If you want to get creative, productive, vibrant, enthusiastic, happy, then you need to prioritise exercising. Take the plunge.
2. Bring the JOY.
Your mental and emotional energy does not have to just happen to you. You don't have to be at the mercy of a miserable day, or a terrible night's sleep. Start being intentional with the energy you bring to each situation and activity in your day. Take more notice of the way you show up; when you come back in from work, what do you want to bring to your kids? When you enter a meeting, what do you want the vibes of that meeting to be? You could journal about it, or condense it down into a few words to describe the energy you want to bring. This week, I've focused on grateful, patient, relaxed and playful. Take just two more seconds about your day, and FEEL the moments. Feel grateful that these moments in your day, and fewer will pass you by. You'll stop feeling like you're going through the motions.
3. Gateway decisions
Take some of the mental load off your day and week by making one decision that affects all the ones later down the line. Examples of this might be choosing to get an online food shop delivered, food prep, choosing smaller plates and bowls, setting up a bedtime routine, sorting out your workout gear the day before. It starts to reduce decision fatigue, reduces the stress of future decisions and helps you make choices that better suit your long term goals. It means you already have the food in the house to support a healthy body, the routine to support better sleep etc. I think of these as 'looking after my future self'!
4. Listen to your body's cues
Notice what gives you an expansive, exciting joyful feeling. You body is great at giving you these cues if you'll listen to them. It really does have your best interests at heart! We tend to tune more into the negative cues - what feels draining, stressful, and like it sucks the life out of us. It's so important to realise what makes us feel a little bit more alive though. Excited. Enthusiastic. Playful. Connect to those emotions more, and it's hard not to have more positive energy in your life. If you can't cut out the negative stressors, can you find the small positives in them, change your perspective on them or minimise their effects a little e.g. if you have a colleague that is constantly complaining and really drains you, can you maybe decide which activities you do with them, or how long you spend with them?
5. Say no
Sorry, people pleasers. Saying no is so hard, I know. It's hard when we feel like we might miss out, or we might disappoint someone. It's very easy to over-commit ourselves, and often we get out future selves into trouble by saying yes to too many commitments, or saying yes to stuff we don't actually want to do. One prompt that I find helpful is - whenever someone asks me to do something, I ask myself, would I want to do this activity in the next couple of days? By making the consequences more immediate, it's easier to tell whether or not you actually want to do what it is that person is asking.
Step up and CREATE the energy you need in your life. You are not a victim in your life, you are the architect. And realising that gives you so much freedom; it's indescribable.