Energy

by Sean Cox

energyWithout energy, nothing happens.  We need energy to move our limbs and to “move” our brains—to THINK and to ACT.

When we’re sufficiently energized, with fuel in our tanks, life goes much better. Our thinking is sharp and clear, and our actions are meaningful and productive.

Too often, though, we’re “running on empty”.

Getting through the day and then through the week with enough fuel doesn’t happen by accident, but is the direct result of practicing some smart habits that energize us (and keeping those dumb habits that drain us to a minimum).

You are exactly like your cell phone in this regard. If you don’t plug your phone in to recharge, everyday, it’ll stop working, plain and simple.

But while this is obvious when it comes to cell phones, too many ignore this need to recharge when it comes to themselves personally.

So then, I want you to take a minute and consider your charge-drain-recharge cycle. You’re plugging your phone in, are you plugging yourself in?  And what are you plugging yourself into?

It’s crucial that we become good at living in balance and skillfully manage our energy—developing a GOOD RHYTHM of charge-drain-recharge.

If you’ve been struggling with low energy, there are 2 possible solutions:

1) put limits and boundaries on the things (and people) that drain you.

2) increase connection to the things that energize you.

When we’re struggling with low energy, it always, always, ALWAYS gets down to adjusting one of these two things, and it’s usually a mix of doing both.

The following are some QUICK TIPS to recharge your battery, in no particular order. I’m primarily focusing on category #2--connecting to things that energize you.

EXERCISE. You don’t need to be an athlete or even athletic.  Just get out there and move your body!  And for goodness sake you don’t need a gym membership!  Believe it or not, fancy-shmancy gyms haven’t existed for most of history, yet people somehow figured out how to exercise and be physically strong.  Begin with walking, if that’s where you’re at.  Just do it consistently, whatever you do.

By the way, many don’t understand why in the world they should exercise when they’re already so tired. Here’s the reason:  when you “push” your body and challenge it in healthy ways, your body has to adjust and adapt to deal with the new challenge. It does this by creating MORE ENERGY.  So, even though getting started with exercise may be extremely difficult for you, in the long run you’ll have a ton more energy because of it!

SLEEP. Good sleep hygiene is a must.  And you need to sleep deeply—gotta go completely through your REM cycles, and ideally not wake up in the morning in the middle of your REM cycle (or you’ll be sleepy). And if you have this luxury, a "power nap" of 20 minutes in the middle of the day goes a long way!

OPTIMISM. Negative thinking is draining.

TAKE BREAKS. When at work, don’t allow 90 minutes to go by without some kind of break, away from your desk (if you have a desk job).

GET CLOSURE. Complete unfinished tasks.  Solve unsolved problems.  Grieve and let go of life’s losses and move on in wholeness.  Just like your computer—having all those “open windows” on your desktop (and in your brain) uses up valuable RAM space and in some way drains your battery.  Close the window and “delete the file” as soon as you can.

NUTRITION. Why put cheap gas in a high-performance race car?  Of course you wouldn’t.  Why put crap into your body?  Well, because it tastes good and feels  good (temporarily).  Go ahead, enjoy the junk!  Seriously. But put limits on it.  And if you consistently eat well, you’ll have more energy, and your body will be able to absorb you’re occasional junk-binges.

DE-STRESS. Track your stress regularly, and don’t allow it to build up too much before you proactively do something to bring it back down to “low/no” stress.

BREATHE. Practice deep breathing, regularly.

SABBATH. Part of the Judeo-Christian tradition that is all-but lost in our contemporary, activity-crazed, over-stimulated, secular culture.  But you don’t need to be Christian or Jewish to at least appreciate the concept and principle of REST.  True rest.  Are you really resting? Or just inactive? There’s more to rest than being inactive.  Your rest needs to energize you, or it’s not rest.

ONE FINAL NOTE: There are some who suffer from chronic low energy due to physical/biological/hormonal problems.  For these dear folks, they may need medical attention.  The things I’ve listed, though, will be part of the treatment plan anyway!  But if you think you need to see a doctor, please go.

For the rest of you, develop an energy management program for yourself, paying attention to recharging your battery on a daily and weekly basis.

Your quality of life depends on it!

I’m Sean Cox,

I write these articles to provoke you to look at your life--to consider where you currently are and where you could be in the future. I want you to break free from the status quo, pursue your potential, and become a razor-sharp asset.

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