Updated: Feb 22
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
- David Thoreau (Walden Pond)
These days it seems like life pulls us in a 100 different directions... well maybe not quite that many, but you get the point!
Everyone wants a piece of you, everyone needs something from you - and before you know it you have nothing left to give.
No energy to truly be present in your life. The people you love and care about deepest seem to be the hardest to love as by the time you make it home you are an emotionally, drained wreck.
It becomes a bit of a 'survival game'.
'I only need to survive till the weekend, next vacation, next season of life <Insert whatever you are holding out for>
... then I can rest and catch my breath'
...'Then I'll be okay'
...'Then I'll start to take care of myself'
...'I'll find my energy and joy in life'
You make it to that __________ (vacation, weekend, summer) and you are too exhausted to truly enjoy the time you were looking forward to! Before you know it, that season or weekend is over and you're thrown back into survival mode.
Well I'm here to tell you that we don't have to live like this.
I believe we are designed to live a flourishing life, despite the business and chaos we experience.
Maybe this feels like it is so far from where you are right now. It may seem like a lot has to happen or change to create this type of life; And maybe you have a point - but wherever you are I think there are little steps we can take to help us become more energized and be present in our lives instead of simply holding out for the next break. There are habits and rhythms we can create and implement that can help us towards this goal of reclaiming our lives. Over the last year or I have dived into studying these habits, both how they can help and how we can successfully implement them into our lives.
While it is true that there are so many ways to become more energized including focusing on what we fuel our bodies with (food) and our movement patterns (exercise), I wanted to focus on this concept of 'energy takers' versus 'energy makers'. (Don't worry - I have lots of knowledge on how our lifestyle habits like nutrition and movement can play into creating more energy. So if you were looking for information on that, stay tuned, it's in the works! I'm excited to share what I've learned through personal and professional experience.) Now, back to creating that energy we are all after!
Things that take energy:
There are a lot of things in our life that seem to take energy from us. Sometimes they are unavoidable, like work, but often we can take steps to try and minimize how much we engage in these habits, such as social media use. Our time and attention is one of our most valuable commodities, so I think we owe it to ourselves to pay attention to what we spend it on!
I encourage each of you to take out your journal/note-book and to spend some time reflecting on how you spend your time. The first step to creating more energy is to acknowledge where it all goes!? What steals that energy? What DO we spend the majority of our time on? So often we let time pass by passively without even realizing what we've done or how we've spent it.
First step: Jot down a list of what you spend your time on. I think awareness of what we do during a day is a great first step to identifying how we are going to tackle creating more energy throughout the day.
Next, identify 'energy-takers'. Think about what saps your energy or makes you feel drained after doing/engaging in. Then process is this something I can't change or is it something I can try to minimize/decrease.
Some examples might be:
Watching the news too often
Spending time scrolling social media feeds (Instagram, Facebook)
On the flip side, there are things we can do that will create energy!
Idea's to create more energy:
Start another list of things that make you feel good after engaging in them; that help create energy.
What helps you feel energized? What activities make you come alive? What brings joy?
Here are a few idea's that I find really help me create energy to get you started:
Time in nature - I find there is nothing like time spent in creation to refresh the soul.
Movement - for me the best way combines time in nature is in the form of a trail run. I honestly come back a different person. My husband as literally kicked me out to go do a trail run while he makes dinner because he knows it will be better for both of us (true story on multiple accounts!).
Deep breathing or a few minutes of uninterrupted rest to help move from a state of anxiousness or stress ie. our autonomic nervous system, to our other nervous system, the parasympathetic (rest & digest).
Coffee/tea date with a good friend
Phone conversation with a good friend
Time alone with no requests/things to do (creating space to simply rest)
Journaling and time spend reading the Bible.
Reading a good, inspiring book.
Making a delicious, healthy and nourishing meal, one I know both tastes good and fuels my body with all the nutrients it needs.
Those are just a few idea's! I hope my list helps stimulate your creative side and gets the idea's flowing.
Finally - if we can't get rid of the 'energy-takers' we can try to add in 'energy-makers' to create energy. If you are feeling really low on energy try to pick 1-2 items from your list above and schedule in time during your week to perform those activities (or lack of activity!). It doesn't have to be complex or long or hard - start small and build from there! The key to successfully creating more energy is in consistently prioritizing life-giving activities and minimizes those energy-takers. I know you're thinking, easier said than done!
Remember - we need to take care of ourselves in order to be our best for those in our lives we truly care about and love! They deserve our best self; not our worn out, I'm barely surviving self that we often tend to give those closest to us. If this feels overwhelming, reach out as I'd love
to chat more about strategies that may help you in your current situation.
Finally, I'd love to hear what idea's you came up with to create energy! Better yet, share with a friend and invite them into help hold you accountable. They may even thank you for kick-starting their journey to better wellness.
Here's to finding those activities and moments that spark joy, help us become more energized and honestly become a better person all-around.