Do you ever catch yourself wondering how it is that there are all these Uberhumans with their healthy looking bodies and their get up and go that hasn’t got up and gone, packing every spare moment with highly energised adventures while you hold your head in your hands and dream of spending any spare moment at the recharge station replenishing your energy that has indeed got up and gone?
The thought of having highly energised adventures might be just the ticket if only you could summon the strength to plan, never mind pursue such realities. If you do catch yourself thinking this, allow me to share another reality; YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Uberhumans do exist but the Energy Sapped Human (ESH) exists in far greater numbers. In fact they totally outweigh all those Ubers. So why don’t we hear about these numerous ESHs? Well, Uberhumans make the headlines on every social media platform day in day out because, well for starters, they have the energy to shout about their adventures whereas the ESH just wants to recover where no one can see them until they have topped up enough fuel to surface and dance the ‘Full of Beans’ dance once more.
Dr Google prescribes a myriad of solutions for the ESH condition; take a pill, change your diet, change your sleep pattern, change your life and the hardest of all; do less and all will be well. While of course there is merit in these recommendations where there are specific issues to resolve, the problem with the ESH condition is that it is complex, inconsistent and confusing, never mind frustrating beyond words, anger inducing and downright depressing.
The other biggy in all of this is if you are energy sapped the effort required to even consider any change at all is, well frankly, energy sapping.
So what’s to be done because the quick fixes, the coffee, the being even busier, the energy pills or drinks might work short term but long term you are more likely to crash and burn?
The search for energy recharge is a little like the search for happiness. The more you search and the harder you look the worse you feel.
If that’s where you are right now, I’m with you, I totally get it and this is what I have done and what you might like to try.
Take a quiet moment to reflect on the highest energy sapping activities in your life. These have to be minutely specific not waffley and generic. So for example, stating work or your children is as useful as stating living is your energy sap. You may need to keep a diary for a while to see how events, thoughts and activities make you feel wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
When I undertook this challenge what I noticed was not necessarily the effort of living itself that sapped me but the weight of my emotional response to it. For example the circling conversations in my head around the “what ifs and the if onlys” or the amount of over thinking I indulged in, or the assumptions I made. These thoughts can be infinite and only served to drain me further. I’m learning to stop that now and know when to flow with the current and not try to be the current.
Once you have your energy sapping trigger list, look ahead at your diary and note when the triggers are likely to strike. Forewarned is forearmed. Be ready by planning what you will do and when, to help reduce the energy drain gaining momentum.
Keep it simple, realistic and achievable.
Don’t over estimate what you’ll achieve or how you’ll feel, to avoid setting yourself up to fail.
Think of the whole concept as micro energy saving moments which cumulatively amount to macro energy preservation.
It’s the sum of the parts that counts here.
Doing a little a lot is the key. Start the day as you mean to go. Don’t wait until your energy is depleted then do something about it. So if you start full of beans or with at least some beans, that is the time to action your plan to retain as many of those beans as you can for as long as you can.
Here are some bean retaining tips but before you read on BE WARNED. What I have to offer may seem ineffectively small and somewhat pathetic but think of my offering as a dripping pipe in your loft. Slowly but surely as the water drips away unhindered, the effect overtime is anything but ineffectively small and pathetic.
Bean Retaining Tips
Doing a little a lot begins with a momentary pause, A PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STOP. If your first thought to this is “I don’t have time for this” just remember back to the last time you were so energy depleted that the time it took to complete something uncomplicated was significantly longer than it should have been had you not been so tired.
You need a MIND AND BODY REFRESH. If you are looking at a screen (ANY screen) MOVE AWAY FROM THAT SCREEN. If you’ve been hunched over or stood in one position for any length of time then change positon, stretch up, reach out, stride out, squat down, right where you are.
Ah Ha! I can already hear your splutterings of “I already do that and it amounts to diddly squat.” My response is “well I bet you left it until your energy was super sapped before you acted.” Remember the more energy you have the easier it is to retain.
Those who change their mental and physical focus for a short amount of time throughout the day are more likely to maintain higher energy levels compared to those who grit their teeth, head down without drawing breath until the end of the day.
This Bean Retaining Approach doesn’t work its magic overnight. You need to work out what works best for you and when. It needs to become a habit so apply as many prompts as you need to remember to do it. You’ll get it wrong at times just like me. However, like all things worth their while the worth is found in keeping on going for a while. Keep starting again until you get a glimmer of getting it right. The glimmers will grow brighter and soon you’ll feel you have a firmer foot hold.
Living with low energy levels is not ok and it can happen to the best of us. If you are one of these illusive ESHs I know you would do anything to improve it. You have to be committed to wanting to change and incorporate these mind and body refresh moments into your daily life. These tips are small but mighty over time just like the twice daily cleaning your teeth routine. However, I realise it’s not easy to make these changes but have faith in your ability even if I’ve left you thinking, “I hope she’s right”.
I am by the way.