Ways To Maintain Your Energy
Updated: Jan 11
The majority of people that I speak to feel tired, drained and/or stressed all the time. In fact, in the UK last year, it was reported that 1 in 14 adults were stressed every single day. 79% of adults have reported to feel stressed at least once a month. We are literally in a mental health crisis, not just in the UK but globally. And the thing is, feeling stressed/drained/tired all the time has become normalised in our culture and even respected sometimes as it is a sign that you are a hard worker and you are willing to push through the extra mile to get things done.
This is not normal!
We should feel like we have a constant stream of energy on a daily basis and have a good work-life balance. We should feel like we give the best of ourselves to our loved ones and we should feel like we are in a consistent state of wellbeing.
Your energy is important. Without a constant stream of energy, you cannot function. Living and working on low energy will not only damage your health mentally and physically but it will also affect your home life, social life and your own happiness. Low energy alone will cause unnecessary stress in your life, leaving you feeling drained and tired all the time.
You can change the way you feel though and maintain your energy levels quite easily through little daily acts of self-care and small changes to your everyday routine which will help you to have a steady stream of energy, consistent moods and more happiness in your daily life.
First - what is self-care?
Self-care is the actual practise of doing something to take care of yourself and preserving yourself. Self-care is doing anything that makes you feel good and this should be done on a regular basis. Normally, we self-care as a way to heal ourselves after we have pushed ourselves too far and are feeling bad physically and mentally. But what we don’t realise is that we can actually self-care and include things that feel good in our daily routine to prevent us from feeling bad in the first place. Self-care isn’t just having a nice bath every once in a while it is also doing small things in your daily routine which make your life easier, more enjoyable and makes you happier - giving you a constant state of wellbeing which is your ideal state of being. Selfcare doesn’t need to be massive changes in your life, it can be the tiny things which you can include into your daily life as you'll see below. Here are some ways you can practise self-care physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to manage your energy on a daily basis:
Have a slow and mindful wake up routine
It’s important to wake up slowly, mindfully and in your own time. If you wake up with a start and you are racing around trying to get ready, guess what, your day will follow in this way and you’ll unnecessarily lose a ton of energy. If you begin slowly, mindfully and you give yourself plenty of time, your day will follow in this way. Start your day right by giving yourself a little bit of time to prepare for the day ahead. I like to get up 15 minutes earlier than I need to, it gives me the time and space I need to get myself prepared whilst giving me the feeling of having plenty of time so I'm not rushing around.
Healthy Eating habits
Consuming mood altering substances such as sugars, caffeine, alcohol etc will create highs and lows in your energy levels and your mood throughout the day so make sure that if you are consuming these, you eat/drink at a time which isn’t going to affect your productivity. If you are planning a productive afternoon, the last thing you want is lots of sugar in the morning so you crash in the afternoon, leaving you with no energy!
Also, keep an eye on your eating times. A lot of us tend to wake up in the middle of the night and one of the reasons why is digestion. Because we eat so late, our bodies are busy digesting the food we have eaten so we toss and turn or get hotter in the night which causes us to wake up. Try having larger meals earlier in the day so you don’t get a disturbed sleep and have something small to eat in the evenings like fruit or nuts. Also, plan your tasks around your eating times. You are not going to be productive straight after having a big lunch!
Exercise throughout the day
You can do a short lunch time walk, practise yoga or a session at the gym to really get your energy moving and those happy hormones released. Plus, you can work off any excess stress you have built up so it’ll help you sleep better too. Also, exercising in nature is a bonus - you get all the benefits of exercise and being outside in nature and the sunshine too, so you get added feel good hormones and a extra few vitamins too!
Have a wind down routine
To make sure you sleep the best you can and maintain your energy levels, wind down at least 2 hours before you go to sleep. Or if you have children, the family should wind down 2 hours before your youngest child goes to bed. Turn the lights down, reduce your time with technology and begin shutting the body down ready for rest. A well rested sleep follows a well rested wind down.
What goes on in your mind has a big impact your energy. Even though it feels like you are just using your mind, you are using a lot of energy to think. Thinking also has an impact on your body. For example if you are thinking negative thoughts, your body will tense. And if you are thinking negative thoughts for a whole day, then your body has been tense for a whole day. Think about how much energy you are wasting doing this! Giving the mind space and a positive environment, saves energy, your body will be more relaxed and as a result you will be more relaxed and happier.
Take frequent guilt free breaks...
...to maintain your energy levels. Even just for 5-10 mins between tasks/meetings.
Add a little bit of mindfulness to your day
Mindfulness is known to be meditation but it isn’t just about meditating - obviously if that’s what you want to do, that’s great, but essentially it’s about giving your mind space and being the present moment. Aside from meditation, you can also do this by doing meditative exercises like yoga or tai chi, or mindfulness exercises which will bring you back into the present moment. Or, simply just completely focussing on 1 task at a time will also do the trick. It’s about finding something which brings you back into the moment and clears your mind so you have more energy.
Keeping a positive mindset
A positive mindset takes discipline. As humans, we are drawn to negativity, whether it be negative news or negative feedback or a bit of drama. But choosing to be in a good and positive mood will increase your energy levels and everyone else’s around you. Your energy is contagious - choose it wisely.
Finding little joys in every day
Finding or doing something which brings you joy every single day. This inspires gratefulness and feelings of happiness.
Creating a better work-life balance
We work to live not the other way around. So make time for your other priorities in your life and don’t take yourself or life too seriously.
Similar to negative thoughts, negative emotions or suppressed emotions can take up a lot of energy within your day.
Accepting and managing your emotions
As hard as it may be, especially with negative emotions, we need to accept and process the way we feel - whether we like it or not, or whether we agree with them or not. That’s the way we feel. And that’s OK. To process your emotions in a healthy way, first recognise the way you feel and then understand why you feel this way - shed a light on it. I always find that doing this, makes the emotion less scary and it loses its power over me. Then just sit with the feeling and express it if you need to by crying, talking to a loved one or journaling to name a few. Then, allow the emotion to sit whilst you do something else that makes you happy - I like watching comedy or walking in nature. And your emotion will naturally disappear in time.
Cut down on overthinking
Schedule worry breaks where you allow yourself to worry for 30 minutes per day and then move on to another task. Journal and write out your worries, talk to a loved one or practise mindfulness.
Keep an eye out for those emotional triggers
If you know what triggers you - whether it be certain circumstances or other people’s behaviour, take a step back, breathe, know that you have been triggered and allow yourself to settle before you react.
Stay away from drama
Manage your Anxiety
Anxiety disorders or the number of people feeling anxious unnecessarily is on the increase. If you feel anxious, know that anxiety is just another emotion - albeit a negative one. Negative emotions are nothing to fear, even though they may feel overwhelming and unpleasant. Take away the power of the emotions by recognising and processing it like other emotions.
Stop Talking Bad About Yourself!
Stop giving yourself a hard time. Stop making negative comments about yourself when you do something wrong. Stop the negative commentary in your mind because you are listening. Be kind to yourself, just like you would a friend and show yourself compassion.
Keeping on top of your emotions, particularly the negative ones, allows you to have consistent energy levels throughout the day which means you are calmer and more relaxed.
Find your higher purpose - your why
Finding why you do what you do for a living and your purpose will give you motivation, a reason to get up in the morning. It gives you direction, a purpose and a common goal to achieve. It gives you a sense of belonging and a deeper happiness. And if you know your purpose, you know your why and you are motivated - Guess what - you’ll be full of passion, and enthusiasm and you guessed it - energy! Your purpose could be anything - job related, goal related, family related, literally anything. My purpose it to help others.
The key to being less tired is to take care of yourself and preserve your energy. Put yourself and your energy first. Only then can you give your energy to other people and other pursuits.
I hope this helps,