How to Have More Energy in Your Tank on a Daily Basis
Do you end each day drained? Are you wondering why you are so tired and reaching for the caffeine each afternoon? Do you wish you had more energy? Each one of us only has so much energy. This precious resource depletes as we spend it on chores, work, social interactions, and other daily activities.
For each of us, our energy levels are going to be unique. While one person may jump out of bed in the morning, others may struggle to get moving. Some people may feel reenergized after cooking and view it as a favorite hobby, while others may dread this activity.
What is true of all of us is the desire for more energy. We want to be able to spend time with our loved ones, do our necessary work, and get through the day without struggling to keep our eyes open or our spirits lifted. There are two ways in which we can cultivate our fiercest energy for life — by utilizing our energy more strategically or by recharging our energy more frequently and fully. Both of these methods can be used to spur our energy. First let’s talk about using our energy more thoughtfully.
How to Strategically Use Your Energy
Take note of how you’re using your energy
Think deeply about how you spend your energy. Do you even know? Think about setting random alarms on your phone as a reminder to take note of how you’re spending your energy at that moment. This includes tangible tasks such as doing the laundry as well as intangible tasks like thinking about bills.
I suggest doing this because once you start noticing how you spend your energy, you might make changes to your routine or habits to better suit your needs. Perhaps you never noticed how much time you spent worrying about circumstances beyond your control, and how once you are able to let go of those fears how much more energy you have!
Plan out how you’re going to use your energy
Planning your time is incredibly helpful for ensuring you spend your energy on what matters most. Guard your schedule. If making a regular yoga class is important to you, put that into your schedule and stick to it. Prioritizing activities will mean that you spend less time on energy-draining tasks.
The same process works for intangible tasks as well. Prioritize healthy, productive thinking over circular and negative thoughts. Focusing on slights or gossip is a surefire way to drain your energy, while taking the time to appreciate things you’re grateful for each day is incredibly valuable.
Avoid energy drains
Have you set alarms to notice how you are spending your energy throughout the day? Have you started to notice energy drains? Certain tasks or thoughts are black holes that suck in your time and energy.
Start avoiding these black holes whenever possible. If you know that turning on the TV on a weeknight turns into three hours of mindless channel surfing, plan a different activity that brings you more joy. If you notice that every time you think of a certain person, your mind goes to worse and worse thoughts, do your best to not give that person your mental space. These black holes are often bad habits, but once you step away from them you are leaving more room in your life for more energy and happiness.
How to Fill Your Energy Tank
Now that we’ve considered strategic ways to expend our energy, it’s time to consider how we can recharge.
Exercise is good for the body and the mind. Regular exercise will help recharge your energy and give you the capacity to enjoy the rest of your time more. Some form of exercise (you know my favorite...yoga!) should be part of your routine. It can strengthen your body, help your mental health, improve sleep, and even better your mood.
Although it takes energy to exercise and can be difficult for some people to start the habit of regular movement, exercise actually increases the body’s production of endorphins (hormones that make us feel good) and can give you energy to complete other tasks.
Make sure you get enough sleep
How much sleep do you get each evening? Oftentimes with work, school, or raising kids, sleep gets put on the back burner. Many people struggle to get near the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night. However, sleep is an important recharging time period for our body and our mind. Any issues that we have are only worsened by lack of sleep.
Getting good sleep is about quantity and quality. While it’s important to get several hours of sleep a night, somewhere between seven and nine, it’s just as crucial that those hours are filled with restful sleep. If you wake up throughout the evening, you are not going to be rested for the day ahead.
Are you one of the many Americans to struggle with quality sleep? There are many factors to poor sleep quality, but there are several things you can do to try to improve your sleep. Try making lifestyle changes such as incorporating meditation, getting regular exercise, and eating a well-balanced diet. All of these things can help you feel better during the day and get better sleep at night. Also try to cut out factors that reduce sleep quality such as smoking, alcohol, and caffeine.
Lastly, your environment can have a huge impact on your sleep. Try to keep your bedroom quiet (don’t fall asleep with the TV on!), cool, and dark. This is where blackout curtains can really help you get a good night’s rest.
Practice mindfulness meditation
Maybe you don’t think that you have enough time for meditation. Or can’t see how it relates to energy. I promise you, it’s important! Every person can benefit from mindfulness; it can improve your relationships, sharpen your memories and focus, put you at ease, and lower stress. By focusing and controlling your thoughts, you can be more present in the moment.
Mindfulness can disengage us from focusing on the past and/or stressing about the future (both of which drain our energy) with deep, focused breathing. This can be done as part of your ongoing yoga routine, during a walk through nature, or simply by sitting with your eyes closed. One easy way to practice mindfulness is to pick a mantra and say it repeatedly to yourself. Make sure the mantra is something that speaks to you, such as “I am enough” or “I am content”.
By practicing mindfulness meditation daily for 20 minutes, you can get more energy and peace of mind into your daily life.
Incorporate more self-care into your routine
What does self-care mean to you? I don’t mean just pedicures (although if pedicures make you feel good, by all means, indulge). Self-care is setting aside time to care for your mental and physical health in order to live your best life. By taking the time for mindfulness meditation, regular exercise, and getting good sleep, you can have more energy to live a fulfilling life.
What do you need in your life to recharge your metaphorical batteries? Is it spending time with friends, eating healthy foods that make you feel good, spending time on creative hobbies, or something else? Self-care should give you resilience to deal with everyday stressors and mental obstacles.
We all deserve time to take care of ourselves. By spending time on self-care, we will have more energy to spend on our daily activities and interactions with others.
If you’ve been hoping for more energy throughout your day, these are several ways you can prioritize spending your energy and how to recharge when you’re low. How do you restore your energy? I would love to hear!