For many of us, experiencing exhaustion is par for the course. We think nothing of downing energy drinks, tethering ourselves to a steady drip of coffee, and yawning like there’s no tomorrow.
However, we forget that fatigue is not a regular, healthy state of being. Fancy that! Once we wrap our minds around this simple concept, we can begin to assess our energy levels and make some much-needed adjustments.
Eat, Drink, Breathe, Repeat
When we’re busy, we tend to forgo our basic needs; namely, fueling the body and keeping it alert and well-nourished. How can we expect our bodies to go, go, go when we give them so little to go on? The body gives off plenty of signals that the fuel meter is dipping into the red–we just need to listen.
Eating when we’re hungry is a good start, and skipping meals is a practice that should be taken off the table completely (no pun intended). And breathing? Breath is the very essence of life! The more deep breaths we take, the more vitality we infuse into our minds and bodies. The same goes for water–staying plenty hydrated throughout the day does more for us than a shot of espresso (with no jitters, to boot).
If you feel as if you’re too busy or distracted to eat, breathe, or whatever it may be, reminders are a godsend. Stick a few post-its in your office with deep-breath reminders, or download a great breathing app–there are tons! Scatter healthy, energy-boosting snacks in plain sight, too, to keep that fuel going.
Get Enough Sleep
This may seem like another no-brainer, or something your mother might nag you about. However, man cannot exist on four hours of sleep alone. Although we may not get the chance to sleep to our heart’s content every day of the week, we can take measures to ensure that the sleep we do catch is effective, replenishing, and restorative.
There are various apps and gadgets available that let you know how much quality sleep you’re getting. Or, you can opt for the tried and true method–simply determining whether you feel well rested when you wake up. If you’re not prone to rising with a smile on your face and a song in your heart, you may be spending your sleeping hours tossing and turning instead of resting.
The best solution is often the most simple. In order to get enough rest, first make sure that you’re giving yourself enough time and space for it. Keep your sleeping area free of distraction by eliminating as many screens as possible. If it can wait until tomorrow, let it! Recognise your bedroom for what it is–a place of rest.
Second, make sure that the lights go off at your designated bedtime. Although reading or watching TV is a great way to unwind, don’t count those leisure activities towards your sleep time. Eight hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep seems to be the golden number, but observe your cycles and energy level throughout the day to determine what works best for you.
Mind over Matter
“I’m so tired!” We utter these words without thinking twice. Heard around water coolers, the grocery store, and the kitchen table, none of us are shy about voicing our weary woes.
Well, as we know by now, we are what we think. When we’re constantly reminding ourselves of how tired we are, guess what? We become more of what we so desperately want to overcome. Tired! Become more mindful of what you’re saying and thinking, and strive to keep things a little lighter.
If your thoughts keep tiptoeing into exhaustion, that’s okay–simply replace the negatives with positives. Try an affirmation such as “I’m going to sleep beautifully tonight,” or “I’m looking forward to deep relaxation.” In addition, you can even boost your energy using intention. Sit up straight, open your eyes a bit wider, take a deep breath, and feel revitalizing energy flow through you.
Energy isn’t a luxury–it’s something that’s available to each and every one of us. Through mindful practices and a more positive outlook, we can allow exhaustion to pass through us and energy to infuse us!