One byproduct of our busy lives is often a feeling of tiredness and a lack of energy to complete everyday tasks. We find ourselves stretched too thin and unable to keep up with it all. If we search the Internet for ideas on how we can get more energy, we come across lots of articles that remind us to drink water, exercise, eat our veggies and cut out junk food. Of course, all of these things are important and most of us already know about them. It doesn’t mean we are actually doing it, but we understand the concept. There are however, other basic things which zap our energy of which we are often completely unaware.1) Pressing snooze. As tempting as it might be to press snooze once, twice or even three times in the morning before getting out of bed, resist, resist, resist. You set your alarm before bed and your fully awake self made a decision about what time you needed/wanted to get up. Do you really want your half asleep self to change that at the last minute? The problem with pushing the sleep button is that it really doesn’t give any extra useful sleep. All it does is reduce the amount of time we have to get ready and we leave the house feeling rushed and stressed before the day has even begun.
2) Not making the bed. Sometimes the last thing we feel like doing in the morning is making the bed. I suggest that it should actually be the first thing done. We often have the idea in our heads that making the bed takes a long time but the normal everyday task of making the bed takes surprising little time at all. Don’t believe me? I challenge you to time yourself. Upon returning home at the end of a busy day, think how good going into a neat, tidy bedroom makes you feel compared to a messy one. It’s like giving yourself a little present and it takes less than 2 minutes.
3) Not doing the evening dishes. Leaving a sink of dirty dishes overnight can be a huge energy drainer. You want to feel refreshed when you wake up, to have time to make a nice breakfast, do a little gentle exercise, meditate, play with the dog, whatever would make the start of your day great. You don’t need to wake up to be greeted by a pile of work leftover from the day before. Make it a routine to do the dishes every night before bed and feel much better in the morning.
4) Doing nothing. As nice as it might seem to sit around and ‘rest’ on a day when you wake up tired, it’s probably the worst thing you can do. How many times have you heard someone say- ‘I’m really tired and I haven’t done anything’? I certainly notice that when I spend the day doing nothing I end up feeling washed out, tired and apathetic. If, on the other hand, I get up and about and start doing something, anything, I feel so much better.
5) Using electronic devices immediately before bed. There are a couple of reasons why this is not a good idea. Firstly, the light from the screen messes with your circadian rhythms and can make you feel alert when you need to be getting ready to sleep. Secondly, the mental stimulation that occurs when you read that last work email, look at that sad story on Facebook or just catch the end of that TV show, can keep your mind churning and make for a very restless night. More on this here.
6) Not putting things back where they belong. Taking the time to put things away when you have finished with them will take less energy than just putting stuff down anywhere and then having to tidy it all up later. Being surrounded by mess is a huge energy drain. It leaves us thinking about the cleaning up we have to do sometime in the future and we feel tired just thinking about it. A rule of thumb is that if it takes less than two minutes, do it straight away.
7) Wearing sloppy clothes. Yes, sometimes it’s nice to put on a comfy pair of track pants and a sloppy top and take the time to relax. If this is your intention, go for it. If however, you actually need to achieve something in the day, taking the time to get properly dressed will give you energy, whereas sloppy clothes will drain it. If you are feeling tired, putting on something bright and cheerful and taking a few minutes to care about your appearance will make you feel so much better.
So next time you are feeling tired, drink your water, cut out the junk food, eat your veggies and then try out some of the ideas above. You might just find a little bit of extra energy that won’t simply get you through the day, but will help you to enjoy it too.