When you’re aiming for a life that is refreshed and full, what happens if you find yourself with no energy to do the things you want to do? Once you’ve ruled out a health or medical cause of low energy (or you’re working on that with your health care practitioner), it’s time to identify other strategies to get yourself energized!
Low energy is a common topic in my circles; my friends, colleagues and clients often experience it more than they’d like. But what’s most interesting to me are the variable answers I get when I ask people “how do you re-energize?” or the flip side of that question, “what saps your energy?”
So, how do YOU “get” energy?
Are you more of an “extrovert” who gets energized from interactions with other people, or an “introvert” who gets re-energized from spending time alone and re-charging with quiet activities? Maybe you’re a bit of both (check out this info on ambiverts). Depending on your preference, how you re-energize can look really different!
One of my hugely talented clients who has lots of important things that she wants to achieve, shared that for a couple of weeks she’d been having trouble staying focused, getting things done, and her energy had sunk to really low levels. To support herself through this low period she slept more, stayed close to home and focused inward. Unfortunately, it didn’t help. In fact, after a week or so, she found it even more difficult to muster up the energy to accomplish even the “bare minimum”. It wasn’t until she had a week where work and other pre-planned social engagements forced her to interact with others that she started to feel better. When we talked about the situation, it became clear to her that HER best way to access energy is from being with others. She is such an extroverted and friendly person that even going to her local coffee shop can give her more energy.
In a completely different situation, I have a good friend who is a true introvert. But in her job, she is with people all day long – in fact, many people think that she is an extrovert because of her constant ability to connect with people all day long. For a while she even believed it herself and couldn’t understand why she was so exhausted at the end of the day. It started taking a toll on her personal and work life because she couldn’t seem to recharge. What she gradually began to realize was that she needed to find time throughout the day to be alone to “re-charge” her batteries without the involvement of anyone else. Taking a walk before heading to the lunch room, and even spending 5 more minutes “hiding” in the bathroom stall a couple of times a day were enough to keep her from feeling so drained.
So why wasn’t it obvious to either of these smart women that what they were doing wasn’t working for them when they started feeling “low”?
This is pretty common – sometimes it’s just that we’ve never paid attention to the things that really work for us when it comes time to find more energy. Other times we just get caught up in doing what we’ve always done. Maybe we’re following well intentioned suggestions made by friends or family without deciding if those really work for us.
What this means is if you really want to know what it is that gives you energy, it’s time to start PAYING ATTENTION – maybe not even doing anything yet, but rather focusing on what is actually happening inside.
So instead of finding the “right” activity to re-energize yourself with, this week, give a try to these three things:
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Originally posted August 2015 on www.yourrefreshedlife.ca by Maja Karlsson