We have all been there: feeling run down, exhausted, and struggling to get through our daily routine.
It’s burnout, and it probably snuck up on you without you even noticing it.
When you find yourself there, it might seem like you’ll never get out, but even when you’re deep in burnout hole, it’s possible to get back out and reignite your energy levels with natural, side effect free lifestyle practices.
1) Prioritize Your Health and Well-Being
You’ve probably heard that “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Simply put, you can’t give your best to others if you’re struggling to maintain your own physical, mental and emotional health.
When we’re busy, keeping up with our healthy routines can seem nearly impossible. But in most cases, these are the times when those routines are vital.
Try incorporating a short, 15-minute workout into your morning routine. If that isn’t happening, consider walking to lunch or dinner. If all else fails, break up your work day with standing, stretching and movement. These small movement breaks have been shown to reduce diabetes and cardiovascular risk in sedentary adults.
One recent study found that just two minutes of movement for every 20 minutes of sitting still reduces resting blood pressure, and may be more beneficial to long-term health than intense exercise.Try using automatic reminders on a fitness tracker like the FitBit or set alarms on your phone to prompt regular movement breaks.
During stressful times, preparing meals ahead of time using shortcuts like frozen or pre-made dishes or even finding a good meal delivery service can keep you energized by making sure your nutrition is on point.
Finally, keep your energy up by prioritizing adequate sleep. That means 7-9 hours for most adults. Shoot for productive, wakeful hours over more sleep-deprived ones.
2) Surround Yourself With Those Who Bring Out The Best In You
Positive, encouraging company can make all the difference in your energy levels. If the individuals around you drain your energy, there can be little time left for your to-do list.
Instead, seek out people that challenge you. Friends, colleagues and family who are open to bouncing around ideas, brainstorming and providing constructive feedback are an invaluable tool in a high-energy person’s arsenal.
Scientists believe that meaningful personal relationships are incredibly important to overall health. If your real-life social network is small, finding energetic companions can be tough. Online groups are a great place to start, but nothing beats in-person connection.
MeetUp.com is a fantastic resource for meeting new people with shared interests. Whether you’re looking for hiking buddies or a book club, you’ll find like-minded individuals interested in real-life meetings.
3) Keep Track of Your Goals
Dreaming big means acting big.
Setting daily, weekly and monthly goals, and looking at them constantly, helps us stay focused and energized. Like positive affirmations, goals shape the way we think, act and live.
We love MyFitnessPal for tracking nutrition and exercise goals, as well as increasing mindfulness around movement. Instead of simply keeping track of what you eat, try setting and hitting both food and movement goals within the app.
Similarly, keeping daily To-Do lists can keep us from wandering off track and losing energy and focus between tasks. Wunderlist a helpful app for using and sharing goals and To-Do’s straight from your phone.
For longer lists and in-depth brainstorms, Evernote is simple and available on most mobile devices.
4) Be Flexible and Schedule Free Time
Our tendency to want to get it all done right away might seem positive, but it often drains our energy.
We aren’t machines. Going all-out at all the time can tire us out, leaving us unmotivated to continue. Instead of treating ourselves like work horses, scheduled free time and flexibility allow us to harness recharge and harness our creative energy.
Take some time to assess your own mental boundaries. Do you resist the idea of down time or see vacation as an unnecessary luxury? Perhaps you need a reset.
Try scheduling down time to avoid burnout, work when inspiration strikes and use a schedule to your advantage. That way, you can direct your motivation whenever it materializes.
Energy management is an approach that often succeeds where time management lacks. Learning how to manage your energy can help to reduce stress, enhance productivity and provide you time to relax when you need to.
Also published on Medium.