“The power plant doesn’t have energy, it generates it.” –Brendon Burchard
Before I got into fitness, I used to be exhausted everyday. I also wasn’t very fit, I partied a lot, and I was highly stressed. The exhaustion was just a symptom of a lot of things that were happening with my overall health. It actually kick-started my fitness journey and within this journey, I’ve learned so much.
When it comes to exhaustion, it can really affect our whole lives. For instance, I work for myself, and it’s important that I have the energy to fully invest in what I’m building. If we’re fatigued, it inhibits our performance because we have no mental stamina.
It can also create some really unhealthy habits. We come home exhausted at night, we want instant relief, so we have a glass of wine. Then that glass turns into another glass…and another glass. Or it’s the end of the day, the kids are in bed, so we totally check out in front of the TV eating ice cream. Those things can so easily become habits that we can’t pull ourselves away from. It can almost become addictive.
Overall, it doesn’t bring out our best, most authentic self. We’re so exhausted that we can’t make decisions that are congruent with what we believe, who we really are, and what we really feel. We’re in impulsive, reactionary, survival mode. Basically, the body is under stress.
Exhaustion actually isn’t the problem. It’s only the symptom. The problems arise because there’s a disconnection between the mind, body, and spirit.
The mind, body, spirit work on a continuum. We might be doing a great job of eating healthy, but if we’re stressing ourselves out, then our food isn’t getting metabolized efficiently. Stress leaks vital energy. Knowing how to keep the mind, body, spirit connection strong in any circumstance is our source to intrinsic energy.
Exhaustion is the way the body communicates that it’s out of alignment. When we don’t listen, what happens? We can have a breakdown. Even the smallest things can set us off because we just don’t have the mental stamina to deal with it.
We can get sick. Our immunity is compensated.
Exhaustion can also cause us to be bloated. Our body is trying to preserve its energy, so our digestion gets sluggish.
Depression is also strongly related to fatigue. When we’re not feeling internally motivated by anything or we’re feeling stuck, it’s easy to feel depressed. Once we’re there, it’s really hard to change it.
I’m going to give you some of my best practices that help me stay energized. These are things that have really resonated with me, but at the same time, once you’ve been doing these practices for a while, you’ll be able to find your own rhythm and flow.
- Hydration. This is a big, big, BIG one. If we can only do one thing out of this whole list, hydration is the most critical. Our bodies are mostly made out of water, but we’re losing that water all the time. Not just when we’re sweating and physically active. We’re losing water even by doing simple things like concentrating or sleeping. That’s why we’re so often dehydrated when we wake up in the morning. We often mistake it for fatigue, so we drink coffee right away. However, if we have water first thing in the morning, we’ll have more of the energy we’re looking for because we’re replenishing that hydration without a caffeine crash later in the day.
- Movement. I always know if I’ve been sitting for too long because my eyes will start to get droopy. Circulation. What helps with circulation is movement because it brings oxygen to our brain. Getting our heart rate up and helping the whole body to become oxygenated will help us feel energized. Have a desk job and sit for long hours? Set a timer to go off every 45 minutes, take a stretch break, go walk outside and get some air.
- Breathing. For much of our everyday lives, we’re actually breathing very shallow. When we do that, we’re not fully oxygenating our brains and bodies. Practicing deeper breathing exercises throughout the day can boost your energy. Yoga, is my magic pill. It’s structured time that I consciously breathe for a full hour WITH movement. I feel so energized and calm after a yoga class. Work this into office breaks every 45 minutes. Just breathe deeply five times during every break. A really good time to do the little five breath exercise is right before a meal. So often when we eat, we just scarf it down. Our breathing is really shallow, so the meal that we’re stuffing into our face is not even getting digested properly. Our shallow breathing is triggering our digestion to shut down because it’s activating fight or flight. Slow down eating and breath.
- Light, Well Balanced Meals. Heavy meals, especially something full of carbohydrates and fat can lead to BIG TIME food coma. It can knock us out! We want to be mindful of that. Stick to lighter, more well balanced meals with a good source of protein, fats, fiber…things that are really going to fuel us. This way, all of our energy isn’t going toward breaking down that big meal. Now there’s more energy to do other things!
- Morning and Evening Routines. Both of these in conjunction with one another can really affect your energy. If we start off our morning by watching negative news, it will trigger a stress response in our body. It activates our cortisol and adrenaline. When that stuff spikes up, it can lead to fatigue. Have a morning routine with something that’s more uplifting and energizing. Get aligned with our intentions. Go outside and exercise. Meditate with a visualization exercise. Seize the day. Then at night, turn off the gadgets and screens. Calm down and relax. Yoga, stretching, maybe some reading or journaling. It’s important to wind down because we want to go to bed at a decent time. If we don’t get plenty of sleep, we’ll feel drained the next day. It creates a cyclical effect.
I know this is all common sense. The thing is, it’s not common practice. That’s why I call these “best practices” because it really takes practice to be consistent with this stuff. It can be really difficult, though because we’re oftentimes challenged, distracted, and not fully committed.
It’s so easy to find excuses. Why is that?
- We’re overwhelmed and stressed with few ways of coping. This is where our emotional and mental fitness comes into play. If we’re stressed, it’s going to be really easy to forget stuff because our brain isn’t working on all cylinders. There was every intention of waking up early and exercising, but the stress from the week has that snooze button on auto. “Screw it….I’ll start on monday.”
- Lack of Conscious Goals. We oftentimes have superficial goals like “I want to lose ten pounds so I can fit back into my jeans again.” But is that something we can feel motivated about for the long term? It’s too easy to get distracted. We need something that is really driving our daily life and serves a bigger cause. I get up and do my best to take care of myself because I have a bigger mission of serving women and helping them to improve their health so that they can live happier more fulfilling lives. That’s important to me because every woman has a special gift to share in this world. PLUS, I want to start a family soon and travel. My health is so important in creating that support for myself. So I align with that on a daily basis. If we don’t have clarity on conscious goals, then it’s really easy to get distracted and lose motivation.
- Your Circle of Influence. If we’re around people who aren’t practicing these healthy habits, it will be really difficult to practice them ourselves. Perhaps the people we spend the most time with watch a lot of TV or they don’t eat healthy…that is eventually going to influence us. Get a mentor, join a team, and find a tribe. Be surrounded with others who inspire health!
- The Rhythms and Cycles of Life. Summertime is actually a time when we’re supposed to rest. We shouldn’t be out there pushing ourselves in the heat. As hard as it is to lay low, it’s actually what we’re meant to do in the summer. It’s best to try to work in alignment with the seasons. The better times to be active in the summer are earlier in the day. Work out when it’s cooler. Stay in and away from the sun during the hotter times of day. Then at night, start to cool down again with light exercises or reading and journaling. This allows the body to prepare for rest.
Bottom line – consistency is key for all of this. We are the results of what we do on a consistent basis. So if we’re not happy with something in our lives right now, we need to look at our routines and habits.
If you need more support with this, you can join me for a breakthrough call. We can unlock where you feel stuck, and start getting you some results! Feel free to email me to book a call firstname.lastname@example.org