Intro by Skip Cohen
If you’ve followed Tamara Lackey, even for just a few weeks you know she’s one of the few artists and educators who often talk about priorities – not just about finding that comfortable level between business and family, but taking care of yourself.
I love her approach to this post because she’s hitting on a topic we’re all guilty of violating – taking care of ourselves. I know in my own day-in-day-out routine, I get stressed. I don’t drink enough water during the day and often skip lunch because I’m busy. I start sleeping less and less. Then, one morning, I look in the mirror and I notice the bags under my eyes and realize Yoda is looking back at me!
Tamara’s post is the perfect reminder of at least four primary things you should be doing every day! We all wear multiple hats, some more than others. Well, you can’t be everything you want to be if you’re running on low energy.
There are few things more vital to maintaining and growing joy in one’s life than keeping up one’s energy. You need it for … like … EVERYTHING.
Ever have those days that feel like they just were thrust on you, like they just showed up and snuck in ten extra hours of to-do’s and, as much as you scrambled to keep up, you still left work feeling behind?
Oh, and then you get to return to a bustling living station (HOME), where you need to contribute in a multitude of ways, as in help keep things running, be a spouse, partner, parent, active member of society and all the rest of it, whatever it is for you. It doesn’t really matter what your specific situation is, you need to keep your energy up to keep it all going.
Here are a few simple tips for maintaining the power you need to keep up with everything:
- Glub, glub, glub.
You hear it all the time: drink more water. And yet many causes of fatigue are due to simply not staying hydrated enough. That’s it, plain and simple. Think of it this way: your body is 90% water and you lose water all day long, just by being human. In fact, if your body dips to just 1% of your body weight’s dehydration, your body will tell you – via fatigue, general muscle weakness and sometimes dizziness.
I think this life can make us dizzy enough.
Aim for a full glass of ice water first thing in the morning, to kick things off right–and maintain by drinking 8-10 glasses evenly throughout the day. I set a pretty straightforward reminder on my phone throughout the day, “drink a big water now”. Simple, but it works.
- Eat for Fuel.
What do you get from what you eat? If you’ve been trained to think of what’s not in your food (low in calories, low in fat, low in sugar, etc.), re-frame that and start thinking in terms of what IS in your food. What are you getting from it? Are you starting the day with a great mix of protein, fiber and energy-boosting nutrients? Or are you resorting to a zero-energy-boosting bagel with zero-energy-boosting butter? Eating natural, whole foods throughout the day with keep you revved up more than processed foods that artificially crank up energy but drop it hard fairly quickly after.
- Be Actively Less ‘omg, I’m soooo stressed’.
Mental stress is a ridiculous drain on our resources–and I mean on all of our resources. About 75 to 90% of all doctor office visits are initiated because of stress-related ailments and complaints, according to WebMD, who has seen (as well as created) its share of mental-stress-related traffic. You’re looking for causes of fatigue? Mental stress is an immense cause of exhaustion.
As Dale Carnegie noted, “Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” Mental stress has less to do with how much you have to do and everything to do with how much you feel like you have to do. That means you can come up with all kinds of processes and systems and efficiencies, but if you haven’t stepped back and looked at how you feel most of the time, you’re not really getting to the root of this particular level of exhaustion.
Take active breaks in your schedule to simply do nothing but rejuvenate, and you’ll start to cut down on this powerful, relentless cause of fatigue.
- Just Get More Sleep.
And, of course, sleep. We all know that we should probably sleep more. But, besides the obvious need to simply need to get through our days, why else does this matter so much? Because lack of sleep affects nearly everything in our body – our ability to build up mood-boosting brain chemicals (which inspire us to want to do more good things for our body), the strength of our immune system, our body’s ability to manage weight gain, our metabolic functions, our cardiovascular system … and so much more. Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t just something we should treat as an option; it should be a mandatory protocol for anyone truly wanting to boost their energy each and every day.
Consciously follow these four tips each and every day, and you will absolutely notice an upswing in mood, enthusiasm and vitality – and, because how we feel affects how we treat others (we know that, right?), there are few more selfless things you can do for those you love than to make it a point to feel better yourself.