Sometimes we go through periods in life when our body just doesn’t seem to be able to keep pace with all the things we want to squeeze out of life. I have been going through just such a period lately, and I thought I’d share with you some of the tips which really helped me in the last while.
1. Don’t be hard on yourself
Often we go experience a period of acute frustration and unhappiness because our level of output is failing to match our expectations. The phrase ‘beating yourself up’ is an extremely apt one here – the resulting annoyance only compounds the problem by robbing us even further of energy. The important thing here is to stop this train of thought, and start by acknowledging the conditions you find yourself in. In a game of poker, there is no point in cursing the fact that you didn’t get a royal flush – you play with the cards you are dealt. So it is with life. Being determined to deal with this trough of low energy as best and as cheerfully as you can is definitely half the battle to climbing your way clear of it.
2. Observe your surroundings
It could be that something in your environment is causing you to feel more tired than necessary. There are many things that can subtly exert a depressing influence on us – the food we eat, the continual barrage of upsetting news on Radio or TV, disharmony at work or home. Sometimes these under-the-weather stretches can even be a way of letting you know there is something you have to change. You have to become your own personal scientist and really look at everything you come across to see what little tweaks you can make to make things easier on yourself. I am often reminded of a story about Mahatma Gandhi – one day he had a headache. At this time he was living on only five pieces of fruit for nourishment. He tried adding and removing various things to his life, removing other things. Eventually he stopped taking his morning piece of fruit and the headache went away!
3 Learn to distinguish between lethargy and true need for rest.
Why is it that when we oversleep, we wake up feeling more tired than ever? Put simply, our body’s natural tendency is towards inertia and sleep, and it will often grab a mile if given an inch. It is this feeling of inertia that often stops us from getting out and doing things – sometimes we feel we are tired now, but when we get out and do something, it’s a whole different story.But – and this is is a big but – it is important to learn when the body is being lethargic and when it genuinely needs rest. If persisting with some activity makes you tired, unhappy and susceptible to negative thinking, then it is a definite signal you are pushing beyond your capacity. Many scientists reckon we sleep more than we need, but there are definitely also times when we need more rest, for example when coping with a transformative experience in our lives. With time, you learn to distinguish between lethargy and genuine need for rest and listen to what your body needs than what it wants.
4. Take Forty winks
Often we feel very tense after dealing with our daily inbox of problems and a good night’s sleep can be a chance to press the ‘reset’ button on our nervous system. Scheduling a half-hour nap in he middle of the day can definitely soothe your nerves. Also, it is a very easy way to trick your mind into thinking it has slept for a substantial period of time, and you can emerge refreshed ready to tackle the second half of the day.
5. The wisdom of the East
As mentioned before, outer symptoms such as lack of energy can be a symptom of a deeper imbalance in your life. As well as allowing you to go deeper within to gain increased self-awareness, a daily meditative practice can serve as a powerful source of energy in itself. Similarly, practicing Tai Chi is another time tested way to increase the energy reserves for you to draw on during the day.
6. Start small
Sometimes we feel that we don’t have enough energy to tackle a big project. In that case it is better to start with small things – there is a very famous saying that morning shows the day, and dealing with something small at the beginning gives you confidence and allows you to build up a momentum for greater things. My personal favourite is going out for a run – even if it is just a slow jog – in the morning. There is something about running into a sunrise that automatically fills you with energy, and you have the satisfaction of knowing you have completed something even before you sit down to breakfast.
Post By: Shane Magee
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Photo by Pranlobha, Sri Chinmoy Centre gallery