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Are you running on empty?

Are you running on empty?
Regain your power with restorative self-care

Do you feel like your batteries are running low?

The more you use your phone, the faster it runs out of battery. Our bodies work the same way. The more stressful and active your life is, the quicker your reserves are depleted.

Sleep and restful moments replenish your energy, whereas physical activity and stress, negative or positive, drain your inner reserves.

Three reasons your body battery says you’re running on empty.

There’s nothing wrong with occasionally running on low energy, especially if you clearly understand why you’re running low. Be aware, however, that if you are frequently in that situation, it might be time to make a few changes to your daily routines and lifestyle choices. Here are three areas worth considering.

1. Your daily routines are incredibly challenging. Overall, stress matters. If you have a busy workday, rush to pick up the kids and then crank out a high-intensity workout, your battery will probably be empty before bedtime. It is good to remember that experiences that feel good can also drain your energy. Playing with kids or going to a party in the park are fantastic activities; however, they might also be surprisingly exhausting.

2. Inadequate sleep. A good night’s sleep is your best opportunity to recharge your body and mind, and it’s noticeable as you go through your day. Improving your bedtime routines and making decisions that promote good sleep can enormously impact your energy.

3. You are unique. There is a degree of individual variation in how we deal with stress and the types of activities and situations we find strenuous. After a similar workday, one person’s energy reserves might be near the bottom, while another’s is still half full. Similarly, driving a car can be a huge stressor for one person, resulting in feeling exhausted, but for someone else, it might be a relaxing moment that produces a little boost in their levels.

Regain your power

Ultimately, we can’t control things that happen to us any more than we can control the ebbs and flow of the ocean tides. Life will have its up and downs, and so will your energy levels. However, by applying a sense of acceptance and observation and being present in the moment, sitting with our thoughts and feelings, we can better understand how we feel. We can also learn to listen to the needs of our bodies and take steps to recharge our batteries.

Write it down

Reflection is a powerful tool for understanding how your thoughts and feelings affect you and your energy levels. It also allows you to remember how you feel is valid and know what you need to nurture yourself. If you can’t talk it through with a trusted loved one, friend or colleague, try sitting quietly with your journal and processing your feelings on paper instead.

At times in my life when I’ve most struggled, I’ve found that writing things out can be immensely helpful and, yes—even energising. Some of us might not be traditional “journalers,” but jotting down your thoughts, lists, plans and memories in a notebook can help get them off your plate and out of your brain.

If you find you need a chance to reset and recharge your batteries, explore your “whys” in your writing. What’s making you feel drained, and what can you do to make yourself feel better? Write it out, and you might be surprised at the results.

Remember, this too shall pass.

When you feel super stressed and tired, it feels like it will never go away, and you will feel like this forever. Any emotional state or experience, no matter how tired and stressed you are right now, it too shall pass. Take a step back and observe your thoughts and feelings while holding onto the knowledge and wisdom that it will not always be this way.

Spend some time by yourself. Other people’s energy can be really draining at times. I am the biggest advocate of alone time, and that’s probably the hard-core introvert in me talking. But introvert or not, I think everyone can benefit from a few moments of alone time. It can recharge you and allow you to make room for some quiet contemplation or a few moments of doing nothing at all.

Engage with your values.

Do things you love, and that nourish your soul. Base your decisions on what matters most to you, without judgment from others or giving in to the ‘shoulds’. Focus on what YOU want based on your values and goals. This way, we can be more flexible about how we can be in tune with our bodies, energy and values. Honour yourself, and you will replenish yourself faster than if you go against the grain trying to please everyone else.

Embrace self-care.

Be kind and gentle to yourself. Ride the tough times by engaging in deeply calming and enjoyable activities that leave you feeling relaxed, joyful and at peace. Make sure you do something nurturing for yourself every day, even if it takes some effort.

Take an everyday activity and elevate it by creating a ritual around it. How about making a rule of having pancakes for breakfast on Sundays? Or, reserve a special cup for your morning coffee? Or, maybe even make a healthy dinner during the week?

There are so many possibilities. Focus on adding a sense of fun, charm, or quaintness to something you would do in any case to make a ritual something you look forward to.

Don’t over-plan your day either. Leave some room in your schedule for spontaneity and, frankly, just some breathing space!

Take time to do what makes your soul happy.

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