Tips to Increase Energy Through Activity

There are ways to increase energy through activity. I know what you’re saying right now. Wendy, I am so busy, and I’m exhausted. How am I supposed to find energy by DOING an activity when all I want is some down time to rest and relax.

I HEAR you. Honestly I do. And sometimes, rest is exactly what you need. If you’re feeling run down or under the weather, then activity may not be the answer for you. Or maybe it is.  

Many times, we begin to feel lethargic or un-motivated because you’re stagnant. Nothing is new and therefore, there’s nothing new to focus your energy on. You’re doing the same things, day after day and it’s basically groundhog day. You’re operating on autopilot and you just have to increase your energy..

Doing the same things every day, let’s be real, doesn’t exactly stimulate your brain to think differently or fuel your body to react differently. With a lack of activity and energy, you may begin to feel scattered, or distracted. Sometimes you begin to feel exhausted when you didn’t even do anything strenuous.

If you’re feeling unfocused, it may not be as simple as “trying harder”.

Think about young children for a moment. In kindergarten, kids are given recess several times a day to renew their attention. For children, sitting sown and concentrating for long periods of time gives them the wiggles. Tommy starts poking Jacob. Suzie starts drawing on her desk and Jane just plain gives up.

So the teacher gives the children time to act upon nature behaviors. Be silly, for a while, allow the creative juices to unleash. Then the children sit back down and re-focus on the task at hand. Why are we – as adults – that much different. Yes, we have a longer attention span, but we’re not robots! And doing the same thing over and over again is going to put some rust on our creative wheels and sap the energy right out of our souls.

How lack of energy impacts decision-making capabilities.

 When you begin to feel tired or have a lack of energy, you begin to start making poor decisions. It’s harder to simply focus, let alone make decisions that are comprehensive and fresh. The brain functions better after being stimulated – either physically or mentally.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re in a negative mind-set, it is so easy to latch on to the negative energy around you? It’s really hard to be positive all the time, especially if you already have negative vibes and tones in your brain. Personally, when I am in a negative mind-set, I find myself much more judgmental – not just about other people, but about myself, too.

And I’m unmotivated. Given an hour of free time, if I am in a negative mind-set, it is much simpler for me to claim exhaustion and sit down and binge-watch two of my favorite television shows with a bag of chips than it is for me to grab my sneakers, and go outside for a walk.

That’s so much work!!

But, when I am feeling uplifted an positive, I tend to make much better decisions. All of a sudden, I am driven and ready to approach a challenge head on, or face down an obstacle that was otherwise in my way.

Sunday mornings are a perfect example for me, and I know you have some of these, too. I’m going to use yoga as an example.

If I don’t get up for my Sunday morning yoga class (it starts at 9:00am), then for the rest of the day, I am much more tired, and since I didn’t work out, I’m inclined to eat a donut, which then causes a sugar crash, which then makes me want to take a nap, which then leads to me not wanting to wake up, so I binge watch a couple HGTV shows until it is time to make dinner, wherein, I am in no mood to cook a nice meal, so we have chicken nuggets or frozen pizza and by the time 8:30 pm rolls around, I am in my pajamas with a glass of wine, ready to sleep.

Wow, that was a waste of a day.

BUT, the days that I wake up and go to yoga always look different. I’m not saying I won’t nap (sleep is precious in my house – especially when the kids are sleeping, too), but upon finishing yoga, I usually come home, make a brunch of eggs and fresh fruit, spend quality time with the family over a healthy meal. If we nap, then I only take a short nap, wherein after I wake up feeling refreshed, many times I will go to the gym and lift weights, go for a walk or go out and kick the soccer ball around with my kiddos. I have so much more energy – just by waking up and making the decision to do a yoga class in the morning.

Living in a constant negative mind-frame becomes destructive. If you’re feeling uplifted and positive, you’ll be able to make positive decisions in every aspect of your life and evaluate your choices more consciously and deliberately.

Five common factors that impair energy and focus.

1.     Hunger: hunger is a nagging distraction that just can’t be overcome. By eating healthy, protein-rich meals throughout the day, your focus is sharper and you’re able to react quicker and more decisively on challenges you encounter. Hunger leads to fatigue and low energy levels, which is demolish your ability to focus for extended periods of time.

2.     Thirst: dehydration causes the side effect of reduced focus and can lead to physical ailments, too – like headache, fatigue and poor mood. Even the smallest amount of dehydration can cause a loss of focus, so drink up!

3.     Hormones: normal fluctuations of hormonal levels can cause impaired energy and focus – and we know we have enough hormonal issues every month! Menopause, menstruation, pregnancy, hormonal conditions all play a factor in our energy and focus. If you’re seeing significant loss of mood or energy, consult your doctor because your health practitioner can likely help determine the cause and aid in rectifying the situation.

4.     Stress: it’s inevitable, but it has terrible consequences on focus and concentration – whether it’s intermitted or chronic. Ongoing stress can completely short-circuit our ability to access important cognitive functions, but emotional stress can send us on a wild roller coaster ride! Worries over children, jobs, relationships, money, health and anything else you worry about makes it hard to concentrate and is also likely to go undetected until you’re completely overwhelmed.

5.     Lack of physical activity: You’ve heard it, exercise stimulated the brain. You’re inhaling more oxygen sending positive brain waves and neurological strengthening.

Find energy through activity.

What’s your mindset when you’re de-motivated to take part in a certain activity? You approach it with lackluster enthusiasm and you’re far less likely to experience any fulfillment from that activity.

So let’s take a moment to identify an activity that does give you energy.

Grab a pen and paper or download the worksheet that goes with this article and start brainstorming.

Identify 3 activities in your day might you enjoy or have to do that leave you feeling sluggish?

Choose one of those activities to base your following responses on.

What’s the emotion associated with that activity for you? (__________ makes me feel ________)

Is that emotion in line with what you want to feel?

Let’s flip the script now.

What 3 activities in your day leave you feeling invigorated or energized?

What’s the emotion associated with that activity for you? (__________ makes me feel ________)

Is that emotion in line with what you want to feel?

It’s not realistic to believe that you can remove all of the energy-depleting activities from our daily life. There are just things you have to do - like your job. But there are ways to balance out your day with energy inducing activities. They don’t need to be big things, but small ways to add energy to your day to balance out the negative impact of emotionally draining activities.

How to visualize your energy-inducing activities.

Meditation and experiential exercises can manifest the positive vibes you’re looking to achieve and can present an opportunity to connect with that sense of success that comes with actively participating in something that brings you joy.

I’m inviting you to join me in one of my favorite, energy-giving visualization activities. Before joining me in this experiential exercise, have clarity on the following points:

1.     What activity brings you joy.

2.     How do you feel when you complete that activity?

The experiential exercise will take you about 3-5 minutes to complete. Make sure you’re in a quiet place where you can be in tune with you emotions without interruption. Even if you’ve never meditated before, try this experiential activity and see how it feels for you. You’re alone and nobody is judging you. If your mind wanders, simply gently correct yourself and bring yourself back to my words.

Relax, enjoy and leave a comment about how you felt during and after the experience. If you have a favorite energy-inducing activity, share it with me!  

Download your special audio experiential exercise.