In the last article, we discussed three lifestyle habits that can deplete energy reserves. But the damage doesn’t stop there. A person who runs out of steam typically either sinks to a lethargy fueled by exhaustion (yawn), or launches into a stress-filled attempt to beat the clock to get every last thing done (whew). This cycle negatively affects immunity, the aging process, and general self-esteem—not to mention focus and ability to handle the tasks at hand.
The good news: Many energy suckers are largely preventable, the result of poor choices. The habits we looked at last time are just three examples. Today we look at three more mindset and nutrition energy-sappers that you can change to rescue yourself.
Energy Zapper #1: Poor boundaries. Are you constantly at the beck and call of others, given no opportunity to express an opinion, or asked to take on unrealistic tasks? Do you typically become discouraged, feel powerless, and develop low self-esteem? Not standing up for yourself is a real drain. Over the long term, the effect ranges from fear to pessimism, further dragging down vitality and making it nearly impossible for you to feel free or in charge.
Energy Fix: Honestly examine your willingness to do too much for others. Perhaps you’ve lost your sense of self along the way while over-giving, over-agreeing, or participating in well-meaning relationships that no longer serve you. It’s time to rethink these situations. Draw boundaries with negative people. When a request is unreasonable, simply say “no.” While it’s true that we can’t change others, it’s also crucial to our own wellbeing to change how we react to keep their negativity from invading our own lives.
Energy Zapper #2: Unhealthful food choices. Taking control over our own health and wellbeing starts with good nutrition. If you routinely skip breakfast, consume sugary treats, turn to vending machines for snacks, or order meals that lack protein or healthy fats, you’re not getting what you need. Many who struggle to make it through the day are running on empty—empty calories, that is.
Energy Fix: First and foremost, plan ahead. Long before you start craving or feel your energy sinking, decide what and when you’re going to eat. Set your sights on three meals and two snacks. Know what you’ll need to buy, prepare, and take along with you. I keep almonds, a Metagenics Rice Ultra Meal Bar, or some fruit in my bag or on my desk at all times so healthful choices are easy and available. I’m not leaving my nutrition up to chance. Neither should you!
Energy Zapper #3: Uncertainty about how to improve your health. Maybe you’re aware something isn’t quite right, but you’re not sure what it is. The very fact that your wellbeing is in question can make this a stressful and exhausting problem. But don’t put it off. Finding and fixing energy drains in your life may take a little work, but it’s so worth it when you look at the results: more resolve, better focus, more accomplishment.
Energy Fix: My 3R System is the perfect approach to this problem. Here’s how you can use the 3Rs to help you regain your lost energy:
RECOGNIZE what’s going on. What are the roadblocks holding you back from accomplishing all you want and need to do? Compare the situations that make you feel drained to the ones that leave you energized. What are the key factors that make a difference for you? Once you know what the problems are, you can take positive steps to correct them.
REFRAME your thoughts and actions. Turn those minuses into pluses. True, you can’t always change a situation, but you can change your mindset and actions so that you deal with it more effectively.
You can make significant inroads to feeling more energized by using the energy fixes above, as well as those from the last newsletter, to get started with the Reframe step.
RECLAIM the health you deserve. Use your newfound energy to move forward, feeling productive and focused throughout your day. Vitality is a gift to do with as you please. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of yours.