My theme for month 1 of my happiness project is energise. I find it hard to feel positive and happy if I feel like I have no energy. This makes sense because energy, or prana in yogic philosophy, is the life force of all beings. So I’m spending January thinking about what blocks my energy, and what I can do to help it flow better.
Bad sleep is the biggest cause of me having no energy
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may know I can suffer from sleep problems. Often a cause of having no energy for me is having had a terrible night’s sleep. This month I am choosing to work on this, rather than saying “it’s just how I am, there’s nothing I can do about it”.
Resolution 1: Learn to rest
This relates to both sleep, and to resting and time off. Which, again, you might know I’m not great at.
Resolution2: Plan my meals and think about nutrition
I don’t eat badly, but I think I could eat better. Planning meals, I figure, will help me think more about what I’m eating and save time. This also feeds into
Resolution 3: Prepare in advance
Simple things like putting the coffee machine on auto before going to bed, to stuff that needs a bit more planning like making lunch if I’m going out for the day. Also included in this is preparing in advance for meetings (like the day before if possible), and for my work day ahead.
Resolution 4: Energise my environment.
I’m interested in learning about how the environment I’m in can alter my energy. Is my workspace the best it can be to boost my energy? What about my relaxation space and my bedroom?
Resolution 5: Spend more time in nature.
Being in nature energises me, as it does for many. Scientific studies have shown that if we have no energy just 20 minutes close to nature can help. It also makes me really happy. In our modern, connected, city-dwelling lives it’s increasingly hard to carve out time to go out into the natural world. I want to figure out how to put more of this in my everyday life, rather than it just being something that happens on holiday.
Resolution 6: Exercise right.
What does it mean to exercise right? More importantly what does it mean to exercise right for me? I do yoga everyday, but I want to make sure I’m also getting some higher intensity exercise in. I want to figure out how I can exercise best for me, to include it in my routine rather than it be a thing that happens sporadically.
Week one, how have I done? Do I have more energy?
Hilariously as soon as I started this project I had a week of pretty bad sleep. I’m waking up a lot through the night and not waking feeling like I’ve had a lot of good deep sleep. A few attempts to track this on an app revealed some sad looking sleep data.
So I’ve started my month dedicated to energy feeling pretty tired. But, I’ve not felt as bad about this as I might usually. Is it my attitude? Is it the other things I’m doing to help my energy?
I’ve tried to focus a lot on exercising this week as I realised my lack of cardio-type exercise may be contributing to my sleep troubles. I’ve tentatively started running (well, jogging) which has also had the benefit of getting me outside more. Although I’d like to also spend more time in ‘proper nature’ (ie. not still in the city), it’s better than nothing.
Planning my meals I actually found a lot harder than expected. I was kind of floored by not knowing where to start, and also by the thinking that I wanted to be boosting my nutrition. I’ve realised nutrition is a minefield of information, often contradictory. I had to remember my commandment “one thing at a time”, then it became a little easier.
A big success was when boyfriend and I sat down, wrote a list of all the different meals we like and planned a whole week’s worth of dinners. Then we went to Aldi and did a big (cheap) shop. This meant that on Saturday, when I had a long day in London, I had a bunch of food I could take with me. I prepared in advance (one thermos of soup, one of coffee, a smoothie and a bunch of snacks) and found I didn’t get hungry and low-blood-sugary during the day as I’m prone to do when I’m not at home.
What I’m working on this week
As you can see I haven’t yet started thinking about energising my environment, so this is a big focus for the coming weeks. Also I want to take the ‘prepare in advance’ resolution and apply it to my bedtime rituals. I’d like to end this month with a solid evening routine. Research shows this can help prepare the mind and body for sleep (which I learnt listening to the Sleep Introduction on my new Headspace meditation app).
Let’s start a conversation!
I’d love to hear if you often feel like you have no energy, and what you’ve found helps you boost your energy. Share in the comments at the bottom of the page, and let’s start a conversation.