3 Sneaky Habits That Are Stealing Your Energy

3 Habits That Are Stealing Your EnergyI have never met anyone who said, “I’ve got too much energy!  I wish I felt more run-down and overwhelmed.”

We all want to have the energy to devote to the people and activities that are important to us – but lots of smart women are running on empty.

There are many lifestyle habits that drain your energy – not eating well, not getting enough sleep, not managing stress, being chronically dehydrated, or not exercising. But today I want to talk about some sneakier habits that deplete your energy and leave you feeling wiped out.

If you often end your day at the end of your rope, these sneaky habits may be wreaking havoc on your life.  Let’s change that!

Not Planning Your Day

 

What it looks like:  You wake up at the last possible minute and rush around getting yourself (and everyone else) ready. You start the day already feeling stressed out. You skip breakfast or grab something sugary/carby to go with your caffeine. You often forget to bring with you things you’ll need later in the day. You’ve got no idea what you’re going to eat for lunch or dinner. You have no plan for fitting exercise or even movement into the day. You are often running late. Your personal administrative stuff (bills, car inspection, doctor appointments, etc.) is unorganized and sometimes overdue. You spend the day “doing stuff” like a mad-woman but at the end of the day you don’t feel any further ahead. You feel frazzled a lot. Your relationships with friends, family and co-workiers are frayed because you find it difficult to be fully present with the important people in your life. You wish the world would stop for a day (or a week!) so you could get caught up.

How it depletes you:  Running on stress and adrenaline will run you into the ground. It will negatively impact your health, your appearance, your relationships, your finances – everything, really. It’s also not much fun. When you don’t have a plan for your day, you spend your time reacting to everything outside of you instead of being able to create a life that powerfully serves you and those around you. This smooshes your spirit.

What you can do instead:  Plan your day. This begins the night before when you look at your calendar and to-do list and map out in your mind your activities for the next day. Gather anything you need to gather in order to leave the house with everything you need. Review your calendar and ensure that you’ve allowed realistic amounts of time to complete the items you plan to complete tomorrow. Go to bed early.

Get up 15 minutes earlier than you normally would. Preview your day and set your three most important priorities. These are the three things that must get done. If you run into a time crunch during the day, you already know where you want to be focusing and what can get moved to tomorrow or another time. Spend a few minutes centering yourself, and setting your intention for a calm and productive day. Eat something healthy for breakfast. Your morning routine can become much more involved than this, but start small and build on your success.

Life Clutter

 

What it looks like:  Your living environment is not peaceful and organized.  Lots of things are out of place, or don’t have a home.  You spend a lot of time searching for things like your keys, your phone, that bill/permission slip/form that you need.  Paperwork is living in piles all over the place. You’re not sure what’s in that closet, drawer, box, or even a whole room.  Your closet contains lots of clothing that no longer fits, is no longer in style or that you just don’t like.  You’re hanging on to things you inherited from family or friends even though you’re not using them and don’t like them all that much. Your office is filled with binders of stuff you will never, ever use.  Your files are a mess.  Your inbox is overflowing.  Your car is untidy – receipts, food wrappers, an overdue library book – this is especially likely if you transport kids regularly.

Life clutter can also include people who drain you and activities that don’t bring you joy.

How it depletes you: Every time you look at the mess or disorganized space, your energy takes a hit. It’s like hitting yourself in the face with a gaint to-do list over and over again. Have you ever organized a closet or a room and then repeatedly gone to look at it just because it feels so good? Our brains love order and they reward us with feel-good neurotransmitters when we give it to them. Spending time with people who exhaust us, well, exhausts us.

What you can do instead: First, create an idea of what you’d like the space to be and how you want it to function. Then outline the steps you’d need to take to create your vision. Depending upon where you’re starting, there might be a lot of steps. That’s okay. Progress, not perfection. What’s one tiny thing you could do right now, or later this week to start bringing order to your space? If you work on it for just 10 minutes a day, by the end of the week you should see some significant change. It’s a lot easier to tackle in small bits if it feels like an overwhelming project.

With draining people, either remove them from your life (with kindness) or set strict boundaries around how much time you spend with them.

For activities that are no longer enjoyable, quit.

Meaningless Distractions

 

What it looks like:  You are feeling worn out so you turn on the TV and flip through the channels looking for something to entertain you. You reach for sugary/carby junk food or a glass of wine to help you feel better because you’ve had a hard day and you deserve it. You were going to spend thirty minutes cleaning out your closet, playing a game with your kids or your sweetie, or taking a walk outside – instead you burned up the time reading Facebook posts from people you barely know or watching YouTube videos.

How it depletes you:  I understand the attraction of distractions. You’re feeing sapped and they feel like they’re going to relax you. But they don’t. They just numb you without actually recharging your energy.

What you can do instead:  I’m not suggesting that you have to plan every moment of the day for maximum productivity. We need down-time. But let’s make it down-time that serves you. That actually relaxes you, recharges your battery and connects you to loved ones. Identify a common time-waster and commit to replacing it with a rejuvinating activity – a walk, a nap, a conversation with a favorite person, writing in your journal. You know the things that actually make you feel better. Make a list of those things and work toward more of those, and fewer numbing activities.

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Was there one item in this post that really spoke to you?  If so, I encourage you to make a small change starting today.  Each small habit change can build on the one before and as you implement each new habit you’ll have the energy to tackle more!  You’ll also start feeling better and more energized right away,

I’d love to hear which new habit you’re going to adopt right away.  Leave it in the comments below!

 

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