6 ways to get energised
Feeling tired all the time? Here are some ways to get energised. By Shuntao Li
Feeling tired all the time? Since the pandemic lockdown, my work and life have blurred into the same mess. I not only work longer hours for my day job, but also have to cope with the changes in teaching yoga and running my yoga business.
I started to feel absolutely exhausted at the end of the day, like a deflated balloon. Work started to haunt me in my dreams; I didn’t feel rested waking up. It was hard to concentrate and my short-term memory seemed to have worsened as well. Once I realised that these were all dangerous signs, I went on a self-help journey. Here are a few lessons I’ve learnt:
Why do we feel tired?
1. Mental strain
Coping with change and uncertainty requires a high level of mental effort and increases our anxiety. These psychological stressors cause us to be in a state of constant fight or flight mode. No wonder we feel stressed, and what’s more, it takes a toll on our energy levels.
2. Anxiety and poor sleep
Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear. We are seeing an increasing number of things that causes this feeling…Covid cases, our health, vulnerable loved ones, job security, finance or isolation. This will no doubt disrupt our sleep patterns and working from home can change our sleeping habits too. The vicious cycle doesn’t stop here, because poor sleep also then increases anxiety.
3. Burdensome tasks
Many of us face an additional amount of tasks, such as house chores, home schooling, childcare, or supporting vulnerable relatives. No wonder we feel more tired! Working from home can also result in a lack of stimulation and structure for some people, and this could lead us into a state of apathy.
How to feel more energised
I believe health and wellbeing should be looked after in a holistic way. Nothing on its own can make us healthier or bring the energy back, it takes a balanced approach. Here is a list of things you may want to try to help:
1. Rest better
Start from getting into better habits for a quality sleep: avoid eating late, be careful of your alcohol and caffeine consumption and reduce screen time. Help smooth the mind with calming, focusing meditative practices, this can be anything that gets you into a ‘flow zone’ like getting into a proper meditation practice.
Allow yourself plenty of time for day dreaming: this kind of unfocused, semi-conscious practice like yoga nidra is perfect for deep relaxation and creativity. You can learn all about this from my online course ‘Deep Rest in a Chaotic World’.
2. Create a routine and boundaries
Routine may sound military and intimidating but it creates certainty to combat anxiety. It focuses the energy to avoid it from drifting into a sense of unease. With working from home, for example, set boundaries on taking regular breaks, and cut offs for lunch time and when to finish work at the end of the day.
3. Exercise and eat well
It sounds counter-intuitive but while the muscles hurt and it feels a lot of effort to exercise, it’s a highly effective way to improve energy levels and the mood because it promotes the creating of happy hormones like endorphins. Keeping a healthy diet with plenty of fluids can also improve energy levels. Resist the urge to snack, especially on sugary foods, and try to include iron-rich foods such as beans.
4. A little bit of soul searching
It might be time to do a little bit of soul searching to see what ignites you. Passion or a compelling vision creates a strong sense of energy that comes within us and helps to propel us forward every day.
5. Productivity hacks
You may also want to research and explore productivity hacks to optimise how you use your energy. For example, plan your day according to whether you are an owl or a lark, use the Pomodoro technique for time management or perhaps plan your work around your menstrual cycle where possible.
6. Seek professional help
Last but not least, quite often we should just seek professional help. Perhaps there’s a treatment that a GP can provide or a therapist can help with. I’ve started to see a therapist about anxiety and burnout since the start of the year and it’s been tremendously helpful. There’s still a bit of stigma in seeing a therapist, but it’s so common now and remember it’s not just for people with serious mental illness. Like getting a personal trainer, talking to a therapist helps with the ‘fitness’ of your psychology and mental wellbeing.
Shuntao Li helps busy people slow down and re-connect with themselves through yoga. She is 200hrs RYT, 60hrs Yoga nidra facilitator. To find out more about her 5-week online course ‘Deep Rest in a Chaotic World’ visit: taosyogaspace.com