In these past few weeks, as everyone is dealing with adjusting to life in the time of COVID-19, people have pieced together new daily routines. Some may be still trying to fine tune those routines, and others have snapped right into it. But what I have noticed, is that for many, despite the routines, their energy is lacking. Most of us have heard of the fatigue that comes with sitting in front of your computer screen all day in a way that is much more intense than many of us our used to. So the development of a routine is a good place to start, but maybe not enough.
Many of us are losing energy faster than normal throughout the day because there are not as many opportunities for experiences that also give us energy. One of the ways that many people gain energy, is through interactions with others. When we share a laugh with a coworker or consult on a project, an exchange of energy is happening that we are missing out on during quarantine. Even though we may meet each other for video conferences or chats, the exchange of energy can be disrupted by poor video quality, multiple individuals trying to talk at once, or no one talking at all. Even introverts, who often lose energy around people, may be experiencing energy lows.
So this is a time to think outside of the box and experiment with things that bring energy into your physical space, into your body and into your spirit. Below is a list of ideas to get you started thinking about other ways to create energy for yourself. Maybe you will want to try some of them, or maybe these will spark other ideas for you to experiment with.
- Set a conscious intention for yourself for the day.
What do you want to get out of your day? What do you want to get out of this moment? What do you want to accomplish? How to you want to grow today? What do you want to be more aware of? What do you want to feel more of? With what kind of energy do you want to approach your tasks today? These are questions that you can ask yourself to help you clarify what your intention is for the day, or for that moment in the day. Bringing your intention to conscious awareness enhances the ability to bring the intention into action.
- Rearrange your furniture.
This is not always possible, but…if you are able to move your furniture around a bit, it can change the energy of the room and give you a fresh perspective.
- Bring in some plant life.
Live things have energy. Consider bringing some plants into your workspace. You could also consider purchasing a fresh bouquet of flowers from your grocery store if available.
- Tap into your sense of smell.
Part of creating energy is about connection. Tapping into your sensory system is a way to create connection and awareness of the world around you, not just the screen in front of you. Light candles, incense, or use some essential oils to create energy through your sense of smell.
- Physical movement.
This suggestion is not exactly shocking. Movement is well known for giving us energy. As you try to juggle working from home and helping kids with school, or just struggling with the monotony of the day, an actual exercise routine may or may not be on your agenda. I prefer to think about creating small opportunities for movement throughout the day that focus on enhancing energy in the body, versus “exercising”. While I highly recommend exercising, little movement breaks during your day may help you sustain energy. This may include stretching, a brief walk inside the house or outside, pulling out some yoga moves, dropping into a 30-60 second plank, or doing 1-2 exercise moves that you enjoy. All the while, holding the intention to bring energy into your body.
- Drink water.
It is so annoyingly simple…and boring. I wish this one was more exciting, but sadly, staying hydrated equals energy.
- Breath work.
Also, a super anticipated thing for a therapist to say. Breathe. Blah, blah, blah. Yet, I cannot deny the true benefits of breath work. Think of a color that feels energizing or centering for you. On the ‘in” breath, through your nose, imagine inhaling that color. Let it fill your body with each inhale. On the exhale imagine a color that represents old stale energy that no longer serves you. As you exhale imagine that color streaming out the tips of your fingers. Inhale energy, exhale staleness.
- Energy moves.
There are lots of videos that suggest a variety of moves to enhance energy in the body. Do they work or is it a bunch of bunk? I think it depends on the person. Some will find it helpful, and for others the exercises will not resonate. But I think it is worth experimenting to found out if these tools are useful for you. I have included several links to YouTube videos for you to explore. They might seem weird and a little “woo-woo” but sometimes weird things are where it’s at.
https://youtu.be/OhGNFLfmCKw Quick Energy Boost Simple Yoga Technique
https://youtu.be/nmmNWj9YtAw Daily Qigong Routine
https://youtu.be/T41mYCmtWls 10 Minute Morning Yoga Stretch
- Create something to look forward to.
With most things being closed and gatherings discouraged, there has not been a lot for people to look forward to. Having something to look forward to can be very beneficial for our mental health and therefore our energy level. We have to be a little more creative now, but you or your whole family could jot down ideas of stay-at-home events that they could look forward to. You could decorate the house for a party and have your own stay-at-home party. Maybe you want to have a theme night once a week, such as French night where you eat cheese, bread and wine while watching a movie that takes place in France. Or Sports night where you eat hot dogs and watch a sport themed movie or play sports at home. Maybe everyone would look forward to a make your own sundae bar. The sky is the limit on this one!
You know the old saying, ‘Laughter is the best medicine,’ well it’s true. Laughter is something many of us have been missing out on as we have been isolated from our families, friends, and coworkers. Laughter can be a great energy booster. So think of ways to create a good chuckle. Whether you want to post a funny video to help others get their laugh on, or find something that makes you laugh. There are great comedians on YouTube and Netflix or a wide variety of funnies to fit your brand of humor on FaceBook, TikTok, and YouTube. Feel free to take a 5-10 minute break during the work day, and just get a good old belly laugh going for an energy pick me up!
No one knows when life will return to “normal” so in the meantime we will do our best to be resourceful and creative in the ways that we take care of ourselves, our relationships, and our families. Take care of your physical body, your spirit, and your mind. Stay well.