Sometimes it feels forced these days, getting the energy to move forward. So I came up with a few tricks to keep my brain excited about forward progress. We have all subscribed to the “No energy? Just drink more coffee!” method. That works for today. But tomorrow I will be extra slow due to yesterday’s extra caffeine. And the next day, and the next, I keep swirling down the drain- feeling so damn tired I am sure I have COVID, am clinically depressed, have a tumor, or all of the above.
- Prioritize Play. On weekends or days off, devote an hour (or 4 hours!?) to playing first. Go to reservoir or lakes, go to the park, take a walk, do the playground first. Play before paying bills, doing laundry or grocery shopping. This works well for me because I come home energized and ready to organize, clean, plan, and clear. If we make the play mind-clearing rather than mind-numbing, the play works with us!
- Get extra sleep. When I am tired, I cannot prioritize or motivate myself as easily. So when we “give it up and go to bed”, it is actually a really smart action setting up tomorrow’s clarity of purpose.
- Feel the Feels with your connections. When I feel ignored, it is like being discounted goods on the dusty sale rack of my family. I start to wonder why I am trying so hard to get dinner on the table, pay bills on time, keep food in the house, etc. If my feelings aren’t seen, much less validated, all the hard work doesn’t feel worthwhile. BUT- if I ask how someone else’s day is going, ask their opinion, find out their favorite part of the day, or play the “3 words to describe” game, and get to their feelings, then connections are made again. Talk about those connections, write about them, listen to music about them, and see if that emotional connection feels energizing.
- Imagine it already done. My office was a sloppy mess for over 6 weeks after I was furloughed in June. I couldn’t face the 7 boxes of files. I couldn’t open the haphazard bags of the contents of my office drawers. It all just sat where I had shoved it 6 weeks ago, full of shame. The disorganization adding discredit. Humiliation was alive and felt like a big black hole in the room. So I began by getting outside of the room rather than forcing my way into it. I took some deep breaths and imagined the space cleared, generating good thoughts, calming, and energizing. I kept sending the space good energy, visualizing golden light swirling inside it. Then I entered the room and cleared out 3 boxes and a big stack of papers. All I did was set the intention, and imagine it completed. I chose to own the enthusiasm for the finished product rather than the gloppy messy embarrassment of the situation.
- Set a teeny tiny mouse bite of a goal. I have 7 shrubs and a tree to chop down by Tuesday when the compost bin gets picked up. That is a large crazy goal that makes my forearms hurt thinking about it. I will definitely procrastinate on that. So I make a plan to trim one shrub and see what happens. that is what tiny goals are all about “See what happens”.
- Give the phone a break. I stay up too late if I start reading news online (just, you know, “to stay informed”). I write pissed-off emails that should not be sent if I get over-tired (and unforgiving). I get too much of that blue light from my computer (whatever that is, it gives me bad dreams). And sometimes I buy crap on Amazon that I really don’t have budget for (the face cream, the special blue light filtering glasses, the earrings – all to help me look/feel rested and energized. Ha!
We are building intrinsic momentum. There are no outer rewards, no pay, no A+ grade, and no gold star. The energy comes from within and is not a result of “I have to do this” thinking. It is a little fountain inside that bubbles up for us. Try one of those 6 tips, and see if it helps you find a little extra energy. See what happens.
You got this Mama. See you again soon!