Perhaps you are coming to the close of a busy week. May be you have been ‘burning the candle at both ends’ for a while. Or you may just need some time out. My suggestions are simple and need not cost you anything. If you truly want a day to recharge, then let your friends and family know that you are going off line for the day.
#1 Permission to pause
To recharge your batteries, you need to pause. Most importantly, you have to give yourself permission to take care of you. Ask yourself, “What is the best way for me to relax, recharge and rejuvenate?” “How can I boost my energy in a sustainable way?”
Give yourself permission to take care of you
Sleep is free, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. If we develop a habit of going to bed late and watching TV or other electronic devices, then sleep won’t come easily. Ideally all electronic devices and bright artificial light would be turned off an hour prior to bedtime. I believe it helps to acknowledge the importance of sleep and see it as your reward for your efforts during the day.
We know that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep to replenish their body and mind. On your day of rest, you might like to give yourself permission to sleep in too. Extra sleep helps to repay our sleep debt, but unfortunately we cannot store sleep for the future. You might like to read my earlier post to support your sleep routine.
To be alive, you are required to breathe. But the quality of our breath is important too. Abdominal breathing is a traditional breathing pattern used in Eastern medicine and spiritual practice, it is also the way we naturally breathe when we are first born.
The best way to connect with your breath is to place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. With abdominal breathing your belly rises as you breathe in, and then falls when you breathe out. Your chest hardly moves.
Take 10 slow deep abdominal breaths to reduce anxiety and boost your energy. I also suggest booking in practice throughout your day, so this way of breathing becomes your natural way again.
#4 Eat mindfully
Our food is an essential source of nourishment and energy. However sometimes when we are tired or stressed, we don’t eat, or we choose foods that give us a quick energy boost. Neither of these options helps to replenish your energy stores.
If you don’t feel like eating, but haven’t eaten a proper meal all day, then I suggest a vegetable soup with either lentils or meat or a warm salad—toss some salad greens with baked vegetables and legumes or meat.
Transform your habit of choosing caffeine, sugar and fat laden drinks and foods to boost your energy, by having nuts, seeds and fruit readily available as snacks. Good sources of protein to have during the day are grilled meats, boiled eggs, canned fish or a lentil burger. These foods can be prepared at home. I always suggest cooking extra at the evening meal, and left overs can be eaten for lunch the next day, as long as you transport them in a cool bag and then store them in a refrigerator.
Additional tips for eating mindfully and establishing a way of eating that will boost your energy in a sustainable way can be found in earlier posts on mindful eating, and 5 ways to support mindful eating.
#5 Go off line
There have been a few reports recently about the challenges families face when they go off line for a weekend. Even though it is challenging, there are benefits. Off line means no internet, no telephone, no radio, no newspapers and no television. It requires you to put away your smart phones, tablets and computers. Reported benefits include, more family time spent communicating with each other, being more active outdoors and having more time available in general. It is true, each time we check our social media pages or email, 15 minutes or more pass by.
“Could you go off line for a day?”
#6 Spend time in nature
Find a quiet place that is yours to retreat too. It could be your garden or a local park. I recall one of my walks to work was under a row of fig trees; this was my twice-daily contact with nature. And even though this park was next to a busy road, my focus on the trees was enough to help recharge my batteries.
You may also like to venture out to a national park and go for a walk. Take the opportunity to explore the parks nearby. Visit your local National Park office or their website to find out what walks are near you.
#7 Listen to music
Spend some time during your off line day listening to your favourite music. Choose the genre that you need—rock, classical, country or spiritual. Do you need to relax, be uplifted or energised? Of course each of us have a preference for the type of music to achieve these states of being. If you share your home with others, you might need their agreement first, or retreat to your own space with your headphones.
#8 Say thank you
Often when we get tired we have a tendency to focus on the things that are going ‘wrong’ in our life. A simple way to boost your energy is to acknowledge the people, relationships, events and opportunities that you are grateful for. Our feeling of gratitude is strengthened when we write it down, so write down these down in a journal or diary.
#9 Revise your priorities
We only have 24 hours in a day. If you take out 7 to 9 hours for sleep, time for meals (shop, prepare, cook, eat, tidy up) and your essential commitments—how much time do you have left? Do you have time to include a walk, an aromatherapy bath or a 10 minute meditation? At the beginning of the year I shared some tips on introducing new choices into our day, you might like to read the article on your health and wellbeing plan.
Boost your energy
It is possible to boost your energy by giving yourself permission to pause, and choosing activities that will recharge, replenish and rejuvenate your mind and body. I encourage including at least one of these energy boosting activities each day, in addition to 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep and eating mindfully. To me, sleep and mindful eating are essential for everyone.