In the era of busy bragging, scheduling rest stops can feel more like a detour. We convince ourselves that we simply do not have the disposable time available to focus on our health.
Work demands are steadily increasing and a longer to-do list calls for longer hours. We come home drained. Life becomes survival mode - fighting through a never ending list of things to do. Not to mention, taking proper breaks, for most organizations, is countercultural at the expense of the employee’s engagement, health and quality of work.
Tony Schwartz, author of The Power of Full Engagement, says it best: “Demand has finally begun to exceed our capacity. We’re facing an energy crisis, and this one is personal.”
When we can’t change our circumstances, we must be aware of our own draining habits, and take responsibility for changing them.
Take your power back and restore your personal energy with two key strategies:
1) Morning ritual
Humans are creatures of habit. Capitalize on this by scheduling time in the morning to activate your energetic resources. Starting each day by nourishing your body and mind sets you up for success.
- What is the first thing you do upon waking up? Do you reach for your phone or turn on the TV? Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, among many other successful entrepreneurs make an effort to meditate daily. Doing so has a wide range of benefits that will carry you into your day energized, focused, and centered. Start your day right with this quick guided meditation.
- Before you reach for that coffee, wake yourself naturally by getting active! Whether it’s a brisk walk, or this amazing 15 minute full body workout, moving in the morning increases both your mood and your productivity.
- Are you someone who skips breakfast? It’s easy to feel “too busy” to eat in the morning, so try something quick! This green smoothie recipe is a nutrient powerhouse to keep you going till your morning snack.
2) Recover with breaks
Humans express a fundamental need for a oscillation between stress and recovery. When we reject this natural rhythm, it doesn’t take long to reach our reserve tank.
When we sleep, our bodies experience five stages of sleep within a cyclical 90 minute period. Research now demonstrates that we experience a similar cycle during the day. Every hour and a half, we oscillate from high to low alertness, which explains that second (or third) cup of coffee.
- Instead of synthetically overriding your body’s natural rhythm, honor these cycles by taking a quick break every hour and a half. This could be a ten minute walk around the office neighborhood or a quick stretch at your desk.
- Having healthy snacks on hand offer an efficient pick-me up for when those energy levels begin to dip. Simply setting aside a few minutes the night before to pack a healthy snack for work can be the difference between the 2:00 slump and hitting that deadline. Try this delicious recipe for gluten-free chia apricot protein balls!
Give yourself just four weeks of committing to your personal energetic management, and you’ll be amazed at how simple it is once the habit is formed. You’ll likely feel more productive, less stressed, and have a greater sense of control over your day.
When we are fully engaged in our life, we live life with a sense of presence with the ability to respond quickly and adapt to whatever life throws at us.