Our focus on ENERGY continues! Over the next several weeks, we’ll be exploring different forms of energy and ways to balance our exhales with inhales so the ecosystems of our lives remain sustainable.
The series so far…
First Things First: Your Physical Energy
As we’ve already discussed, good time management comes down to good energy management.
The ecosystem of your life must generate or receive as much energy as it expends in order to be sustainable. There needs to be a balance between outgoing and incoming energy of which there are five types: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and financial.
- Physical energy is about how you care for your body, delight your senses, and keep yourself from getting all up in your head for too long.
- Mental energy is about how you manage your cognitive resources of decision making, willpower or self-control, problem solving and receiving information – and keep your mind inspired and engaged in the work even when it is challenging or tedious.
- Emotional energy is about how you remain calm, positive and in the present – and your Worried Hurried Mind Hamster out of the driver’s seat.
- Spiritual energy is about how you connect to your sense of purpose and that Something larger than ourselves.
- Financial energy is about the flow of money through your life and your ability to meet your more material needs and wants.
Today, let’s explore physical energy…
Again, physical energy is about how you care for your body with sleep, water, food, supplements, hygiene, movement, body work, medical care and other forms of healing, etc.
It’s also about treating all your senses – sight, smell, touch, taste, sound – while you are working. For instance: bringing cut flowers into your workspace, lighting a scented candle, wearing your most comfortable clothes, enjoying your favorite beverage, playing your favorite songs and so forth.
Managing your physical energy is also about bringing yourself back into your body when you’ve gotten all up in your head for too long and counterbalancing stillness with movement and digital with real-world. It’s about reconnecting with the physical self without which your work is not going to happen – something those of us who live in the world of ideas and imagination are prone to forget.
• • • • •
As you look back on the month, quarter or year just past and make plans for the month, quarter or year ahead, ask yourself…
What is the current state of my physical energy?
- If you are depleted, what is draining you and what would help you heal and refuel?
- If you are at least minimally energized, are there ways you could amplify that and create deeper reserves?
Some ideas to start your thinking…
There is no area of your life that isn’t improved by a good night’s sleep. If you aren’t getting them, what would change that for the better? More exercise? Less caffeine? A better bed or bedding? Simply putting yourself to bed earlier?
Are you properly hydrated? Given that our bodies are mostly water, every aspect of our metabolism relies on it to function well.
I’m sure you know from experience how quickly you can become confused, anxious and fatigued when it’s been too long since your last meal. Are you eating nutrient-dense food in a way that keeps your mind and body consistently fueled and healthy?
Not needing to costume and commute is one of my favorite things about working from a home office. But, as with most upsides, there is also a downside. Without the cue of leaving the house to trigger bathing, teeth-brushing and whatnot, basic hygiene is easy to put off. Yet it feels so good to do. Given that – and since you probably get some of your best ideas in the shower anyway – do you need to allow more space for regular ablutions?
Our bodies did not evolve to spend most of our days in a chair typing into a small digital box. Instead of checking Twitter when you need a break, would you be better served by taking a walk, doing a little yoga or stretching, or handling a maintenance task like vacuuming that gets your body moving instead? Also, would your energy be improved by taking short physical breaks like these more often?
Has it been more than a year since you’ve had a physical or a dental cleaning, for instance? Do you know you’d feel better if you had regular massage or acupuncture? Make the appointments, especially if the only thing standing between you and essential health care is making the time to make the calls.
Are your work and living spaces inviting and comfortable? Do your clothes make you feel good? What changes could you make in your immediate surroundings that would delight your senses?
Remember: the changes you want to make don’t need to be radical, sweeping or ambitious to make a difference. It’s often the small, simple shifts that are the most transformative.
• • • • •
Vitamin D and Other Practicalities
– some tips on caring for your energy during the season of cold and dark
A six-part series on How I Restored Magic to the Holiday Season:
Organized under energy/how. none