- Dr. Sandra Y. Lewis
For Women Whose Body Is Saying Stop But Your Mind Says Go
You know that feeling. You’re busy. You’re pushing thorough all of your activities. You’re taking care of work and family. You may be helping a friend with a project or volunteering at your church.
Maybe your day looks something like this: Be the first person up. Say a prayer. Think about exercising. Maybe do a few jumping jacks. Stretch for 10 seconds. Make breakfast. Get the kids ready. Walk the dog. Feed the cat. Go to work. Get busy. Go to meetings. Feel drained. Try to smile through it. Run errands at lunch. Notice the tension in your neck and shoulders. Answer email. Ignore email. Contact a local business owner for help with the church benefit. Pick up the children. Get home. Make dinner. Feel achy and stiff. Oh no, there’s still so much to do!
You have an endless list of things to get done. The more you do, the more the list seems to grow. You keep moving, chipping away at it. Eventually, your body is drained. It’s saying, “you have to stop” but your mind is saying, “not yet, there’s too much to do”.
What happens? You feel drained, irritated, stressed, blocked, bogged down or even numb. The weight of your TO DO list is overwhelming. You need energy but you can’t seem to find it.
You’re operating in low energy mode. And it feels bad. You might even have a few aches and pains.
What’s the good news? All you need to build and renew energy is YOU. Here are 4 practices to help you plug in to the power of you.
Rest and relax – You’ve heard it before. Get enough sleep. The amount of sleep we need may vary from person to person. It may even change at different times in our lives. However, passing out from exhaustion is not the same as going to sleep. When we simply pass out, we’re more likely to wake up drained, not rested. Develop a bedtime routine. Give yourself an opportunity to slow down 30 minutes to an hour before you go to bed for the night. Let your body know that you’re making a transition from active to resting. Take breaks during the day. Meditate or sit quietly. Read a few pages of a novel. Enjoy your favorite magazine. Give yourself an opportunity to re-group away from your computer and phone.
Make an “Up & Down” list – Draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper. Write “Up” at the top of one column and down at the top of the other column. After you complete an activity, take note of how your body feels. If you feel energized, ready to move on, inspired, joyful, focused or up, write the activity in the “Up” column. If you feel drained, bothered, overwhelmed, or bogged down write the activity in the “Down” column. If it’s easier, use your smart phone. Create a note for your “Up” and one for “Down” activities. Use the easiest strategy to keep track of your activities. You’re a detective on a mission to locate your energy drains and your energy boosters.
After several days, preferably one week, review your lists. What can you rearrange? How can you get help with or eliminate the energy drains? How can you do more of the things that leave you feeling energized? Learn more about how the way you feel drives your level of excellence in the book, Powered By Feel by James G. S. Clawson and Doug Newburg.
Move your body – Movement generates energy. Some people enjoy the natural chemical boost that can come from vigorous activity or breathing exercises. Build a collection of activities that boost your energy. Here are some possibilities: Yoga; Breath work; Running; Walking; Swimming; Tai Chi; Qigong; Dance; Pilates; or Barre method. The list is endless. Choose some things that you can do for a quick boost in 5 minutes or less, like dancing to one of your favorite songs or deep breathing exercises. Choose some you can dedicate 30 minutes to an hour to complete like Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Walking, Barre, Swimming, etc. Vary your list of activities. Make sure you include activities that help you build energy reserves for the long haul.
Eat for energy & healing – I teach a program called, The Dragon’s Way. I review foods that help to keep energy flowing in our major body systems. Pay attention to how what you eat makes you feel. Does your energy go up or down? Nurture your body with food. It can help to make your veggie selections colorful. Add some red, green, yellow, orange and purple veggies to your plate.
Your body needs fuel, energy. If you’re regularly in low power mode, it’s time to re-evaluate your energy practices. Keep your body nurtured so that you can power your life.
© Sandra Y. Lewis