How to beat the springtime lethargy and replete your energy?
In the heart of the spring (in the northern hemisphere) we would like to provide you with a checklist on steps that you can take to recharge your batteries drained in the long, COVID-19 plagued winter. If you are like most people in this time of the year, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic, chances are, you feel tired and your energy is drained. Do you know what exhausts your energy and what helps you recharge it?
Here is a simple checklist to remind you how to protect and recharge your physical, emotional and mental energy.Physical energy
Protect your physical energy by eating healthy. Remember that eating fast carbohydrates (like sugar and white bread) might give you energy very fast, but this energy is also consumed very fast and if you are not doing some physical activity right after this to burn it, it might get you into a vicious cycle of energy drain, need of more sugar and so on.Stick to a balanced diet with a lot of vitamins.
Recover your physical energy by getting enough sleep. Sleep is often underestimated.
But in order to preserve your energy and also your health you need to sleep at least 7 hours per day, some people even 8 hours.To help you improve sleep set a bedtime routine, try to go to bed at the same time every day, establish a calming ritual before sleep that helps you relax, but doesn’t involve screens.
Recover your physical energy by getting enough exercise. Exercise is the only way to burn the negative physical effects of stress. Have in mind that the evolution of people did not create our bodies for sitting. Establish a habit to stand up and move every 90 minutes, if your work requires you to sit for a long time.Exercise: at least 150 minutes of cardio movement per week plus 2-3 times per week strength building exercises is the recommended exercise level that recovers your physical energy.Emotional energy
Protect your emotional energy by limiting mind-wandering. Mind-wandering is an incredible phenomenon. Research shows that about 47% of time our mind wanders, i.e. it is thinking about something different from what we are doing in the moment. Even if we sometimes may daydream and this might improve for some time our mood, most of the time this mind-wandering is actually rumination about past mistakes and future threats, which makes us stressed, unoptimistic and unhappy.Be aware of your mind-wandering and do your best to limit it by focusing on what you are actually doing in the moment.
Protect your emotional energy by nurturing positive relations. Happiness is contagious. It is already proven that happier people spread their happiness not only to those closest to them but also their neighbours and the neighbours of their neighbours. The same is true about unhappiness and negativity. Think about the people in your life. Communicating with which of them drains your energy and communicating with which of them makes your feel happier and more energetic.Limit the time you communicate with those who drain you and extend the time you communicate with the ones whose positivity is contagious.
Recharge your emotional energy through positive experiences. It looks like there
exists something like emotional balance. For every negative emotional experience we have, we need to recover our emotional energy and restore the balance by positive emotional experiences. Unfortunately, research shows that we need more positive experiences to make up for one negative. It is a different ratio for the different people but still we need to have more positive than negative experiences. What are yours: a walk in the sun, time spent in nature, nice books, games with the children.Don’t forget to deliberately plan for positive, recharging activities and to experience them.Mental energy
Protect your mental energy by limiting information overload and stress of digitalization. In this digital era, especially now, when due to COVID-19 we are most of the time online we are wired all the time. This leads to us being bombarded with information all the time, more than we can process. Also we are reachable all the time through all kinds of channel, which also creates stress and depletes our mental energy.Limit the time when you are digitally reachable and limit sensibly the flow of information, so you are sufficiently informed and connected but not overloaded.
Humor is an essential human strength. We can rely on it to carry us through difficult
times and awkward moments. We gain friends with it, but also sometime enemies. Herewith we would like to remind you to use it, especially to elicit laughter, since laughter is a great medicine both for the brain and the body. It engages multiple regions of the whole brain. Further to this, listening to and thinking of jokes activates areas of the brain that are associated with learning and creativity. As Daniel Goleman writes “laughter seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely.”So if you want to increase your mental energy use your humor to laugh and make people laugh.
Recharge your mental energy by learning new things that excite you. Don’t forget that self-development and self-actualization are an essential part of us being human. Don’t forget to learn and to grow every day.Learning new things will help you keep your mind in good shape even in older age and will recharge your mental energy.
We wish you a wonderful happy and energetic spring