The uncertainty and stress of the past few months have left many of us feeling pretty depleted. With so much change in such a short time and a while to wait before our lives have some semblance of normal again, the only thing we have any control of right now is how we respond to this crisis. The following tips will help increase your energy levels and build your resilience.
1. Get the basics right
Listen to your body about the foods that energise you and the kind of movement that makes you feel grounded. Walking, dancing, yoga and qigong can help to bring down anxiety levels and help to reconnect you with your body. When you’re properly tuned in, you’ll find it easier to listen to what your body needs.
Energy is derived from your emotional wellbeing so make sure you’re taking care of your mind state too. Spend a few minutes in meditation upon waking. If you find yourself feeling flat, try a loving-kindness practice, which has proven to be the most effective form of meditation when it comes to warding off depression.
2. Connect with nature, even while you’re indoors
If there’s one quick way to shift your energy quickly and create more inner calm, it’s spending time in nature. Patients in hospitals with a view of the outdoors heal faster than those without.
People who work in offices with windows get sick less frequently and a recent study of elderly people found that those who don’t venture outside are more prone to depression.
Try to get out into a beautiful natural environment at least several times each week. When you can’t get outside, brain scans have shown that even looking at images of natural environments can lower your stress levels. Use a screensaver of a natural scene or put a bunch of flowers or pot plant on your desk.
3. Stay up to date with the news, but take breaks too
Keeping abreast of the updates is essential right now, but it’s easy to slip into a state of overwhelm when you’re checking news sites too often.
Work out which time of day is best for you to be updated (preferably not right before bed) and make a habit of checking in just once a day. Consider taking one or two “news free” days in your week.
4. Spend time alone if you’re an introvert or with others, if you’re an extrovert
Tune in to your capacity for socialising. If you do better one-on-one, reduce your group gatherings – even if they are just online. If you share your home and workspace with others, negotiate some alone time every few days. And if you’re living alone and working from home, make an effort to connect in real life where you can.
5. Be kind to yourself
The biggest energy drainer of all is the pressure you put yourself under to be perfect. Try to catch the voice of your Inner Critic and counter it with a voice of Inner Kindness.
The greatest sense of emotional freedom is achieved when you can be more at peace with who you are, which includes making room for your flaws. Remember that none of us is perfect –some people might be better at hiding it than others, but at the end of the day we’re all simply doing the best that we can.