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7 Things You Can Do to Deal with Low-Energy Days

7 Things You Can Do to Deal with Low-Energy Days

“Being who you are is another way of accepting yourself.”

—Anon

How do you deal with low-energy days? We all have our highs and lows, but very often we expect too much from ourselves. Our own standards seem to demand that we are on top form all day and every day!

Often, I have had to cope with bad days when nothing goes right and I feel the safest thing is to lock myself in. Actually, changing plans because of my low energy has often helped me get through the trough of low pressure. If there is enough flexibility in my day, I can do one or several of the following:

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  • I usually put off a difficult task or decision so that I can cope with it when I am at my best.
  • Allow myself to rest at low points of the day, so a snooze (max 30 minutes) after lunch is fine.
  • Treat myself to some dark chocolate.
  • Go into my garden and smell the lavender and the rosemary to lift mood and feel more alert. One study shows that subjects exposed to this sort of aromatherapy performed better on math tests.

These hacks are fine for short-term relief but you may have to look at more long-term strategies to help you deal with these off days. Here are 7 things to help you do that.

1. Be compassionate with yourself.

Forget about all the things you have not yet achieved or even finished. Stop beating yourself up and being so judgemental. Try to be a little kinder with yourself. Let go of the ‘should’ and the ‘must’ for a change. This is the advice given by Judith Orloff in her book Positive Energy .

2. Stop thinking about your emotions.

In addition to the low energy, there are also feelings of lack of motivation, hurt, resentment, frustration and anger. We love to talk to ourselves about these emotions in our head. We talk, rationalize and explain it all to ourselves for the hundredth time! This is why I love the video below because it tells us to express the emotions, if we can. Much more satisfying and uplifting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZHyUn_PwpE

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3. Acknowledge the fact that you are tired.

Tell yourself that this is going to be a low key day. It is never a good idea to fight it. There are other things you can usefully do and today has the same number of hours as all the others.

4. Limit your bad news time.

We are surrounded by bad news on all forms of media, from TV to smartphones. It seems that there are endless news bulletins with upsetting news. I sometimes think it must have been wonderful to live in Medieval times when any news was drip fed to the population.

5. Keep an eye on what you eat.

I used to suffer from terrible leg cramps which caused me to jump out of bed in agony. I discovered that making sure I had enough magnesium and Vitamin B in my diet was the answer. That solved the problem and gave me more energy too. Other dietary things to consider are:

  • Ramp up on protein (eggs, cheese) at breakfast.
  • Reduce simple carbs so that sugar crashes mid morning are less frequent. These can really floor you.
  • Aim for smaller, frequent mini meals/snacks rather than a full blown lunch. The energy you need to digest a large meal can make you feel very lethargic.
  • Try fruit breaks. Opt for watermelon, bananas, kiwi and pineapples, which are rich in potassium and magnesium.

6. Pamper yourself.

We talked about being kind to yourself so let us put this into action:

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  • Cuddle up with a relaxing book.
  • Take a long bath or shower.
  • Go for a walk in a pleasant neighborhood with trees and flowers.
  • Listen to your favorite music and sing along if you want to.
  • Go for a coffee at your favorite bar.
  • Practice mindfulness. Enjoy the smells, sounds and sights around you.
  • A good stretching routine can easily replace your run or workout at the gym.

7. Kick that mood.

Fatigue and bad moods often go hand in hand. Think about why this bad mood is a recurring episode. It could be due to stress and conflicts in relationships and at work. It could be simply that you are overworking. Think about how you react to your workload and people at work or close to you. This is often the key to understanding our moods.

One of the best ways of lifting your mood in the short term is to practice gratitude. Do a reality check and repeat the things that you are so blessed to have.

Finally, don’t wait too long for those clouds to pass over. Remember also that using technology too much can zap your energy. The best advice of all is to accept yourself and keep moving forward.

“Accept yourself as you are. Otherwise you will never see opportunity. You will not feel free to move toward it; you will feel you are not deserving.”

—Maxwell Maltz

Featured photo credit: Man sleeping at work/hnporadna.hnonline.sk via hnonline.sk

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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