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Low Energy + Pushing Yourself = Counterproductive

We've all been there. We've all done it. Something or many things are zapping our energy levels, yet we feel we need to push ourselves to "get back on track".

... "If I force myself to exercise the energy will come back"

... "If I get up early to do 'x' I can save energy for later"

.... "If I force myself the motivation will appear"

Those common misconceptions don't allow us to sustain any practice or change, and they all have one thing in common; They TAKE energy rather than GIVE us energy.

These thoughts and approaches are common, and through my coaching I try to help clients find new PRODUCTIVE, SUSTAINABLE and REALISTIC change for them to create and/or replenish energy when it's low.

Let me share my recent example...

We recently spent a few days in Newfoundland visiting our "Newfoundlander family". Anyone with a job, let alone their own business knows that before and after vacations can get busy. Leading into our trip I needed to ensure things were in place with clients, work etc so some of my typical day-to-day "me-time" was adjusted because of it. Following our quick trip, I was surprisingly exhausted. St Paddy's Day weekend in St John's can do that to a person ya know? Not to mention staying up much later than I typically do.

The first week back I was wiped and had to muster up energy for my gig (music) on Friday. Since we returned home on the Monday, I also only had a 4-day work week to "get back into things". I got 2-walks in at just under 4km each that week and some reading. That's about it.

The following week (last week at the time I'm writing this) an opportunity came my way that I needed to decide if I wanted to pursue or not. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time, but it needs to be realistic for me at this point in my life.

-Monday was a typical day overall (typically busy) and I went for a nice walk-run after lunch before my evening sessions.

-Tuesday I had my first conversation via phone call about this opportunity, followed by an afternoon walk. That night, I slept poorly. I had alot on my mind.

Over the next few days I didn't have great sleeps, and had more conversations to help figure out if I should go for this opportunity that's available. By the weekend I was wiped, mentally and physically.

The Choice...

Here's the fork in the road so to speak. I can get frustrated that I haven't done much this week activity wise for example, and that I haven't slept well OR I can understand that right now my energy is going into something else that is important at this moment (in this case, my decision). I decided to take Friday evening to stay home. If I don't have a gig, I often help my old teammate with his soccer team's practice and then play pickup soccer with my old club. But I was wiped. And I knew I needed a break.

Saturday this past weekend, my decision had been made that I was going to go for this opportunity. I submitted my resume (no I'm not leaving my job) . But what's done is done. It's no longer in my hands and my decision is made. Meaning - time to focus on ME again.

I'll reiterate THE CHOICE. I had a rare quiet weekend. I could have easily pushed myself to go for a run, do some weights or even make plans with friends or family. Instead I chose to RECHARGE that energy I lost over the last few weeks:

-I watched some soccer on TV

-I played board games

-I played guitar

-I organized some of my fly fishing stuff to prep for fishing soon

-I read my book

-I watched a movie with my wife

-I watched a show with my daughter

-I focused on sleep

It's now Monday as I type this, and I have a rare quiet Monday (great timing). I feel more energy coming back, but I'm not rushing anything. We get caught in that trap too often. I've learned to recognize the signs of when my mind and body are ready to push, and when they want to do something but at an easier pace. By mid-afternoon today I've already done...


-Morning client session

-Work errand

-Post-lunch walk (7.5km)

-Post-walk tea and played a digital board game on my tablet

-Meditation session

*Currently I'm writing this...*

-A 20-30min study session in one of my courses

-Followed by 2 more client sessions

-Finishing the day with my women's Health & Lifestyle group

*And most likely a pre-bed board game before reading my book... It relaxes me *

Taking action that is sustainable, not draining and realistic at any given time truly creates healthy, sustainable lifestyle practices that YOU enjoy! The ability to recognize the good you're doing for your mind and body even when you're low on energy, is a strength not everyone has. Many overlook the power it brings.

The key is creating tools, mindsets and strategies to help recharge you during these times. When things get busy, when things drain your reserves you don't have to set your health aside. You simply need to adjust.

*If you've made it this far in this post, you must resonate with this. Here's an exercise for you: Make a list of all the things that make you feel good (inside and/or out) that you can do even when your energy is a bit drained. Keep this list accesible and the next time you feel tired but still want to do something for your mind and body, pick something from your list... And enjoy!

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