I’m a self-observing freak. What does that mean?
I constantly check what makes me feel good and what makes me feel like s*** and I notice that everything I do or don’t do has an effect on my energy level. Everything.
It will surprise you, but the main thing that gives me energy is not coffee. No. It’s being creative. Don’t get me wrong, I love the taste of coffee, but it doesn’t wake me up, it makes me hyper and sometimes even anxious. That’s why I usually stick to the decaf version.
Every day I hear at least one person say: “I’m so tired, I need a coffee.” I don’t know who made us believe that coffee wakes us up (probably the coffee industry), but here are a few things that wake me up - without side effects like dry mouth, bad breath and yellow teeth.
1. Doing what brings me joy
If I do what brings me joy, I’m so pumped about my day. Remember when you were a kid and you had to fall asleep the night before Christmas. It was hard. You had a lot of energy, because you were excited about the next day. You might feel the same before you go on a vacation that you’ve been looking forward to. No coffee needed.
Imagine you would create a life that you could look forward to every single day of the year? Ok. I’m honest, I’m not excited every day, but when I do what I love, it’s very easy for me to get up in the morning and feel motivated throughout most of my day.
Do more of what brings you joy!!!
Also check out my 7 Questions To Reconnect With Your Authentic Self. You can sign up for it right here.
2. Getting some fresh air
I promise you this: If you would take a fifteen minute walk or do a 5-10 minute mini-workout every time you’re craving a coffee, you would feel so energized. You wouldn’t even know what to do with all that extra energy. In the last two months I’ve been taking a 30-minute walk every morning and I feel fantastic afterwards.
Get out and breathe in some oxygen!
3. Doing something creative
Almost every single person I know watches TV every night. At least two hours, probably more. They tell me “When I come home from work, I feel so tired, I just want to sit on the couch and do nothing.” Oh, I totally get it. I used to think “If I feel tired, resting is the best thing for me.” But after my studies of self-observation I found out something crazy. Ready? You’re gonna flip out. When I’m tired and I do some yoga, take a short walk or have a dancing break in my living room, I don’t feel tired anymore. If I lay down on the couch instead, I’m done for the rest of the night.
Of course, you have to check in with your body. Sometimes it’s true. Sometimes our bodies do need a rest. But most of the time, we're tired because we're suffering from not being challenged enough - mentally and physically. So do yourself a favor. Shut the damn TV off and start creating stuff. Knit a scarf, paint something, write a letter or at least move your bones!
In a previous article I wrote about the most common numbing strategies that kill our creativity. If you feel depleted and you don't feel like creating anything, take a look at them here: 14 Numbing Strategies That Are Killing Your Joy and Creativity.
4. Surrounding myself with non-drama people
You know what, life isn’t always easy. We all have ups and downs and things can happen, like a loss of somebody you love, or you lose your job or something else that's tough. On top of the lemons that life throws at you, you don’t need people around you that produce extra drama. That is so draining. Be kind to these people, maybe distance yourself as much as possible and surround yourself with people who are creative, supportive, authentic and who are interested in solutions and not problems. If you’re born into a family that is addicted to drama don’t feel guilty for not wanting to spend time with them. You have the right to detach yourself from people who are not supporting you - even if they’re members of your birth family. Look out for souls that you can be yourself around and that feel like home. I call these people my soul family.
5. Listening to some good tunes
Music is healing and can get me out of a bad mood in 5 seconds. I’ve just shaken my body to Simon Garfunkel’s song "You can call me Al” and now I feel like I’m 7 again. I just want to be goofy, laugh, create things and enjoy the rest of the day. Seriously try it out. The next time you feel that you’re falling asleep or you’re having a bad day, put this song on.
6. Doing less
You will automatically start doing less and have more energy if you focus on No. 1 and No. 4 - do what brings you joy and surround yourself with people who lift you up. If you stop doing all the things you do half-heartedly or because people expect you to do them, you will have so much more time in your life to hang around and eat ice cream on your porch. That means: If you don’t feel 100% excited about going to the baby shower that you’ve been invited to, don’t go. If you don’t feel 100% pumped to go to the charity event, say no. If people ask you to volunteer for a bake sale, and you would only do it to not feel guilty, please stay at home. It’s not selfish to say no. You’re taking care of your energy. And if you’re feeling great, you can do more great stuff, be kind to others and spread the love.
If you feel stressed and burnt out, this is what you are going to bring with you and this won't help anybody. I also wrote two articles about the art of being lazy and how to afford a lifestyle that supports doing less. Read them here:
Remember: We’re all connected. What’s good for you is good for all of us. Even though it doesn’t seem like that sometimes. If people want to make you feel guilty for not participating in certain events, stand up for yourself and take responsibility for your own wellbeing.
I also want to mention some things that make me feel tired and suck out my energy. Here is a short list. Maybe you will discover that it’s the same for you.
I don’t want to make it sound like I’m always full of enthusiasm. I have days, sometimes weeks, when I feel heavy and lethargic too. And when that happens it doesn’t do me any good if I ask myself continually: “Why do I feel tired now? Or why do I feel like doing nothing today?” The best thing for me in those days is to accept how I feel because fighting against being tired causes more fatigue. But then, when I come out of a low energy phase I try to make sure to take responsibility for the things that I do.
Hope this article gave you as much energy as it gave me!