Ways to get More Energy
Aside from some "typical" ways to get more energy such as exercise, coffee, etc, what some people may be surprised to think about is that fatigue, especially when its part of a cycle can be a symptom of depression or anxiety. My clients that are depressed or anxious almost always complain about fatigue as well. What does this mean? Just because you're tired doesn't mean you are depressed or anxious, but it's something to be curious about. A quote comes to mind that is helpful "You're not tired, you're uninspired"-Unknown. Here are some tips to consider that might just boost your energy:
What Sparks Joy or Interest?
Marie Kondo gets it right with this one, but apply it to your life. What sparks your interest or makes you smile when you talk about it? That is something that produces energy for you. It could be helpful to make a list of energy drainers and energy producers in your life. For me I would typically get very tired on roadtrips to my husband's family's house (7 hours away in Virginia!) and we both could predict that I would fall asleep after about during his turn of driving. However, one trip about 2 years ago we discovered podcasts and it was a game changer- Neither of us napped the whole ride down thanks to Serial, season one. I was amazed that I got there after a long day on the road and I didn't feel tired because I was so invested in the story and intrigued about what would happen!
Change up your routine
Do you get caught in the same cycle of wake up, work, home, sleep repeat? Maybe you need to add a small change to add some novelty in your life. Try getting up and walking around the office, eat lunch outside, go somewhere new. Sometimes adding some novelty in your life can give you a small boost in energy. Try a small new thing and see how it might increase your energy!
A touch of inspiration and goal setting
Often when we are feeling stuck, tired, uninspired we may feel bored and unmotivated. Take time to re-group and think of your big picture goals. Pick one and break it down into smaller steps. Try using the SMART goal setting system (Is it Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely?) to create some smaller steps that you can put into practice on a weekly basis. Even if you aren't in the "action phase" of taking steps toward a goal, it might give you energy to explore an area that inspires you. Listen to a Ted talk, check out a podcast, video or website about a topic you are interested in learning about. Inspiration and curiosity can give you energy!
You know your patterns the best. Does connecting with friends or family give you energy? If so maybe that is something to add or increase in your life. Call an old friend, schedule a coffee or lunch date, make a routine of sending a group chat or connecting with people who make you feel good. Social connections can be a great buffer against depression, anxiety, and fatigue if they make you feel good!
Jacintha Carson, LPC, NCC Licensed Professional Counselor
Associate at Think Happy Live Healthy, LLC
256 N. Washington St. Falls Church VA 22046