While it would be nice to have an unlimited supply of energy, the truth is that just isn’t possible. To have energy, one must accept that there will be low energy times when rest and relaxation are required. At times, it’s far too easy to go for passive relaxation like zoning out in front of the TV or spending time on Facebook, news sites or other time drains on the internet. While these things are OK in moderation, they don’t really provide the real restorative properties that help us to feel re-energized. Intentional rest and relaxation is needed to restore our energy levels.
Sometimes, I struggle against feelings of fatigue rather than just accepting that I feel tired and need to take time to rest or relax. If I spend the time taking care of myself, I’ll have more energy later for the things I want to accomplish. Below are a few of my favorite ways to rest and relax in order to restore my energy levels.
Sleep is important and while we all know it, it’s an easy thing to fail to get enough of it. Since I started practicing my habits for energy this month, going to bed by 9 has been one of the harder ones. Although since that has been my goal, I think I’ve at least made it to bed by 10 each night. It’s easy to want to stay up later and sometimes, it’s just hard for me to fall asleep. Ironic how I might spend all day feeling sleepy until I lie down to go to sleep. That said, so far it has been one of the biggest factors in my energy level each day. Making it to bed early and getting enough sleep makes me wake up feeling so much more energetic. Sleep was also one of the most commonly mentioned things when I Googled to see what others recommend for energy.
Naps are a special variety of sleep. While they’re often recommended for energy, I find that I have mixed results with them. If I sleep too long, I wake up groggy and feeling bad. If I’m tired and don’t take a nap, I just stay tired and miserable all day. If I set my alarm for a short nap, once it goes off, I’m likely to snooze it again and go back to sleep. I still haven’t figured out an optimal nap length.
Yoga is one of my favorite truly restorative and relaxing things to do. (Granted, there are a lot of different types of yoga and some of them are more active and less relaxing than others.) Often I find that if I’m tired, I feel much better after and hour spent doing yoga. It’s good for the mind and body. Plus I find that tension that builds up in my body starts to become a drain that I may not even be aware of. Yoga helps to release that and make me feel more energized. One easy yoga option is to look up a yoga video on YouTube. You might have to go through a couple to find one you really like, but there is a wide enough variety, there is something to meet all tastes. ‘Restorative yoga’ or ‘yin yoga’ are good search terms to find relaxing yoga videos.
Meditation is another good intentional practice for unwinding and relaxing a little. It helps to clear the mind and give it a break from the constant task of thinking and doing. It’s also a good break for the body. Meditation helps with stress and stress tends to be a big energy drain.
Hmm… nothing like a hot bath and maybe some bubbly stuff added in. At the moment, it’s not really the season here to be interested in that, but come cooler weather, it’s a great way to really relax. It’s not something that I do all that often, but when I remember that it’s something that I like and I make the time for it, I find it’s really enjoyable.
One of my favorite things for deep relaxation are ‘self-hypnosis’ recordings by Darren Marks for relaxing or going to sleep. (The self-hypnosis part might sound kind of off-putting to some, but there’s nothing weird about them. They just walk you through relaxing.) They’re available through Google Play music, as Android apps and probably on other platforms. Or search out recordings by somebody else: there are tons of them out there. These help me to relax, especially if my mind is kind of busy and my thoughts intrude too much to make meditation easy.
A few other pretty self-explanatory ideas:
- Soothing music
- Soothing smells (candles, lotion, etc.)
- Cuddling up with your cat or dog