It’s one thing to make sure you have enough physical energy, but as long as you eat well, stay somewhat active, and get enough rest, it’s not usually a problem. For those times when you do a feel like you need a little boost, there’s coffee and even something as simple as natural sugars from fruit that can give you a little pick-me-up. But what about your mental energy?
Emotional and mental energy needs are obviously different than physical. Mental energy is what it takes to accomplish daily tasks, work responsibilities, school work, and it’s what you need in order to be creative, productive, and even maintain healthy relationships. More often than not, however, the demand for your time and mental energy can exceed your capacity. The fact is, we all tend to commit too much of ourselves to a laundry list of less-than-crucial things that are simply draining our energy.
Plus, on top of all the demands mentioned above, there are seasonal activities and responsibilities that can demand even more from you both physically and mentally. The energy drain is real, and if you don’t do something about it, you might very well find your physical and emotional health suffering because of it.
It can be argued that mental energy is more important than its physical counterpart. In fact, your mental energy has a great impact on you physically. If you feel mentally or emotionally drained, you won’t be able to physically perform at your best. As with physical energy, there are several easy and a few not-so-easy steps you can take to increase your mental energy…
We’re not talking about naps, although those are certainly worthwhile. You need to get up, walk around, and stretch once in a while to clear your mind. Even do some mild exercises, climb some stairs, or do some jumping jacks. Physical activity can help recharge your mental energy by improving blood flow and oxygenating your blood which helps fuel your mind.
Eat Whole Foods
Whether its breakfast, lunch, dinner, or during your snack breaks, make sure to skip the fast food and junk and shoot for whole foods, healthy brain-fueling snacks, and nutritionally-balanced shakes instead. Highly processed foods can have a negative effect on brain functions while natural, whole foods tend to deliver nutrient-rich ingredients that increase both physical and mental energy without the risk of a sugar slump.
Focus on What Matters
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of always needing to do more, accomplish more, and exceed all the expectations you’ve placed on yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that, but always remember there’s more to life than work, and you can end up decreasing your productivity if you have too many things on your plate.
Try not to think about always doing more, but instead focus on the tasks that truly matter so you can spend more time and put more thought into those. Think of it as quality over quantity, which is always a worthwhile goal. To-do lists are great for keeping you on track and reminding you of things that need to be done, but find one key goal per day that you want to put most of your energy into, and don’t forget to live in the moment.
Avoid Energy Vampires
Let’s face it, there are certain people and relationships that are more draining than they should be. While every relationship and interaction can have its positive qualities, if there are coworkers or acquaintances who you can feel draining your mental or emotional energy, find ways to nicely escape and focus on more positive relationships or responsibilities.
Don’t be afraid to put your own well-being ahead of everything else. The only way you can perform your best and be your most valuable to others is when you take care of yourself, so it’s selfless to be selfish once in a while.