My Top 3 Energy Hacks

October 15, 2015

While weight has been the barometer of health for the past two decades I would argue that energy has become the new currency of well being. We have ultra-charged, privileged lives yet it’s common to feel that we lack the energy to enjoy them. When we’re caught in this stress cycle it’s easy to make choices such as surviving on little sleep, eating convenience foods on the run and propping up with caffeine and sugar just to get through the day.

While working with diet can make a big difference in our energy there are also emotional and spiritual layers to consider. Sometimes fatigue is trying to teach us something and we need to be open to finding the gold.

When I went back to school to finish my final year of nutrition studies my son was still a baby. Add to that my seven year old daughter with her full roster of playmates and activities and it didn’t take long for me to reach epic overwhelm.

I was forced to figure out a way to manage my energy better. I’m still a work in progress but here are the top 3 ideas I’ve focused on along the way:

Manage energy not time.

The hours we have in a day are fixed but the quantity and quality of energy we have available is not. From an evolutionary standpoint our bodies were designed to move and hunt by day and sleep at night. Our technological innovations mean we can work and play at all hours. Instead of paying attention to our alertness and whether or not we are functioning at our best we override the natural rhythms that once defined our lives. The challenge is to make new boundaries to protect and manage our energy as an asset in the same way that we take care of our property or money. The shape and content of our lives depends on how we invest our energy.

What is the most important thing for you to accomplish today?

This question helps zero in one or two meaningful priorities right away.

Our energy capacity diminishes with overuse.

Constant demands on our energy will progressively deplete our reserves. We need to make a paradigm shift: downtime is not wasted time. Life is not a marathon but a series of sprints. Consciously and deliberately stepping off the track to recover is a must. Sleep, exercise, nourishing food, relaxation, mindfulness exercises, time with family and friends, music—these all bring relaxation and pleasure into our lives. Pleasure in particular is a powerfully healing but often overlooked “nutrient.”