The pandemic has certainly illuminated many things for me; has it done the same for you? What I have found is that what I value most in life has been highlighted while the injustices of the world have been spot lighted.
It has certainly required a lot of reflection and one thing that has come up for me is the need for more balance. Now as a self-proclaimed high achiever, what I know, is that the need for protecting our energy is more important now that it ever has been before. And here’s why.
Energy is our most vital resource. And its renewable.
Time on the other hand, is fixed. We can’t change the fact there is only 24 hours in a day. Doing more doesn’t need to come at the expense of well-being. In fact, investing in our energy contributes to our personal and professional success by increasing vitality, self-confidence, and creating sharper focus.
So, let’s dive into how harness the power of energy, why it matters to personal and professional growth and the correlation between well-being and happiness.
Essential Practices of Energy
So, this is not a surprise I’m sure. Sufficient sleep keeps us mentally sharp, improving our ability to remember, learn, and grow. It also refreshes our emotional state, reduces stress, and recharges our bodies. Sign me up.
Exercise doesn’t just strengthen our body; it strengthens our mind too. Movement and brain health are inherently interconnected, and research suggests that physical exercise is just as beneficial for the brain as it is for the body. Engaging in exercise can reduce anxiety and depression, improve mood, boost self-esteem, minimize stress, and enhance cognitive functioning. So, it turns out that moving our bodies makes us smarter and happier!
I’m not going to spend too much time here, but nutrition and hydration impacts our energy. Truth is, we are in an energy crisis. We, as a society, are busy, stressed, need more physical activity and sometimes have poor eating habits — all contributing to low energy levels. One way to improve our energy levels is by eating better.
In case you haven’t noticed, other people have a tremendous effect on our energy level. The people around us can either dramatically boost or completely drain our energy. People can give you energy, and they can also take it away so choose wisely and reflect on who in our lives contributes to our overall happiness.
Don’t discount the power of fun in life. In his book Play,author and psychiatrist Stuart Brown, MD, compares play to oxygen. He writes, “…it’s all around us, yet goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it is missing.” This might seem surprising until you consider everything that constitutes play. Play is art, books, movies, music, comedy, flirting and daydreaming, writes Dr. Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play. Straight up, play brings joy. And it’s vital for problem solving, creativity and relationships.
It’s easy for busy people to rush through life at warp speed without ever stopping to figure out where we’re going. Reflection gives the brain an opportunity to pause amidst the chaos, untangle and sort through observations and experiences, consider multiple possible interpretations, and create meaning. This meaning becomes learning, which can then inform future mindsets and actions.
Although, these essential practices aren’t anything new, what I want to share is that these essential practices isn’t an “or” situation, but an “and” situation. It’s really about how protecting our energy will actually expedite our personal and professional growth, make us heathier, happier, smarter and even more confident- all cornerstones to success.
The important thing to remember here is that we are our biggest investment. And taking time to replenish energy is going to support us in moving through obstacles, establishing boundaries, become more productive and even make us happier and smarter.
How great is that?