Energy is important – for pretty much everything – including that inner and outer glow and vitality we talk about here on the Glow Guide.
Energy isn’t just about how we much we have in the tank to get us from A to B. It is also how much patience we have at work and at home. It’s about how considerate we are in the long line-up at the supermarket and in a traffic jam. It’s about how much enthusiasm we have for life, and how much space we have in life for creativity and beauty.
If we're low in energy a lot of that just flies by the wayside and we go through life one day, one step at a time, depleted, defeated and disengaged.
Our metabolism also affects our energy levels. From the age of 25 our metabolism slows decade by decade. By the time we are in our 40s, 50s, and 60s, our metabolism has slowed so much that we're struggling, not only with weight gain, but also with depleted energy levels.
Here are the top five ways I have discovered that have given me more energy, every day, for everything I need to do. Psst … one is my absolute tops. Read on and I’ll tell you why.
First off … Exercise
Energy creates energy, and so exercise is important for creating energy. If you are already keen on exercise you are ahead of the game. But what is one to do if, like me, you are not a big one for exercise? I'm certainly not one for the gym. I also find it difficult to get out every day to pound the pavement. I am much better at fair weather weekend activities like biking and hiking, but that isn’t enough.
One needs consistent exercise two to three times a week, at least. I have found some stretching exercises I like to do when the weather is cold and wet. In dry weather I jog around the track near our home and I take my skipping rope along for 300 skips.
Find exercises you like to do, do them consistently, and you’ll find your energy levels increasing.
Next is food
Food is energy; food also creates energy. What we eat impacts how much energy we have in our body and how much we eat impacts our efficiency in using energy. Eat too much and our bodies will have to expend valuable energy digesting food resulting in lethargy.
The third tip is to slow down.
If you're wanting more energy it's not actually about being faster, going further, or doing more. Being busier doesn’t necessarily create energy. Instead, over a longer period of time, it can create anxiety, not energy. Rather, slow down.
Slow down in how you go about your day. Slow down in how you eat – sit and eat, don't eat on the run. Find ways in your life to slow down and to be present. When you do, your energy reserves will start to increase and you will have more energy for the rest of the day.
The next tip is creativity.
Find ways in your life to be creative. What do you love to do? What do you gravitate to doing? Taking time to do something creative generates energy in our bodies and replenishes our reserves. We step away from that activity, that task, that moment of creativity with fresh wind in our sails. The opposite is true too. If we push aside creative activities for the things we feel we have to do, we drain our energy.
The fifth tip is the one that I have found is the best place to start. If we start here, I think everything else - the creativity, the slowing down, the pleasure in life, the food we eat, the desire to want to eat better and to exercise – will flow out of this.
The fifth tip is simple, easy and free.
It's a three-letter word that is spelled F. U. N.
This is my story.
My husband and I can take life a little too seriously. We can be a little too focused, a little too driven, and a little too task oriented. We often forget to enjoy the journey, the process. A couple of years ago, my husband and I were discussing a topic that caused us both to feel discouraged and low in energy. I realised that we needed a change in our perspective.
I looked at him and said, "Do you know what? I don't think we have enough fun in our lives. We need to have more fun. We need to lighten up. We need to see the lighter side of life. We need to celebrate things and enjoy things, and not take everything so seriously."
I stepped out of my comfort zone and I said to him, "You know what I think we should do? We should have a happy dance.”
I said, "How about, when there's something to celebrate, something that's worthy of acknowledging, something that just says, hey, let's have a pause and let's step into this moment. Let's do this happy dance." And so we devised a happy dance.
It's small. It's nothing fancy. It doesn't cost any money, but boy has our happy dance changed our lives and our energy. We do a funny little jig. Whatever catches our fancy. We jump up and down, we run around in a circle, we high-five. And then we do it all over again.
Oh yeah, it was awkward the first time we did it, for sure, even if it was just between me and husband. But we kept doing it, my husband got into it, and now he will initiate it.
During Covid, stuck at home, we started watching ‘Death in Paradise’ on Britbox. We like a good British murder mystery and ‘Death in Paradise’ seemed like a good lighthearted option. The show is set in the Caribbean and its intro has fun upbeat music. The first time we watched it, my husband surprised me.
As soon as the festive music started, he got up, and he started doing a happy dance. I jumped up and joined him. We marched around our little place pretending we were blowing trumpets in a parade. We marched around our kitchen, and into the study and back into the living room, sitting down just as the music finished.
Now, every time we watch that show, the highlight for us is to get up and be goofy. We are not just goofy about that show, we are also goofy in moments of seriousness. It lightens things up and it causes happy energy to build up and be released in us.
If you want more energy in your life, start with having fun in your life. Be goofy. Be a kid again. Find ways to step out of the mold and do something silly for no other reason than that it makes you happy, and those around you happy.
When you do that everything else starts to fall place, your energy kicks in and your metabolism will start to fire up again. You’ll have a smile on your face, a zip in your step, and you’ll glow with energy and vitality, inside and out, in no time at all.
Go ahead, try it for yourself!