As an in-house coach one of the most common challenges I see in my clients is a lack of energy. Most are combining multiple priorities: building a business whilst still in corporate life, raising a family, taking care of elderly parents, and doing their best to try and outrun that pesky inner critic. Is it any wonder so many of us feel as though we’re tired all the time?
I frequently ask, “When did you last stop or do something just for yourself? When did you last do anything to replenish?”
And the answer is always met with silence and then an embarrassed whisper of, “I can’t remember…”
Tired all the time… Does this sound familiar?
I’m just as guilty.
It seems our number one soft power principle of replenish, replenish, replenish is one of the hardest to allow.
What the bloody hell is that all about?
Well, I suppose I could write about all the challenges and excuses we make that stop us from being kind to ourselves, but quite frankly I’m too tired!
So instead I thought I’d share with you the fundamental principle to follow when you’re tired all the time.
“Just stop it!”
I’m kidding of course – kind of. Have you ever seen the comedy sketch with Bob Newhart – he plays a therapist imparting words of wisdom. It’s hilarious – and there’s more than a grain of truth in it.
Of course, yelling “stop it!” at ourselves when we know we’re already on the edge of burnout isn’t actually a very helpful approach. The thought of taking a whole day off, a week’s holiday, or even an entire lunch break can be enough to send us into a spiral of panic.
The secret to getting your energy back
So instead of exhausting yourself further, with radical lifestyle changes that will take even more energy to organise and implement, why not try a different approach?
When we’re running on empty and everything seems like a mountain to climb, sometimes the only way forward is with small acts of kindness everyday that will take you from overwhelmed and burning out to energised and vital.
Don’t know where to start? Try one of these tiny micro-acts of kindness.
7 tiny ways to stop feeling tired all the time
- Drink enough water. Fill up a glass and keep it on your desk – don’t forget to sip it throughout the day.
- Morning pages – the daily journaling practice that helps you offload, reflect and connect to yourself.
- Good quality sleep. If your worries are keeping you up at night, research some ways to help yourself get fully rested.
- Walking in nature, even if it’s just a brisk 20 minutes through the park on your way to work.
- Mindful breathing. There are lots of videos and apps that can help you find a 5 minute way to connect to your breath.
- Learning who and what you need to say no to. Setting boundaries is a powerful act of kindness to yourself.
- A good film or drama where you can just switch off. I’m very late to the party as I’ve only just discovered Call The Midwife – 50 minutes of loveliness and feel-good stories and I’m restored!
Where to begin
You might be thinking that one of those tiny actions would be the perfect place to start – but you might also have some better ideas of your own.
Give yourself permission to take a moment for yourself and your first act of kindness – go watch Bob Newhart, have a good giggle and then get a pen and paper.
Draw a line down the centre and in the left hand column brainstorm all the small acts you can do for yourself that will leave you feeling replenished.
Then, in the right hand column write down the boundaries you need to put in place so you’re able to take those baby steps back to life.
As you start to take care of yourself in tiny ways every day, you’ll find the balance gradually shifts. With more energy you’re better able to set boundaries, and so the cycle continues.
Share the kindness
If you know you could be a bit kinder to yourself, let’s help spread that commitment. Share ONE tiny act of kindness in the comments below, and let’s inspire each other to take that first baby step.
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- Emerging Leadership: How to support the NHS without burning out - April 30, 2020
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- One of many voices with Dr Joanna Martin: Rod Cartwright - April 16, 2020