Finding motivation and energy to continue moving forward is something I work with daily, coaching is all about supporting people to gain insights and continue to move forward. In this month’s blog I will share some insights about how to manage our energy levels, to explore how vital it is to be aware of our own energy levels and how to enhance those levels when they deplete.
I have been taking some training this month about mental health. I find it fascinating to hear that energy has a big role in keeping us mentally healthy. Mental Health First Aid England describe this as a stress container. Imagine a jug with water in it, if the stress flows in, then there needs to be ways for the stress or water to also pour out, otherwise the stress starts overflowing and that is where we end up in potentially unhealthy stress zones.
Some levels of stress can be healthy for us, they drive us forward, give us a sense of purpose or motivation and can signify a sense of great achievement when something is then accomplished. Identifying what healthy stress looks like for you is helpful. Experiencing unhealthy levels of stress can impact us significantly, therefore it can be useful to identify your potential stress signals. Your stress signals may include irritability, headaches and losing your sense of humour. What are your potential stress signals?
How much stretch and challenge do you enjoy?
We all enjoy different levels of stretch and challenge – for some people, the level of stretch they enjoy is higher than others and what brings about one person’s healthy stress can bring about another’s unhealthy stress. I call this our optimum zone – where you are operating at the level of stretch and challenge that suits you best and brings out the best in you. If we can better identify our own optimum zone, then we can move towards this in our lives.
Reflect on moments where you are in a healthy zone – what does this look like? What level of stretch and challenge do you thrive upon? What brings out the best in you?
Identify Energy boosters
Some activities and people bring about an increase in our energy levels. These could be categorised as follows:
- Work tasks that bring a sense of satisfaction
- Learning new things
- Groups of people you feel accepted by and enjoy one another’s company
- Individuals who you enjoy spending time with
- Spiritual activities
- Fun – activities that bring total enjoyment and bring a smile to your face
Reflect on the different categories above – what increases your energy levels?
Identify Energy Drainers
The same list above can be used for energy drainers. These are people or activities that lower your mood, motivation and energy. Working towards eliminating these or minimising them is a great strategy.
Reflect on the different categories above – what depletes your energy levels?
How to manage our energy levels
Energy management is about being constantly vigilant for changes in our energy. Imagine a bank account, money gets put in and taken out. It is the same with energy, it is not a constant, so we need to work at it to ensure the bank of energy is in credit. People who come to coaching often start recognising sooner when they need to make changes. A client I am working with at the moment noticed how important spending time with their family is, and how this affects their energy. Whilst another client recently implemented a new morning routine to incorporate a run before work. These insights and awareness had a profound impact on their energy management. They reported their energy levels increased by being vigilant and making changes to their regular schedule to incorporate the things that make them thrive.
If we create healthy habits that meet our energy needs, then we have a good chance of staying in the optimum energy zone more frequently. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Consider the work tasks that deplete your energy and consider how you structure your day so that you complete these in bite size chunks alongside more replenishing work.
- Consider when your natural energy is at its highest or lowest, and match the work you do around those times.
- Notice which people give you energy and take your energy away – reflect on what changes you could make to spend more time with your energy givers, those people that make you shine.
- Consider creating a daily routine that enhances energy levels. I look at the start, middle and end of the day as particular moments that have the capacity to keep energy levels high, and create particular activities that do so. For example time for planning for the following day, time to start the day before meetings start, and time for a proper lunch break with some food and fresh air.
How we manage our energy levels has a significant impact on our well-being as well as our success at work. The more energised we feel the more we have to give to ourselves, our work and the people around us.
If you would like to experience the benefits of regularly looking after your energy management using coaching do get in touch. I’d love to hear how you manage your energy levels and what works for you? If you wish to work on this, or have any questions for me, please get in touch to arrange a no obligation discovery call.