Monday, September 30, 2013

How to cope with low energy days

Dear Dr. Rob…
How do I deal with low-energy days, when I have a hard time getting things done?
From a participant at CEO Connect

Dear Low-Energy,
This is a great question, because it is something that happens to all of us at some time, yet is infrequently discussed or even admitted. We all have our good days and bad, and recognize that we cannot always function at our optimum best. Here are a few suggestions for coping with low energy days:

  • On those days, give yourself permission to take a break. If you can, take a brief meditation break, say a prayer, stretch, or take a walk.There's nothing worse than getting sleepy during a meeting and forcing yourself to stay awake. Better to take a restroom break and get refreshed than doze off during a meeting. Maybe thats why they call it “rest” room.
  • For short term re-energizing, try doing energizing yoga poses, such as downward facing dog, or a few push-ups. Exercising releases endorphins and naturally energizes your body.
  • Be sure you are eating a good breakfast and have light snacks on hand that help energize your body, such as fruits and nuts… and of course drink plenty of water.
  • Keep a “did list” of everything that you did today, rather than a “to-do list” of what you have to do.
  • If you're having too many low-energy days, you might ask yourself why. One of the most common reasons is not getting enough sleep. We believe we can get by on 6 or fewer hours, when in fact research shows that most people need 8.
  • I discussed this question with my friend, psychologist and author of Your Father, Your Self, Dr. Barry Gordon of Cleveland and here are some of the ideas he came up with: Barry said to remember that the measure of a professional is how well you perform on the days when you're not up to performing well
  • Barry also suggests focusing on small steps and getting one thing done at a time on days when you have low energy
  • Finally, if this is happening too much of the time, consider that you may be in the wrong job. If we lack passion for a job and we are not using our unique skills on the job, it is easy to feel low-energy and bored.

This is such a great question, I would love to hear your suggestions. Please email me or post them in the comments section. Also remember to send in your own questions for future columns.

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