Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill Therapist Sara Cole.
1. Sleep. This may be obvious but it is crucial. Most people do not get enough sleep. The average adult requires 6-8 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis. The quality of the sleep is also important. Some things you can do to help improve the quality of your sleep are to make sure your room is dark, quiet and cool. Sleep at around the same time each night so that your body gets into that rhythm. Avoid screens for at least an hour before going to bed. The light they emit throws your brain out of sleep mode which will make it hard to fall asleep. Try doing something calming and relaxing before bed. Good sleep equals more energy. If you are having frequent interruptions to your sleep, you will notice the effects. These could be depression, anxiety, fatigue. New moms can totally attest to this.
As a bonus fact, did you know that sleep loss reduces mental functioning. More quality sleep can actually improve not only your mood and energy, but also your mental functioning. Wow! Right?
2. Exercise regularly. This may sound counter intuitive because exercise requires a lot of energy. When you are tired the last thing you want to do is exercise right? But the crazy good news is that exercise actually gives you more energy and improves your mood. Exercise works in the short term to wake you up and get your blood pumping, but it also works on a long term basis. It can help you sleep better, improve your mood and give you a great energy boost when done on a regular basis because your health improves and your system works more efficiently. Oh and you may like the way you look in those jeans a little more as well.
3. Do something you enjoy. Do you like doing puzzles or painting? Maybe hiking or juggling are your thing. The key is to do something you get excited about and brings you joy to do. It doesn't matter what it is or if you mix up the things you do. Awaken your passion for something and that can reawaken your passion for life. The feel good parts of your brain get activated. You feel good about yourself. All of these side effects of doing something that brings you joy, add up to energy and motivation in other areas of your life.
4. List the good things in your life everyday. There is always something good you can come up with. Sometimes they will be big things and other days they might be small things. Write it down or just make a mental list. If I am feeling down, sometimes I start listing things and keep going until I am not feeling sorry for myself any more. Ipromise it helps. If you have a hard time getting started with this practice start close and then move out. For example, you might say "I am thankful for my healthy lungs, my beating heart, my eyes that let me see so much beauty, the hugs I get from so and so, my ability to taste so many different foods, the house I live in, my kids, my friend, that flower over there, the sound of birds singing, my job, rain, sunshine, etc.
Give it a try and try to remember to do it everyday. A positive outlook and a sense of gratitude will boost your mood which will boost your energy. Sadness, anger depression, stress and anxiety are energy suckers. So change the outlook and you will change the flow of energy.
If your are doing all of this and still feel like you can't live the life you want to live, consider seeing a therapist to get support and additional resources because that's what we do. We help people feel better. You were not meant to just survive. You can totally thrive.
Sara Cole has been providing mental health services in San Diego for 15 years. Sara specializes in working with women and teen girls to overcome trauma and major life changes, including postpartum depression and anxiety. She is also passionate about providing treatment to those whose lives are affected by the addiction of a loved one.