Everyone loses energy and focus, at least at some point. Even me! Here’s a recent example.
I found myself feeling a bit unproductive and unfocused, and a bit low-energy, recently. Pondering this unusual situation gave me the realization that I was feeling overwhelmed by a work project and anxious about a health situation. I love the work project, and at a conscious level I’m not distressed by the health situation. So, what’s the deal there?
The perfect storm was brewing.
With work I am studying to make my new business angle more concise. Armed with loads of information from webinars, team calls, books, self-introspection, and lots of writing, I was ready to put it all together. I just didn’t know where to start! Ah, yes….overwhelm.
Remembering the lesson I learned, and shared with you, about freezing (Defrosting article) myself with “I don’t know”, I knew I had to take action. So, I stopped, regrouped, and with baby steps started moving forward to implement all the things I knew and wanted to do. A sense of relief swept over me. My energy rose, closer to my normal high-energy level. My focus strengthened. As the relief and energy rose my good habits started returning too.
What? Bad habits had crept in? Things like munching on foods I’d put on my “don’t eat list” for an experiment I was conducting. The rational-thinking was “Oh, that’s no big deal. The food is ok. It’s only my experiment that’ll suffer, not my health.” Well, maybe the foods themselves wouldn’t hurt me, but the quantity wasn’t doing me any good. I put a few pounds of my hard-lost weight back on. That’s not good for my health, or my psyche! What’s not good for my psyche isn’t good for my energy.
Ok. Information noted and recorded. New commitment to stick with my food experiment in place. Energy rising again. Weight holding.
Then came the day to drive five hours to a doctor’s appointment for a second opinion on handling the health situation. No big deal. I love to drive. The weather was beautiful, the roads were in good condition, and I had interesting lectures to listen to along the way.
I was confident the second opinion would be positive. After all, I’d been doing some nutritional things to improve my situation and knew that would put me in an even better place than I had been before. I’m a healthy woman. All is well.
So, why did I buy a large-ish bag of Smartfood white cheddar cheese popcorn at my half-way point? Hhhhmmmm…. I guess I was anxious. The food kept me entertained as I drove through the beautiful mountains and river canyon. More of that rational thinking interjected itself too: the whole bag is only 800 calories, so if I don’t eat anything beyond the protein drink breakfast and a dinner salad, my daily calorie intake will be fine. I stopped four-fifths of the way through the bag, saving calories! Yeah, right.
The appointment went fine, as anticipated. The doctor had the same reaction I did, me being armed with oodles of online research — she’s a brilliant doctor. She ordered a few more tests to rule out something serious we can’t gauge without the tests. When all pointers aim at “no problem” that’s a reasonable attitude to continue to hold. So, I do.
I made it half-way home before calling it a day due to dark having set in; mountain roads at night after a really long day are good roads to avoid. The rest of the switch — increasing energy and focus — that started when I took a proactive approach to my project overwhelm concluded that night in the cozy hotel room.
My energy was back! My need for snacks was gone. A good night’s sleep, a healthy home-made juice for breakfast, and a quick two-hour drive home brought me back to my feelings of being centered and grounded.
Even the three and a half hour conference call I finished the day with seemed short. I. Am. Back. Mostly….I did allow myself a chocolate treat this afternoon, knowing it was the last of the “feed me” nervousness I’d built up through the previous month. At least it was a small treat. 🙂
This long tale has a purpose. What are you doing unconsciously to undermine your habits? What is going on in your life that’s sapping your energy level and focus? Is there only one thing, or do you have a list of situations that are weighing on you and bringing you down in various ways?
Energy levels can be elusive. Focus can be evasive. You deserve to have them at your beck and call. Take stock of your life and stay on top of the energy vampires. Be proactive in generating and maintaining your energy levels. Recommit to what you know to be good and healthy for you. And last, ask for help: that’s what coaches are for!