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The best thing we can do when we feel tired is to tune into ourselves to figure out what we need in the moment.
And the first part of this is connecting with how we truly feel.
I’ve noticed that sometimes I think I’m tired and then when I self-inquire, I realize I’m actually just overwhelmed, stressed, or nervous.
Are we actually tired? Or just bored, stressed, anxious, uninspired, or overwhelmed?
Once we know how we feel, we can figure out what we need to energize us—to help us feel more awake and alive.
When we approach it from a moment-to-moment basis, doing what feels right to us in each moment, we can honor ourselves in the ways we truly need.
With that said, there are a few things I’ve learned that tend to help me the most.
Here are nine ways we can energize ourselves:
Whether I’m tired or just feeling stressed, I often crave a short rest. I just want to lie down and give my mind a break. So, I like to set my alarm for 21 minutes or 25 or 30 (depending on how much time I have) and just lie down. I just lie there and breathe and let my thoughts wander and focus on my breath. Often, I end up falling asleep, but when I don’t, I just focus on breathing and it becomes like a meditation.
Personally, I love to walk. No matter what, no matter how tired or “out of it” I feel, walking always makes me feel better. It doesn’t feel too strenuous and it gets me out in Mother Nature, breathing fresh air. But any movement can work—a workout, yoga, stretching. Stretching can also feel so lovely in these moments.
Last week, I was tired after work and just sat and took slow, deep breaths. I felt so awake and didn’t even need to lie down and “rest.” We can simply sit and breath slowly and deeply, or do pranayama like nadi shodhana.
4. Fresh air.
Tied to number two. This has an instant way to make me feel better. If I can, I go for a walk. Or I open a window or the door to just let fresh air move through the room where I’m sitting. We can also sit or stand outside for even just a few minutes.
5. Drink water.
Drinking some water can instantly make me feel so much more awake.
6. Drink Caffeine.
I know not everyone likes caffeine, but I like it (even if water is more important). I love coffee and tea, but I also know my body. So I know whether caffeine will actually help me or not. I also know that I don’t generally enjoy drinking coffee later in the day and that drinking green tea on an empty stomach makes me feel nauseous. The key again: is doing what feels right to us, in our own individual bodies.
Showering makes me feel so awake. There’s something so refreshing about it. This is something I love to do in the morning or late in the day if I haven’t already showered and washed my hair. But we can also just put some water on our face, wrists, and arms.
8. Listen to good music.
I used to rely on this a lot more when I was younger, and I often forget how well this works. But I think that’s also because as I get older, I crave silence and quiet more. But sometimes, just the right song can make all the difference.
9. Release pressure to be “productive.”
When I’m feeling tired, I usually try to release all sorts of pressure. Pressure to be productive or do anything in particular—because pressure just adds stress, which does not make us feel better. When I have to work, I do so, but I try to do it in a way that is still aligned with how I feel, and I let myself rest or take extra breaks if I need. (I’m lucky that I have the opportunity to do this.) But outside of work, I just allow myself to relax and do whatever feels good and right to me.
Again, the key is to simply tune into what we need in the moment.
What are some ways you energize yourself?