How To Eat For Energy - Step 5: Set Energizing Boundaries
Today we're on to step five of eating for energy and getting rid of that 3 PM "crash."
Last week we talked about the important impact that caffeine has on our energy levels and getting out of that energy zapping cycle. If you missed steps 1-4, join in and read about them here:
So far we’ve been focused on what we're putting inside of our bodies as fuel. Now I want to focus on the ways in which we let our energy out. Watch the short video below or read on to learn about burnout and how to set energizing boundaries to preserve that precious energy of yours!
As a society in general, we're constantly busy, switched on all the time, and connected in ways we haven’t been before. We're working harder than ever, and we're tired. When you talk to someone at work and you ask how they're doing, more often than not, their answer has something to do with how tired they are or how they didn't sleep enough or how busy they are or how crazy their schedule has been.
I feel this personally as well! I run a business and also work as a healthcare professional and I'm really, really busy. I'm also someone that has an autoimmune disease, and throughout all my life, I've learned that I need to sleep, rest and care for myself more than most people do.
Last month I was feeling fatigued and burnt out. I was in a place where my body was asking me to rest and recharge. I felt like if I canceled clients for a day, or if I called in sick, or if I wasn't able to produce or do my work, that everything would crumble around me. I felt like I wouldn't be able to keep everything up.
When I was in that place, I was thinking about all the different ways that we expend our energy. Energy is such a valuable resource, especially for those of us who've dealt with chronic fatigue issues or autoimmune issues and don't have a ton of it to give. When our boundaries are weak, unguarded, or unclear, we let in all sorts of stuff that isn’t actually our stuff, and we give away our own personal energy unconsciously.
It’s important to look at all of the areas in which we're hemorrhaging or expending our energy so that we can set some good energizing boundaries for ourselves. You could be eating the most beautiful diet in the world, balancing your meals perfectly, sipping on chamomile tea, but if you're hemorrhaging energy because you don't have good boundaries in place, than you're going to burn out.
3ways to set powerful, energizing boundaries:
Step 1: Say “No”
Look ahead at your calendar for this next week. Is there anything you see that gives you a feeling of anxiety or stress right away? If there is, it's likely that it's something that's taking a lot of your energy. I know if you have families and kids and obligations, than not everything in your schedule is going to be in your control, and that's fine. But look ahead and see if there are places where you can say no and give yourself a little bit more space.
Instead of scheduling your whole weekend out, can you have days or periods of time where there's nothing, where you can give yourself some space and time?
Step 2: Schedule time to do nothing
By this I mean actually marking time on your calendar to do nothing. This doesn't have to be scheduling spa days. It can literally be scheduling 10 minutes of silence for yourself. You could breathe, meditate, go to a yoga class, have a tea date with a friend, or stare at a wall if you want. It doesn't matter as long as it’s something that gives you energy. It’s necessary to give ourselves designated time to rest and recharge, and sometimes we have to schedule it in to make sure that it happens.
Here's a beautiful meditation that I've been listening to that talks about resting and recharging as the natural cycles of life. A flower doesn't bloom all of the time. It needs to take time to draw its energy back within itself and so that it can bloom again when the time is right. As humans we're the same. We can't constantly be on and blooming. We need time to go inward and to rest and restore as well.
Step 3: Get mindful about technology
This is one of the first things I address with many of my clients because technology can be a huge energy suck! If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in an Instagram deep dive, scrolling mindlessly through pictures and you come up 30 minutes later feeling drained, inadequate and insecure, then you know how much our social media consumption can affect us.
Putting some gentle boundaries on how you use and consume technology is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to preserve energy.
I recommend setting morning and evening boundaries. This can mean waking up in the morning and not grabbing your phone until you are done with your morning routine. I like to say, “Tell yourself who you are before the rest of the world does.” It’s amazing what this can do for your overall mindset and well-being.
In addition to limiting distractions with social media, limiting blue light and screen time in the evenings can positively influence our circadian rhythms and help to improve our sleep. 
Now you have all five steps of eating for energy and getting rid of that 3 PM "crash” to integrate into your own life. I hope you've enjoyed considering all of the ways that you can supercharge your energy so you can get back to being your fabulous, energized self!
If you want to talk more about what this looks like in your life specifically, I always offer free 30-minute discovery sessions to get clear on your major health concerns and what’s standing in your way.
We are all unique and will implement each of these strategies differently, so contact me to set up a consultation and we can create a plan of action specifically for you.
Christina Tidwell, MN, RN, CHC