Stop the Energy Zappers and Time Takers

Are you frequently distracted and make needless mistakes?

Do you find yourself juggling a gazillion tasks, wishing for more time while rushing from one thing to another?

Are you often fatigued, even when you are doing things that require little energy?

Did you misplace your keys, purse or phone – again?

If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) chronic fatigue syndrome is a prolonged period of unexplained, persistent fatigue not related to physical exertion and not relieved by rest. Ongoing symptoms include difficulty concentrating, unrefreshed sleep, muscle pain, headaches, shortness of breath, depression and anxiety attacks.

Constantly feeling like you don’t have enough energy to lift one foot ahead of the other puts you on the fast track for burnout and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Feeling tired and out of sorts for prolonged periods of time is not an optimal state of being.

When I was in grad school, I often felt scattered, rushed, skipped meals and neglected to take time from my hectic schedule to relax and allow my mind and body time to rejuvenate.  My wake up call came in the form of chest pains that made me think I was having a heart attack!

Thankfully, I didn’t.

What I learned from that scary episode was that I needed to get my proper rest, eat well and take time for me. I recognized that I was in a sense abusing my health and well-being.  I am not Superwoman!

And neither are you!

Here are some suggestions to stop the energy zappers and time takers in their tracks so you don’t fall prey to burnout, chronic fatigue syndrome and other ailments:

  • Get enough rest – How much sleep is enough?  Some sleep experts say we need 8 hours to wake up feeling refreshed.  Like me, you may need only 6-7 hours of sleep to be productive and alert.   Try going to bed at the same time every night.  Avoid caffeine prior to going to bed.  Of course these suggestions are only suggestions. The important thing is that you listen to your internal clock and you will know how much sleep you need.
  • Eat balanced nutritional meals – Skipping meals, grabbing fast food on the run, and eating candy bars for energy does not make for balanced or healthy eating.  Instead, prepare a sandwich or healthy breakfast snack when you know you may have to work through lunch or skip breakfast.
  • Prioritize – Set up a simple reminder system on your phone to prevent overwhelm and burnout.  Most phones have a built in calendar with alerts you can set to stay on track. Schedule on your calendar the time you reserve for your self-care. That way the time you set aside for yourself doesn’t get pushed aside.  And, just as you honor your other commitments, make sure you honor the one for your self-care so your energy doesn’t get depleted.
  • Slow down – Rushing raises your blood pressure, causes anxiety and makes you prone to making careless decisions and mistakes.  When you rush you are more likely to be distracted and rush even more in an attempt to squeeze in “one more thing”.

To stop the energy zappers and time takers, I invite you to join me in the Self-Care Circle where you can get even more tips and support.

 

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