After writing about ‘energy thieves’ in early December, I am now turning my attention to energy sources. If we suffer from a lack of energy, this impacts on our quality of life and our performance at work. This means it is vital for us to consciously recharge our batteries. You should regularly consider what gives you energy and carefully nurture these energy sources.
Each person only has a limited amount of energy. If we don’t consciously manage our energy levels, our batteries become flat. When this happens, we become irritable, our performance deteriorates and, at some point, we begin to suffer from physical complaints or even illnesses. It is therefore very important to recognize that this is an area where the natural law of polarity also applies: there is no relaxation without tension.
What helps is the concept of being mindful – i.e. of always paying attention to our needs at a particular moment in time (whether physical or mental) and then acting accordingly, rather than ignoring our needs. In my resilience workshops, I sometimes work with the participants to draw up a list of factors that rob them of energy and then define measures to counter these energy thieves. They also elaborate on what gives them energy and we discuss ways of ensuring they can regularly concentrate on these energy sources. What are the most common themes that people mention when discussing their energy sources in my workshops?
Physical energy sources
Energy is something very physical – so which physical steps can I take to recharge my batteries? Here are some examples (this list is non-exhaustive!):
- Get enough sleep – you can also read my two blog entries on this topic http://www.stressandbalance.ch/en/2016/04/01/drunk-from-sleep-deprivation/ and http://www.stressandbalance.ch/en/2016/04/22/for-a-good-sound-sleep/
- Exercise/sport (even more beneficial when performed outdoors)
- Relaxation techniques, e.g. abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, meditation, etc. If you find it difficult to clear your mind when practicing traditional mediation, I recommend that you try guided meditation such as: http://media.dartmouth.edu/~healthed/imagery_the_forest.mp3
- Take regular breaks
- Holidays or short trips (ideally staying offline)
- Healthy and regular eating
- Maintain your biorhythms
- Plan moments of pleasure
- Listen to music
- Make time for yourself
- A positive, high-energy start to the day
Mental energy sources
There are not only physical but also mental energy sources (and sometimes they are not clearly distinguishable from each other). Your mental energy level can, for example, promote:
- Good relationships (family, partner, children, friends, colleagues)
- Team work
- Positive feedback received
- Positive feedback given
- A positive basic attitude
- Gratitude; you can also read my blog: http://www.stressandbalance.ch/en/2017/02/28/how-i-visualize-gratitude/
- Assumption of responsibility for yourself: take control of your own life
If you manage to incorporate some of these physical and mental energy sources into your daily life, you will be more content, more balanced and therefore healthier and more efficient.
PwC: We want energetic employees
This is precisely the approach taken by the audit and consulting firm PwC Switzerland, which launched the ‘Energy to grow your own way’ program in 2014. Employees can take advantage of a range of activities in the areas of exercise, attitude, recuperation and nutrition. Why does PwC invest in boosting its employees’ energy levels? Its website says that motivated employees who enjoy their work, are committed and do their very best are a success factor for PwC. PwC says its employees should focus on what gives them the energy they need for everything that is important to them – adding that they want a work environment that is totally energized and where people can do their best. I conducted an interview with Michaela Christian Gartmann, Head of Human Capital at PwC Switzerland, who will tell you more about this great initiative in my next blog on February 6, 2018.
I wish you an energy-filled start to the New Year!
© Claudia Kraaz