Last week, in Part 1 of this post, we discussed different ideas for gaining and retaining energy physically. This week we will dive into some ways to fill up our energy tanks mentally and spiritually. Remember, we are not simply physical beings but our mental and spiritual state also play a role in who we are, what we do and how we feel.
Our mind is a very powerful component of our creation. It controls what we think and how we feel and we take action based on those two things. When our minds are healthy, we are equipped with another major source of energy to help us through our day. Neglecting our minds can cause us to feel unmotivated, depressed or foggy-headed.
The key to having a healthy mind is filling it with good things, weeding out the bad and finding ways to de-stress. If you can’t change the stress in your life, you can change the way you cope with stress. Most of us don’t plan an outlet for our stress and suppressing it uses up a lot of our energy.
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Phillipians 4:8
Here are a few ideas to lower our stress levels:
6. Plan Ahead – Make a habit of planning out your day the night before so you’ve already thought through the priorities and order of events. It reduces the surprises that zap your energy.
7. Be Flexible – This is one of the best words of advice I’ve ever received from a fellow homeschool mom. The acknowledgement that what may seem like interruptions to us may be God doing His work. Have patience with the child that is melting down over schoolwork and don’t be afraid to stop your day for the unplanned conversation with the neighbor. She may need a listening ear and God may give you the perfect words at the perfect time that she needs to hear. If you’ve been flexible and followed the Holy Spirit, then your day was a success even if you didn’t get your to-do list done.
8. Mental Breaks – Look at your schedule and find at least a couple times a day you can shift gears and have a mental downtime where you completely separate yourself from your tasks and the people you’ve been with. Do something you find fun or relaxing. I get outside and sit on my back porch or just stand in the grass in the front yard and try to think about nothing except what I see, hear and feel. You could spend 15 minutes on a hobby or playing your favorite game on your phone. The point is to be intentional about shifting your focus and give your brain a rest. I like to set a timer for this so I don’t get carried away.
9. Change Things Up – If you’ve read 7 Tips to Motivate the Lazy Learner you know I’m a fan of breaking routine to stimulate the brain. Find one thing in your day to change. Maybe it’s your snack ideas or adding a stretch time. Maybe you could switch everyone’s chores around or leave for work ten minutes earlier to grab a specialty coffee twice a week instead of your usual brew. Put something in your day or week you can look forward to. This school year I drop my oldest off at her Spanish class on Wednesdays and then sneak over to the little coffee shop down the street for their half-price, gluten-free muffins and scones. I eat it in the car while I create one of my House on a Hill Facebook posts before I head back home to finish school with the boys. I look forward to it because it’s new. I’ll probably change it up after the holidays..
10. Essential Oils – I don’t do this every day but if I’m feeling sluggish mid-morning, I’ll diffuse some essential oils in the living room and it always lifts my mood. My uplifting favorites are peppermint and lemon or Young Living’s Purification. I also like to dab lemongrass on my my wrists and neck for a little pick-me-up.
If I’m not plugged in to my Source of Life, I lose my charge pretty quickly. Forgetting this part of my routine for several days in a row leaves me feeling hopeless and the negative self-talk beats me down. When that happens, I can always look back and point to me missing my time with God. Spending time with Him always lifts my heart and gives me the motivation I need for the day.
Here are a few tips for staying spiritually charged:
11. Morning Reading – I keep this simple. While I’m eating breakfast in the morning, I get my Bible out or get on my YouVersion app and read a short section for the day. I have no expectations of doing a long, intense Bible study. I’m just looking for my daily anchor. Then I say a quick prayer to verbalize that although I have made my plans for the day, I know God’s purposes and plans are greater than mine and I ask for the wisdom to see it and be flexible.
12. 3:00 Prayer Time – This is usually the time of day things start to unravel. So, I set a timer on my phone to remind me to stop and pray and be aware of God’s presence and love. This is also my designated time I pray for my husband.
13. Serve – I have found that one of my best energy boosters is to do something in my week that has eternal value: serving others. It can be inside or outside the church. But what I love is that focusing on others breaks up the monotony of my daily life and helps me keep things in perspective. Life is about relationships and sharing Christ with others, We all need Him whether we realize it or not and taking care of those relationships is good for the soul, yours and theirs.
If you struggle with energy, keep in mind that it is physical, mental and spiritual. Maybe you’re doing great in one of these areas but not the other two. I hope this post has given you some ideas of things you can incorporate into your daily schedule to see improvement. Some of these will give you immediate results and others will take a couple of weeks. If you have some energy tips to share, we’d love to hear from you!
I’m praying for you to have an energy-filled week, my friend!