Energy Crisis

Do you have an energy crisis? I am not talking about a global crisis, or the power lines coming down near your house. I am referring to personal energy and the ability to get up and keep moving. I have talked before about motivation, about having a reason to get up in the morning. I have talked about discipline. So when it seems like you have no energy in the morning, or halfway through the day, or as you are trying to gather brain power to finish something, and you feel like you are simply on empty, what do you do?

I think the first response I would likely get is “it depends.” That’s a fair answer, but what does it depend on? Well, let’s dive into a few common issues and how to solve them, shall we?

I am a pro at problem solving, and the first thing to do when trying to solve any problem is identifying the source. Once you have done that, the solutions could look vastly different depending on the source of the problem.

Here are the top three reasons that I have found for a total lack of energy:

  1.  Your body is simply worn out. You haven’t slept enough, or you don’t eat right, or you have been working really hard for an extended period of time.
  2.  You are under a lot of emotional or mental stress.
  3.  The pendulum has swung.

If you can’t totally identify with any of these, keep reading. I will fill in the details.

Let’s start with number 1.

 

  • 1) Your body is simply worn out. You haven’t slept enough, or you don’t eat right, or you have been working really hard for an extended period of time. Yes I said it. No matter how super you think you are, or how much of an exception you think you are, your body needs rest, and you really do have to eat your veggies. Barely sleeping is not a badge of honor; it is stupid. Eating and drinking junk because “you don’t have time to be healthy” is an excuse. You make time for what is important. And if success is really important to you, if you really don’t want to be constantly exhausted, then take care of your body and mind. To deny that and then try to be productive is to sabotage your chances of any kind of real success.

There is a huge amount of health research and information out there, so I will share what I’ve learned and what has given me positive results in my daily life.

You need to sleep.

You need to get at least 7 hours of sleep EVERY night.

You need to drink a lot of water and cut out soft drinks, even diet. Diet drinks are unhealthy, form bad habits, and can have major long term health implications including heart disease, obesity, cancer, liver problems, and bad dental health.

Coffee and Tea are good for you.

Avoid grain carbs. I am not just talking about gluten and wheat, although that is the worst.

Eat vegetables and meat.

And did I mention drinking water?

When you take care of your body, your body can spend less time trying to cope and survive and more time operating well. Think about it. If you never do maintenance on your car, or you put the wrong thing in the gas tank, it simply won’t work. Your body is an engine. Do some maintenance and give it the right fuel before it breaks instead of waiting.

2) You are under a lot of emotional or mental stress.

There are so many things that can cause this, I cannot even begin to address them all. Here is what I can say: At some point, you have to begin to eliminate stress. If your stress is relational, maybe you need to cut or reduce a relationship. If it has to do with a loss, allow yourself to cry for a day and feel your feelings. Keeping things pent up not only prolongs your stress and denies that it is there, but prolonged stress can lead again to health problems such as chronic headaches, back problems, and heart issues. The only way to deal with an emotion is to process it instead of holding it back. The more you do this the better you will get at doing it quickly without disrupting your life. It really does take practice.

Your brain needs a break just like your muscles do, and you need time for yourself. Find something that relaxes you. There shouldn’t be feelings of guilt around taking this time to let go. If you don’t recharge, you will never be able to be there for anyone. So take a nap, sit in the sunshine with your eyes closed, take a walk, shred paper into little bits, play a game (I recommend avoiding screens. There is a lot science connecting this kind of visual input with increasing anxiety and stress. Most of us could use less screen time)

The point here is this: Try to identify the source of your stress, and work in small steps to take breaks from it, process it, and eventually learn habits that will allow you to avoid it. It really is possible!

3) The pendulum has swung.

This is the part where you give yourself a break. Sometimes the pendulum swings and you are simply going through a lot. You need to give yourself grace to not be “up to par” all the time. Otherwise, you actually increase stress which then continues to sap your energy. This turns into a cycle. Get depressed. Form bad habits. Run out of energy. Get nothing done. Get depressed, etc. The key to breaking this cycle is by giving yourself a break. Only then can you allow yourself to a take a break without guilt. Eliminating the guilt motivates you to be and do more. This feels good, which energizes you. This allows you get more done the other times, which reduces the guilty feelings, and so on. Understanding that at times you will be tired will allow you to simply say “This is normal” when it happens. If something is normal, there is no need to feel guilty, and thus you eliminate the guilt/energy sapping cycle.

Here is the kicker, though. Most of us have trouble giving ourselves a break. We are afraid someone will think of us as a failure, or letting someone down, or we are trying to impress someone or earn someone’s approval. Most people don’t step back every now and then simply out of a desire to do good, and out of knowing that others are counting on them. This makes it hard because if you run out of energy, or have trouble finishing something you started, instead of thinking of it as something that happens to everyone, your brain tells you “See, you really are a failure!”

Don’t let a lack of energy keep you from being the person you already are!!! You CAN learn how to overcome this problem that literally every person breathing has gone through!!

 

If you can identify with any of these things, or if you found any of these tips helpful, then take action today! CLICK HERE to get a free 14 day productivity course delivered right to your email! And as a special thank you for investing in yourself, email me at stephen@stephenandrewcoaching.com to get 50% off an in depth 28 day course that will change your life by helping you focus, identify your goals, and learn how to achieve everything you are capable of!!!

Offer ends 2/28/19

Seasons: What are they for?

It is winter. It is cold. I don’t know very many people who are stoked about it being so cold that water left in your car overnight will freeze, or the feeling you get when you can’t breathe because of the wind taking your breath away at 15 degrees. Most of us are ready for spring. But why are we really ready for spring? After all, when it gets here, everyone starts counting down to summer vacation. When summer rolls around everyone complains about the 95 degree weather and the no rain for weeks on end. Now everyone is ready for fall and football and cooler days. Then during fall we start counting down until Halloween, Thanksgiving, and finally Christmas (winter). Once Christmas is over we use New Year’s as the antidote to our post Christmas depression and then comes the long rest of the winter. So why do we fall into this circle every year, and how does it apply to life and success? Good question.

There is a saying that most problems can be solved with a little perspective. I would tend to agree with this to a large extent. In the situation of the winter being long, grey, and dismal, and spring being the golden ticket out, you may be missing some opportunities. Opportunities like, learning to appreciate the fact that life is constantly changing, and if it were always spring, Christmas would never come around again. It sounds a little weird, but being okay with where you are at times means that you realize how quickly things change from their current state, and it is important to soak up what you can about life right where you are before you lose that opportunity because you were too focused on something else like what came next. And maybe you aren’t ready for what is next, until you can learn about right now. In your emotional or spiritual winter. What are you learning about you? About God and how you view Him?  Next, when spring comes after a long winter, how much more do you appreciate the spring. How much better does it feel to be warm instead of shivering and all your muscles tight and cramped and your heating bill out of control. Without winter, you could not truly appreciate the blessings of spring!

This may sound a little to poetic and abstract, but to put it into more practical terms, when you are in a bad spot at work, at home, at church, are you just wanting everything to be hunky dory, or are you thinking to yourself, what can I learn about where I am to build my character and make others better? Or help them avoid some pitfall? Am I asking God to take away the pain before I have learned the lesson? If you are having trouble knowing how to handle money, will simply having more solve your problem? Now you may be thinking “but what about when I don’t have enough to eat or pay my bills? Am I supposed to learn from that and be happy?” Yes. I did not say that you can’t work toward something better. What I am saying is that if we cannot ever learn to be content, or to learn from right where we are, and build our character in the place you you are in right now, changing your circumstances will only leave you wanting more.

There is one answer to this question of how to use the winter, love the spring and enjoy a healthy anticipation of summer (sorry, metaphors again). You have to be willing to accept that who you are is not determined by your income, house, job, clothes, parents, spouse, kids, sports, social status, or anything else you can name. It is determined by God. When you accept that God made a crowning creation (you) and in order to redeem that creation He sent His only child to get you back, you can let go of the need to have more, to get to the next place, or be done with winter. Because wherever you are, it will be a season worth living. It may seem a little confusing. Learn to be content, but want more. It can look something like this: You don’t feel the need to impress others, because you are too busy serving God. But you also continuously strive to be even more of what God has already made you!

 

 

To begin your journey of learning how to use your seasons of life, click here for a FREE subscription to my course 14 Days to Stress Less and Achieve Your Dreams. Or if you would rather stay stressed out, and discontent you can dismiss this article, and not take the course and move on. After all it is your choice!

5 Ways to Survive This “Unsurvivable” Life!

When everything goes wrong, how do you not lose your head (figuratively, or literally) and just get things figured out? I have a number of young people that I work with on a regular basis, and it seems that at the ripe old age of late teen and barely 20 something, they have multiple midlife crisis a day! Needless to say, the drama is a little hard to handle at times and goes so far as to begin affecting their status as employees. Does this sound like you or someone you know?

Life happens, and the question is how do you live through things like a wrecked car, a bad roommate, or seemingly more bills than money, and come out on the other end without being broken, mad at the world, or convinced you will never make it out of the ramen noodle and paper plate stage of life? Here are a few tips.

1. Take a deep breath! Seriously, you need to take a deep breath. Breath in deep through the nose. Breath out slowly through your mouth. If you are so stressed that you can’t even take a breath, then you either need to get some serious immediate help, or you need to figure out how to get rid of some problems, like, yesterday!

2. Ask yourself “What is the worst that could happen?” and it can help put things in perspective, and maybe even help you come up with some creative options for solving the problem. If you have a roommate that is not paying their share of rent, you need to ask yourself “What is the worst possible outcome of this situation?” Well, you could end up on the street having to live in your car. Okay, so now what are you going to do about it? You have several options here. Kick out your roommate and find a better one. Find another place to live before getting evicted. Continue to pay the rent yourself and let them ride on your hard work. Now it becomes very simple. You decide which outcome you want to have happen, and you do it. This approach can be taken to almost any situation; it helps you gain perspective, and understand that usually the worst is not as bad as you think, or if it is really bad, there are almost always choices that you can make to control the outcome. The hardest part about this is that once you have thought this through, you are now responsible for what happens.

3. Don’t take responsibility for anyone but you. Most often when I see young people who are in a bad situation, they are either not taking responsibility for their own actions, OR they are trying to take responsibility for someone else’s stupidity, i.e. a friend is stupid and wrecks their car because of bad driving, or loses their license because of a DUI, or is late for preparing for a test. People put their own job, class test results, or ability to pay rent at risk, to “help” someone who is “down.” These “friends” are not going to learn if you work your butt off trying to remove the consequences of their stupidity by trying to take the punishment for their actions. As a matter of fact, you are helping them stay irresponsible. So go to work yourself and they can get their own ride. Pay your own rent and kick them out, and study for your own test, instead of helping them with theirs that they should have started sooner. At the end of the day they will complain about the world if you help them, or complain about you if you don’t help them. So don’t sacrifice yourself to the god of their stupidity. Let them LEARN from their mistakes, just like you did!

4. Don’t make excuses. So often when someone comes to me and wants to tell me about something that they are going through and how they don’t know what to do, etc., all they are looking for is someone to complain to. Please don’t come and complain to me, unless you are looking for solutions, because I am going to offer them. And then the truth comes out: they enjoy the drama. You know how I know? Because when a solution is provided, or the complainer is asked to think critically about how the problem might be solved or resolved, they make 101 excuses as to why they are the exception to every method of solving their problem. It is almost as though, if they didn’t have problems to complain about they wouldn’t know what to do with their lives. If someone gives you solution, stop trying to make it not work, and start making it work. The number one roadblock to problem solving is the person not really wanting the problem solved.

5. Give yourself a break. You need to realize that where you are right now, is where you are right now. Allow yourself to have made a mistake. You know what? You have learned what not to do next time. Expecting to have all the answers is like expecting a baby to know how to walk and talk when they are born. We don’t expect those things, because we know they have not had the experiences that give them the information they need to know how to walk or talk. How is being an adult any different? If you have never been in a tough relationship before, how can you already know how to handle it? If you have never had to juggle a job and class and hobbies and friend time, don’t you think it would be normal to have some scheduling conflicts that you have to work through and figure out? If you are new to a job, should you have all the answers to every customer question your first day, week, or even month? Give yourself the grace to live life and learn as you go. As long as you ARE learning, then you don’t have to feel bad about what you don’t know.

These are my top 5 tips to survive the unsurvivable, and come out smarter on the other side. If you do these things, you will be so far ahead of everyone around you, it will look like they are going backwards! I believe in what you are capable of, now go believe in who God made you to be and live it!

 

If any of this sounds like you or someone you know, and you want information and methods on how to implement these and other behaviors to lower stress, and see the light at the end of the tunnel, then click here to subscribe to my FREE course 14 Days to Stress Less and Achieve Your Dreams!