Low in Energy? 5 ways to refill your tank…

fuel gauge on empty
fuel gauge on empty
Reading time: 4 minutes

It’s Monday morning and I feel like crap. I feel dehydrated, knackered and like I’ve been run over by a bus.

I’d love to report that it’s because of a heavy weekend of drunken debauchery. But sadly the reason is down to a far less enjoyable activity. I did a 6 hour race yesterday, my first for a while, and boy, do I know about it today.

So here I am, Monday morning, a demanding week ahead and I’m starting off on the back foot. My energy tank is low and I’m going to need to dig deep if I’m going to simply survive, let alone thrive this week.

So if this sounds familiar (the bit about starting the week on empty, not the mad endurance stuff), what top 5 things can you do to get you through the week?

1) accept the reality and choose your mindset

Ok, so you’re starting the week not in great shape, whatever reason (over-indulgence, illness, late nights, kids being demanding, dog ate my homework). Accept the state of play – don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, recalibrate what ‘great’ looks like this week for you – what’s realistic, not ideal. And then work towards getting as much out of yourself to deliver to that.

2) reduce the demands

Get ruthless. Reduce the demands and prioritise. Duck out of some stuff that’s less essential. Delegate. Prioritise the big stuff. The best way to buy back energy is to sleep more and maximise your rest time in the evenings. Often the easiest thing to ditch is social engagements. You may not be popular, but it’s a temporary measure for one week only.

3) eat and drink for energy

This is a toughie. Often when we’re feeling drained and knackered, we reach for the sugar and the caffeine to help. Problem is, they’ll be giving us a temporary stay of execution and not helping the energy levels recover for tomorrow. Is a little sugar or caffeine boost worth the negative impact on your dehydration state, sleep and mood? Lots of water, fruit, veg and ‘normal’ caffeine levels are your friends here.

4) switch off and sleep well

What you do in your ‘recovery’ time is key to replenishing those energy levels quickly. Olympic athletes are superb at doing nothing when they’re not training. They love nothing more than some sofa time, moving as little as possible. For you, think about switching off mentally (no emails, devices, tv after 8pm), reading a book and getting an early night. Prioritise your sleep.

5) hang out with energy boosters, not drains

We all have people in our lives at work and home(!) who drain our energy (you know the type) and boost our energy – folk that are easy to hang out with. Choose your company carefully this week. If you’re more of an introvert than an extravert, hanging out with yourself might be the most energy boosting option of all. Either way, until your energy is back on track, make some good choices, even if it feels selfish. It’s a gift to yourself.

So, next time the tank feels empty at the start of the week, what’s the 5 things that’ll reset you? Know what they are, so that you’re ready to go when the time comes.