What To Do When You Lack Energy

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Last week, I talked about what to do if you lack brain energy, but what if the lack of brain energy is actually a lack of energy, period? Lack of brain energy can be a symptom of something even worse – a complete lack of energy in its totality. I’ve been going through this since last week, and it’s still not fully resolved.

Usually, a lack of energy isn’t something new to us. We’ve been there before and resolved it.

Take a Period of Rest

Sometimes you just have to take some time off, and allow yourself to rest. For most people, it should only take a few days – for those of us with chronic illnesses, it may take weeks or months to feel “normal” again. You should have an idea of how long it will take you to bounce back, but be flexible – it may take less time or more time than the “usual” amount this time.

Fill The Creative Well

Seems illogical to take in anything when your brain and body are fatigued, but I find it is one of the better times to do so. This helps to prevent feelings of guilt about not working, for one thing. For another, it’s definitely a productive use of your time without actually BEING productive – which may strain your already fatigued self. Make the time to watch TV, read books, take photos – whatever fills the well for you without feeling like you’re being productive. Trick your brain!

I’ve spent time watching a little of a bunch of shows, like Elementary, Mom, Ancient Aliens, and even started Keeping Up With The Kardashians. There are reasons behind all of them, but my brain just thinks we’re having fun and “avoiding” work.

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Listen To Your Body

This is the time to really up your self-care habits. Not doing them, or not doing them enough may be what caused your fatigue in the first place. I know that for me, if I don’t keep to my schedule and various habits, I turn into an entire mess in an instant thanks to my chronic illnesses. Sometimes, though, it just hits without warning. Don’t force anything if you can help it…that, in my humble opinion and experience, just makes things worse.

Take Frequent Breaks

If you absolutely cannot avoid something, or start to feel like you’re about ready to get back to work, take small, frequent breaks. I have to do this sometimes due to a sensitivity to screens when my fatigue levels are high, to prevent headaches and eye strain. Do something else for a while, or just walk away. Even if you have to make up an excuse. I’ve taken several breaks while writing this blog post, due to going through that sensitivity thing right now. Close your eyes for a few moments, take a bathroom break – whatever makes sense to you and your situation.

These are all ways that I personally combat fatigue, and know to work. Some may have to be done in conjunction with others, make this work for you personally.

Do you have any other tips for battling fatigue? What do you personally do when your energy levels get too low?

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What To Do When You Lack Brain Energy

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This blog post is late due to Mother’s Day Weekend and complete brain fatigue. Hope all the mothers and the single fathers had a great Mother’s Day!

Brain fatigue is a huge issue for me, and I know it is for a lot of creatives. We do so much in our daily lives – we’re moms and dads, creatives, members of the workforce, chronic illness sufferers – the list goes on and on. Most of us work hard at our creative pursuits, constantly improving our craft, no matter what it is.

And being creative takes a lot of brain energy.

How To Increase Brain Energy

Eat Right For More Brain Energy

The brain only has so much energy, especially if you aren’t eating right. And most of us aren’t, even if we choose healthy snacks, we’re still running around (like chickens with our heads cut off), trying to keep up with all of our responsibilities AND our creative life.

The brain needs certain things for energy. Starting with a healthy, balanced diet is a great idea to increase brain energy, but certain foods work better than others. Carbohydrates for one. Yes, evil carbs are amazing for brain energy. But not all carbs are created equal – aim for complex carbs rather than simple ones. It’s the simple ones you should mostly avoid – even if over 40% of your diet should be carbs.

Ketones are important as well as protein – fatty acids and amino acids are required for your brain to function.

Image by Дарья Яковлева from Pixabay

Exercise

You know you should, but when are you going to find the time? Try exercising for 15 minutes instead of blocking out an hour if you just can’t get that much time. Aim to do 2 15 minute exercise routines at a minimum. The best part is, you don’t have to go to the gym – all that running around you do counts! This gets oxygen to the brain, which is vital to brain health. The more you exercise regularly, the more oxygen that gets to your brain.

The synapses and neurons in your brain uses roughly 80% of your brain’s energy. Exercise produces lactate as well, most of which goes to your brain for energy. Stretching regularly will help in keeping the lactate flowing. Lactate may also have much to do with your brain’s plasticity, which affects learning and changing.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Take A Nap

Sometimes you just need to refresh your brain. Taking a nap can help reduce the toll thinking has on your brain, as the brain uses different functions while you sleep. Even a 20-minute nap can help refresh your brain. I know suggesting a nap is almost crazy talk for most of us, but give it a try. It’s good for your brain AND your productivity!

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Avoid Alcohol

Many of us like to unwind with a beer or glass of wine, which is fine and may be healthy. The issue shows up when someone becomes a heavy drinker – they aren’t doing their brain any favors, and instead may be destroying it. If you are an alcoholic, get help – the drunken creative myths aren’t doing you any favors. It’s hurting you and your creative pursuits.

The brain is seriously an amazing thing. At 3lbs, it uses about 20% of your energy…a fairly large percentage. And we still know so little about it. Studies are being done all the time on various subjects, including how everyday things affect the brain. I find the brain absolutely fascinating. These tips will definitely help you keep your brain energy high as you go through your day.

Image by Photo Mix from Pixabay

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