Now that I seem to actually be recovering from post-acute COVID, I’ve been thinking more and more about Energy once again.
How to gain it, how to keep it going when I’ve got some.
Of course there are many, many factors that go into the equation. For me, for anyone.
And of course they’re not always going to overlap.
But here’s some stuff I’ve found to be crucial for me personally.
I keep heavy blue light filters on at night, for several hours before I plan to sleep. And I do plan to sleep. I put my phone down, turn on either soft piano music or theta/delta frequency binaural beats tracks, slow my breathing. I pay attention to my posture laying down- if I notice pressure particularly on my neck, or arms, then there’s a pretty good chance those places will be sore when I wake up.
I spend time settling, calming, and make sure to turn my brain to things that excite me about the next day for just long enough to feel really good just before falling asleep.
I get out of bed right after I wake up, eat a couple bites of food to get my appetite going, drink some coffee.
Put on the kind of music that exemplifies the kind of vibe I most want to start my day with.
Then I go for a walk, every morning, to watch the sun rise out by the lake by my house. I don’t have a scheduled exercise regimen, but I take frequent lengthy walks and up my activity levels on them by dancing as I walk.
I’m still much skinnier than I would like to be, but I can tell that my body has an easier time keeping up with the kind of energy I like to have when it’s in better shape.
High energy, for me, means I’m feeling good emotionally. Excited, exuberant.
I am not ‘on’ all the time. My energy levels have recently gone back to the pattern I had been experiencing before I got really sick- binary, bitches.
There is Off, and there is On.
I’ll blast through some high energy dancing, walking, or working- always maintaining a sense of awareness about what my body feels good doing.
As soon as it stops being really fun, or I start making easily avoided mistakes, I’m done. I’ll go sit quietly somewhere and meditate until the second I start feeling my energy levels increase again – whether it takes ten minutes or two hours.
I practice mindfulness with the realm of nutrition to great benefit as well.
When I get hungry (or when I’m feeling low energy and don’t feel hungry but can’t identify another explanation right away), I’ll picture different kinds of foods in my head. Carb-heavy, protein-heavy, vegetable-heavy, etc..
I’ll pay attention to how appealing each seems as I imagine eating them. This is how I inadvertantly cut sweets out of my diet- when I am really mindful of what seems the most appealing and don’t just act on initial cravings, I almost never actually want sweets.
I’m pretty sure my body tries to tell me what it needs, it just does so quietly. I must be even more quiet in my mind if I want to listen to what it has to say.
So those are just a few of the basic requirements, for me.
Then there’s the stuff that is much more difficult to quantify, but that is equally important to the energy equation.
We all have bursts of energy sometimes; we are all truly happy sometimes.
I suspect that part of what makes it difficult for us to expand them beyond sometimes has to do with how we typically view the sources of it as….external to us.
Sure, other people and particular events absolutely trigger the feel goods in my brain, and therefore grant me increases in energy.
But what happens when I go back to being alone? When those events have passed?
This kind of energy, it’s like having a fire in the soul. Lots of things can ignite it, but we must tend it or it will go out.
When I find myself feeling high energy, but don’t have a clear idea of what to do with it, it starts to turn in on itself.
Thus this post. This server.
I have been focusing my energy the past few days on starting up a podcast with Twitter fren @whomademecrispy – but I messed up the recording last night, and he won’t have time to meet again until Sunday.
I didn’t really have anyone I felt like messaging with bubbly good morning vibes at the moment, so
I could have annoyed everyone on Twitter, but I probably wouldn’t have gotten enough attention to balance out the energy I was feeling this morning.
But writing about it? This helps me focus my thoughts, and creates the possiblity I might be able to use this energy to help even just one other person feel just a little bit more excited about their own journey towards happiness.
So, finding ways to channel energy when we’ve got it- pretty key, I believe.
But one of the things that tends to get in the way of that is this idea that everything we produce must be perfect.
Must be shiny, must be polished.
I felt that way, feel that way sometimes- even long after I had realized I don’t even really like polished.
Those shiny YouTube videos with the heavy production and visually appealing animation etc?
They’re fun to watch, but they don’t really speak to me.
Same with really long, really intellectual sounding articles. I learn from them, I enjoy them.
But they don’t resonate with me in the way that just reading the thoughts someone wrote mostly just to themselves does.
With this podcast we’re starting- if I hadn’t bungled the audio, I’m pretty sure I would have had the episode released today. That kind of turnaround means it’s much easier to keep up momentum and excitement.
It would have required very little editing, because it was just me and him asking each other a bunch of questions and sharing stuff about ourselves.
Just two friends chatting.
It’s okay to get better with time. It shows people struggling to start out in a particular field some of the pitfalls most of us face but hardly anyone sees- because growth is something we’ve tended to make private.
When I share my struggles as well as my victories, I so frequently have people reaching out to me to let me know my words affected them.
This makes me feel good. Gives me energy. The process of learning alone becomes a way for me to keep the fire in my soul from going out.
Sure, it’s great when I can actually finish a project or feel like I’ve created something. But more and more, I’m starting to view the process as the goal itself.
The journey is the destination.
Where are you traveling right now, friend?