There will be times when you feel “off” — your mood’s darker than you’d like, you can’t shake the same old worrying thoughts, it feels like you’re trudging through mud.
What follows is a list of things to do for those times. And the whole reason to do these things is that they raise your energy.
When I say “energy,” I’m not talking about what my grandmother used to call “pep.” I’m talking about your vibration, which I get is still a little hard to wrap your brain around. Energy is a little like your mood, but it reaches farther than your mind—it infuses every cell in your body and even extends beyond you.
Energy rules how you see the world and determines the effect you have on other people. It also plays a huge role in what happens to you—because what you put out is what you get back. If you are expecting something to be a waste of time, chances are it will be. If you are feeling hopeful about the world, you’ll typically encounter opportunities that reinforce your view.
I’m not saying you can choose how you feel – after all, I’m a big proponent of feeling your feelings because they always contain an important message if you’re willing to swim around in them long enough to find it.
But I am saying that in between the swells of big emotions, you can choose to do things that make you feel better. And taking responsibility for maintaining your energy is a radical act of empowerment. (Click to Tweet!)
So here then are my favorite ways to nudge your energy back on an upward track:
- Listen to a great song (here’s one I’ve been really feeling lately)
- Take a walk
- Look at a photo of someone you love
- Hug someone
- Hang out with your pet
- Hang out with your plants
- Hang out with happy people
- Make something (for me, that means food)
- De-clutter one small space (I did this last night right before bed)
- Take care of something you’ve been neglecting
- Call a friend—not a complainy, gossipy friend, but one who’s up to cool things, listens, and/or makes you laugh.
- Book a call with your coach
- Do your favorite yoga pose (or two, or three, or 10—it’s all great)
- Change positions—stand up, lie down, get on the floor, sit on a cushion, sit with legs wide, squat. If your body is static, chances are your thinking is too
- Change environments—go work at a coffeeshop or the library, take a new way home from work, eat lunch someplace different
- Make a date for something you’ve been wanting to do
- Take one small step toward making a big dream more real
- Make a list of everything that’s going right in your life
- Write an angry letter to whatever person or situation is bringing you down, read it out loud, then burn it or tear it up into tiny pieces and throw it in a river
- Take a deep breath, imagining that you are inhaling peace and exhaling stress
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, with a pillow between your knees (so you don’t have to exert any muscular effort whatsoever to keep them up) and a book under the back of your head (so your neck can be long) in what the Alexander Technique calls “constructive rest” and I call “serenity now.”
- Do something nice for somebody else with no expectations for payback
- Read something inspiring (may I suggest A Year of Daily Calm? Also, memoirs—they are great at really bringing you in to the moments of grit and grace in someone else’s life and filling you with hope and fortitude.)
- Reach for the best-feeling thought you can summon, and choose to believe it, even if it’s only for a split-second
- Remind yourself that you don’t have to make things happen—you merely have to facilitate and then get out of the way
- Eat a piece of the best chocolate you can get your hands on really, really mindfully—savoring each tiny bite and thinking of all the many people who had a hand in bringing that delicious morsel into your hands
- Sing your brains out in the car
- Sit someplace quiet, close your eyes, and imagine you’re in your favorite place on earth—the beach, the mountains, in front of a roaring fire; soak up every detail you can see, smell, hear and touch
- If you’re an extrovert, go be around other people; if you’re an introvert, give yourself the gift of a little solitude (if you don’t know which you are, here’s a quiz)
- Take a bath with Epsom salts—salt water takes the cleansing to a higher level
- Watch a beautiful movie that gives you all the feels (an oldie but a goodie: It’s a Wonderful Life)
What did I miss? What do you do when your energy needs a boost? I’d love to hear it in the comments below. =)