Love shouldn’t hurt – ever

Feeling drained
Does everyday life seem to leave you feeling drained? The world tells us that we should be able to multi-task, get everything done without asking for help, and be excellent in everything. Being super busy seems like something to be proud of. However, between working a full-time job, maybe even adding in a side hustle, meeting the needs of your children, cooking fabulous meals and maintaining that spotless, magazine ready home you are expected to have, there is little time for fun and relaxation. Who wouldn’t be exhausted! But always feeling worn-out isn’t healthy and it can actually leave you less productive. So how can you get it all done but also re-energize yourself?

Here are some ideas that may help you energize your mind and body.

1) Recharge physically. Prioritize taking care of yourself. Stress can take as much toll on your body as an extremely physical job. Relaxing in a warm bath is a good way to destress. Some believe adding Epsom salt to your bath can help remove toxins and reduce inflammation, but do your own research.

2) As you are soaking, use an exfoliating scrub. Scrubs help improve blood circulation, which will help reduce stress and boost energy.

3) Watch your diet. Nutritious meals can greatly impact your energy levels. Cooking great tasting, healthy meals doesn’t have to be a burden. Find a trusted source for easy, healthy recipes and make sure your meals are well balanced.

4) When you are stressed, your muscles tend to be tighter and you are more prone to injuries. You can recharge by taking just five minutes to stretch. There are many stretching/yoga type videos available to guide you. Stretching will help you recharge and relax. Check for a local gym or rec center that may offer classes.

5) When you are already exhausted, the last thing you want to think of is exercise. However, just sitting and doing nothing actually makes you more tired. Try getting up and moving around. Walking or even riding a bike for 20 minutes can actually leave you feeling energized. Sometimes just spending time outdoors can also help. Consider starting a small flower, herb, or vegetable garden, or even just grow them in pots on your porch.

6) Sleep. The ultimate recharger is sleep. Adults should be sleeping between 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. Sleeping 6 or less is considered a risk factor for burnout. It’s best to have a schedule so you go to bed and awake at similar times daily. Make sure you have a comfortable environment in which to sleep. Invest in comfy pillows and soft sheets and blankets. Dark curtains may help as well as running a fan or noise machine.

7) During the day, you can recharge mentally by soothing your mind. Instead of listing the things you still need to get done, list your accomplishments. As you complete tasks, check them off so you can be motivated by what you have achieved. Break down large tasks so you can feel more accomplished as you complete smaller ones.

8) Often, we become stressed from focusing on past mistakes. It’s important to work through our feelings from the past so we can focus on our future. Set goals and tasks to reach those goals and focus on that instead. Don’t be afraid to reach out and get help if you feel stuck in the past.

9) Plan something fun. It is important to have some fun in life. Get off of social media or electronics and take a weekend trip, or at least a day trip, meet up with old friends for lunch and catch up, visit a new town and go window shopping, visit a botanical garden or aquarium in your area, go to a movie, or any number of other things. Most cities have listings of weekend activities that can be low cost and fun. Also, spend time with trusted family and friends. Recharge by spending more time with people who boost you up as opposed to those who bring you down. If certain people are draining, take a break from those until you have the energy to deal with them.

10) An excellent way to soothe yourself is through art, crafts and music. Many libraries have art/craft groups you can join. There are easy crafts you can learn and do at home. Adult coloring books are designed as a stress reducer. Journaling can also help reduce stress. Expressing yourself in a journal can help you sort through emotions. Music can be a great stress reliever. Singing or just listening can uplift you.

If you try some of those things and you still feel exhausted all the time, you may want to consider seeing your doctor to check for any underlying medical issues. Just making small adjustments can show significant reductions in stress, which can help your energy levels. Remember to recharge by making sure you are taking care of yourself!

Crisis Services of North Alabama offers free and confidential services to survivors of intimate partner violence or sexual assault. You may reach our Jackson County office at 256.574.5826 for an appointment. We also offer a 24/7 HELPline where you can speak with a crisis counselor at 256.716.1000. You are not alone.

-Teresia Smith

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