It is August, the hot, lazy, dog days of summer are here. It is a perfect time to relax, sip a cool drink and lounge around doing as little as possible. And yet, I suddenly feel energized, inspired by potential and looking forward to the days ahead. What is keeping me from wanting to be a slug, crawling under a rock for a nice long nap? A few weeks ago, I was feeling exhausted and burned out. Now, I am optimistically planning projects for the future. Where is all this energy coming from?
I started thinking about energy- how do we get it? My energy bucket is filled. Here are the ways I have refueled:
1. Get some sun
I had a friend once who said the sun was like his personal battery charger. When he was drained he went out and got some sun. As children, we played outside all day long and we had plenty of energy. In my adult life, I have spent far more time indoors than outdoors. An hour outside in the sun, reading on the patio or pulling some weeds does seem to give me energy. An afternoon with friends at the local beach fuels me for days.
2. Accomplish a few little things
We all have a lists of little projects that we need to do. Just looking at my To- Do list drained my energy. One day I decided to wipe as many things off the list as possible. I touched up paint, filled some nail holes in a wall, and cleared dead flowers out of vases. I paid bills, filled out some insurance papers and ran some errands. Many of the tasks didn’t take nearly as much time as I thought they would. I felt accomplished and energized to have so many little jobs done.
3. Do something big you have been putting off
When we moved, we downsized drastically. I got rid of a lot of my oversized furniture but we kept the sofa. It was fairly new and really expensive. It was also huge and designed for a great room, not the little living room in our new cottage. This week I bought a new couch- a much smaller one in a lively apple green color. I found myself excited to finish other projects. I bought curtains, and started looking for a couple of smaller chairs. The transformation is energizing.
4. Clear out some space
Clutter is another energy drainer. I cleaned out the refrigerator. I took a bag of clothes to a thrift shop. I gathered up some books we had recently finished and took them to our Little Free Library. Each of these tasks took only a few minutes, but it has inspired me to tackle even more space clearing projects. Space feels good and empty space leaves room for energy.
5. Plan something fun
This one may seem obvious, put planning something fun is good for the soul- and your energy level. Make it something big like a vacation or something small like a dinner out with friends. It isn’t the size of the event, but the anticipation that gives you energy. As the old proverb reminds us, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I have planned several small events in the next month, and just thinking about them makes me happy.
Energy is sometimes elusive, but it is filled with great potential. Journalist Nellie Bly once said, “Energy, rightly applied and directed will accomplish anything.” No wonder we crave energy, it makes us happy, productive and optimistic. It is worth seeking and finding.
What about you? What do you to refuel your energy bucket? I’d love to hear your comments below!