As a Peak Performance Strategist, I absolutely love to explore and experiment with ways to be productive, energised and focused on a more consistent basis. This has never been more relevant than it is now, since 2020 has given us all far more than we bargained for when it comes to exercising resilience and agility in the face of uncertainty. I have spent the bulk of this year working virtually with teams and individuals all over the world who are looking for ways to boost energy levels, stay motivated and keep up the pace despite the chaos and disruption around us.
The reality is that it can be really tough to operate at a high level on an ongoing basis, unless we pace ourselves. Most of us began pandemic life thinking that the situation would last for a few weeks at most. As the months rolled by, we used adrenaline as our fuel but many of us now realise that we need a more sustainable, strategic approach to staying energised to the end of the year and beyond.
For many people and organisations, the last quarter of the year is typically also the busiest. This is without taking into account the impact that COVID-19 has had on our ability to truly recharge and take a decent break over the summer months. As a result, the relentless pace continues as we move into winter. Whilst the “work from home” lifestyle is being embraced by the majority of workers who would have otherwise had to commute during the darker and colder months, we need to be careful not to be constantly working from home – as is the case when the intangible boundaries between home and work start to blur.
To preserve and support our energy levels as we edge closer to Christmas, we need to be proactive, so here are three top ways to stay energised and avoid burnout over the coming months…
We know that life will get even busier as we snowball towards Christmas, and this is both on a work and personal level. The more we can do to pre-empt and plan for busy periods, the more we can do to shift things around in our calendars, offload additional commitments and reschedule the “nice to have” activities that are going to put unnecessary pressure on us.
Take 15 minutes now to review your calendar for the next 3 months and defer or remove any activities or commitments that you think may deplete your energy or add to that feeling of being too busy. Be ruthless and keep reminding yourself that it’s vital to put yourself first.
Creating pockets of empty space throughout your days and weeks is crucial for optimal mental, emotional and physical energy. When I completed my Personal Trainer qualification a few years ago, one of the most significant factors to support muscle growth, repair and strength was not more exercise – it was, indeed, building in adequate recovery and active rest. In a similar vein, we need to incorporate quality activities to replenish and recharge our batteries.
Again review your calendar over the next few weeks and now add in slots each day to intentionally switch off, indulge in something that energises you or top up your “energy account”. This could include activities like having a bath, going for a walk, watching a comedy, having an early night, meditating or taking a virtual yoga class. Think about how you can counterbalance the busyness in your life.
Fuel up right
It always surprises me when my clients are surprised about the impact of food on their energy levels, focus, mood and productivity. Our bodies and brains need quality fuel to perform at best, just like a high performance race car. This coming season – particularly for those of us in the northern hemisphere – is the one we most commonly associate with comfort food and excesses – as we eat more, drink more and crave more sugar to energise us through the darker, colder days. Instead, let’s change the script and be smarter about making food choices that boost our immune system whilst supplying us with nutrients to support a healthy, functioning body and mind.
When doing your weekly supermarket shop, ensure you have at least eight (yes, eight!) different vegetables and fruits in your basket. Aim for more vegetables and less fruit, and a wide variety of colours (think rainbow). Make sure you include fresh leafy greens and at least one vegetable that you wouldn’t normally choose.
So, there you have it – three simple and effective ways to truly boost your energy levels in the lead up to Christmas. Enjoy the winter season, stay productive and stay well!
Jump-start Coaching Session
If you need a helping hand along the way to recharge your energy levels, I’m pleased to be offering the Yellow Eve community a chance to have a complimentary 1-2-1 Jumpstart Coaching Session with me between now and Friday 18th December, valued at £250. Just 10 spots are up for grabs and will be granted on a first come, first serve basis, so get in touch by registering in your Members Hub now.
Abigail specialises in enabling high-achieving individuals and businesses to take performance to the next level – yet do so with more energy, more focus and less stress. Abigail has coached, trained and advised leaders, individuals and teams across Europe, the USA, Australia and New Zealand. She has worked with clients in all sectors, from banking, finance and professional services through to technology, luxury goods and healthcare.