When you are tired or otherwise low on energy, you have one of three choices: You can take a nap in hope that sleep will recharge your battery, slog out the day hoping that tomorrow is better, or go on a quest for more energy.
Recently, I had one such day where I woke up from a very restless and unfulfilling night sleep that left me in a haze. My mind and body were in complete slow motion from the moment I woke up, and getting ready for the day was a task in itself.
As the minutes and hours ticked away, I knew that I couldn’t keep going at the pace I was and feel good about it. I also knew that taking a nap was completely out of the question because I am simply no good at naps. My only option left was to find more energy.
For many, energy comes in the form of caffeinated or sugary treats, which is fine — it’s just not for me. Through several years of trial and error, I have learned that my best source of energy comes from movement.
So, when my husband returned home for lunch, I knew exactly where I would find the energy I lacked: It was at the top of my favorite hill consisting of nearly 400 feet of elevation gain over the course of about a mile. When I told my husband, he thought I was nuts. Running up a steep hill when you’re dead tired does seem a bit counterproductive to the onlooker.
To me, however, the mere thought sent tiny electrodes zipping through my veins. I knew how great it felt to move along switchbacks on the way up. I had experienced several times the burning of my legs and lungs, and the eventual subsiding of these feelings as my body acclimated to my surroundings. I knew what it was like to push up the last steep hill climb, not quite being able to see beyond the crest, but knowing full well what was up there. And I knew that once at the top, I would have a view of the mountains for miles, with the unfiltered wind that is felt atop mountain peaks.
More than anything, I had complete confidence that all of these things would give me the natural source of energy I needed to be productive and enjoyable for the people who needed me.
And it did.
After just a short time away atop my favorite hill, I was able to return home re-energized. There was not a single moment during the day when I felt tired or sluggish, and, in fact, I was quite productive and happy.
Perhaps your natural source of energy does not come from running up mountains but from dancing in your kitchen, walking around the neighborhood or riding your bike. Maybe it’s reading a book or listening to music.
But when you find your natural energy source, hold onto it and use it when your day comes down to those three choices, because ain’t nobody got time for a nap, and slogging out a day well, it’s just not worth it.
Arianne Brown is a mother of seven young children who loves hearing and sharing stories. For more of her writings, search “A Mother’s Write” on Facebook. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: A_Mothers_Write.