Kate Northrup, author of Do Less recalls a time when her doctor was discussing the results of a blood test with her. ‘To put it really simply, your brakes and your gas are both really low,’ he told her.
‘My body had been gently nudging me that it needs attention, and it was starting to get louder,’ she recalls. ‘I didn’t want it to have to scream to get me to give it what it needs (or stop giving it something it doesn’t, as the case may be) so I decided it was time.’
Your body’s energy comes from what you eat, how you sleep, when you rest and what exercise you do. If these four things are lacking, your energy levels will be low, you will struggle with managing emotions and focusing your attention. Exercise, sleep and food are like an arsenal of magic weapons in recharging your batteries and fuelling your fire.
Starting with a good breakfast is important, as is building in a regular exercise or movement routine at a time that means you’re likely to keep up with it. And if you can exercise outdoors for exposure to nature and sunshine, all the better. Working in rest to your day, even for a matter of ten or fifteen minutes can help, and creating a ritual to ensure you sleep well will also help. Think about the food that’s going into your body, is it going to fuel you for the journey ahead, or slow you down?
When you rest, do some simple breathing exercises. Northrup recommends breathing into the back lower ribs. ‘Simply put your attention on your back lower ribs and send the breath there. Stay aware of your breath for 5-10 breaths and notice how your body feels afterwards.’
Or you could try 4 × 4 breathing (do a slow count of four for each inhale, hold, exhale, and hold for 4-7-8 breathing (do a slow count of four as you inhale, hold for a slow count of seven, and exhale for a slow count of eight).