this post is long as heck but it’s all worth reading
thank you zack!
If you guys find yourselves tired a lot, as I do, here are some things I have tried recently that have helped with sustaining energy:
To expand and detour a little bit I wanted to add more to what riskykitten started.
Caffeine - It can be great as a temporary stimulant, but it can also take up to 12 hours to fully leave your system, which is long after the “energy” effects have worn off. For some people who are more sensitive to processing caffeine it can take even longer. This can cause issues with REM sleep and feeling well rested. I’ve switched my morning cup of coffee over to decaf when I get it and have noticed that I sleep better at night, and feel more rested. I’ve also noticed that after being more aware of the effects it has on my body after consuming it that on days when I do have caffeine in the morning it is followed by a quick burst of energy, then that energy wears off slowly, and then a short while later I am overcome by a feeling of extreme anxiousness or nervousness. This can then spiral into depression, anxiety, or paranoia. Cutting out and cutting down on the caffeine has helped these episodes stop. That isn’t to say I still don’t feel anxious or depressed, but recognizing caffeine as a trigger has helped.
Energy is energy - Science has shown that thinking uses glucose and other forms of energy in the body just the same as physical movement. That means you can sit at a desk all day thinking really hard and feel just as exhausted and fatigued as someone who chops trees Paul Bunyan-style. Sure, its a different kind of tired, but it’s no less legitimate. It’s a big annoyance with me when other people get all “knowy” about how you got to sit all day so you don’t get to be tired. Energy used, is still energy used, and just because my muscles don’t ache, doesn’t mean I’m anymore energetic than anyone else. This also means sitting and worrying, or having obsessive thoughts quite literally drains bodily energy reserves. This is why negative self-destructive cycles are so hard to break out of. The less energy I have the more prone I am to feeling depressed or anxious, and those feelings drain me even further.
Write - It’s a powerful way to process thoughts, dreams, plans, whatever. Whether you do it publicly, or in a private journal. It’s a great way to free up mental RAM. It won’t solve all your problems, but some things seem more manageable once they’re out of your head and down on a page. Writing also activates the creative centers of your brain which can help alleviate stress or anxiety in some cases. Writing more has also helped me notice and learn that typing and writing operate in completely different centers of the brain. When you write, the muscle movement activates memory centers of your brain. This is why it is easier to remember things you’ve written down than things you’ve typed. Typing doesn’t activate memory in the same way. Thus, if there’s a list of things you want to remember or something your really want to focus on, I find writing it with a pen/pencil and paper work so much better than typing it out. In a more “professional” sense, I try as much as possible to write new stuff down with pen first, then do revisions digitally.
Focus on the right things - When trying to do something there’s really three ways to focus on, whether you are succeeding at it or not; Process, Product, Progress. If you focus on how well the Process is setup to do a thing you’ll never get anything accomplished. This is a center-point to much of my procrastination, and maybe yours. If you focus on Product, you only focus on the end result. This can be somewhat helpful, but also super discouraging. If you sit down to paint a painting and then the thing turns out less than great are you going to feel super pumped to bang out another one? No, because realistically you’re going to make a lot of shitty “products” before there’s any gold. Instead, the harder, but better approach is to focus on Progress. You look back at where you were last time and the times before, and then look at where you are now and see slowly over time that you are improving. This approach needs disciplined tracking and self-reflection in order to build a timeline that you can focus on regularly. This I’ve found is the most successful way to direct things you want to succeed into actually getting done. A timeline also helps you put failures in perspective as just dips or obstacles instead of life-ending disasters.
Learn yourself - Much of our formative years in the western world are spent learning about the external or what the external wants us to be. Then later, if you are lucky, you figure out that you know very little about yourself because you never took the time to learn. People just assume that since we’ve been driving this wet mess of bone and muscles around that we know all there is to know about it, but that isn’t the case. Much of my own frustrations and issues have come from the simple fact that I thought I was one thing and never took the time to learn that I was something quite different. I think this is one cause of sexual frustration both personally and in relationships. People never take the time to learn what they enjoy sexually so then then never know what to tell others when the time comes and then you end up with a less than desirable sexual experience. It’s why we end up in places we don’t want to be or people we don’t want to be with. I’ve seen parts of my life at least make more sense as I’ve tried to really learn who I am. Anything from what really upsets me to what I’m just plain terrible at.
This is by no means a complete list, hell I didn’t even start it, but it’s a few things I wanted to jot down and share even if they are just there to stare at me. And, yes, I realize I deviated a bit from riskykitten’s topic, but oh well, it made me think of these things. Hopefully there’s something in there that helps a few people. Maybe I’ll keep adding to it later, who knows.