Low energy levels is kind of a taboo topic in this world. People with high energy, who speak super fast & come across forcefull and confident are usually considered to be more competent than people who are softer and calmer and slower.
But there is a misconception that people who are slower to speak and react are not as intelligent or as confident. You can have low energy and be a nervous person but also confident.
In January I moved all the way across the country to Scotland on an intuitive gut feeling that this is the right place for me to live. Only to discover Linlithgow, the most beautiful little town. And within 6 months, I brought a flat in that town where I now live.
That move takes confidence, that is not something that everyone would do. Leave their family and the safety of an area they know to travel across the country and set up a new life.
Yet, if you were to meet me in a workshop or group setting you might think I was quite a shy and nervous person since my energy can come across that way.
It’s the same with low energy. I need space & time to get things done. I can’t really force myself into overworking and overachieving because I get overly tired and then I am very likely to get burn out. I have to manage my energy really carefully. (pictured below with my latest creative creation, the willow tree in my living room)
BUT, whenever I sit down with friends and discuss what I’ve been up to. More often than not I have put into action many, many, many more things that were on my list that they have.
That’s not to be boastful, I don’t want to come across as arrogant. I’m only raising the point to make a point. Because often, I feel like I’ve done nothing, been relaxing and self-caring, enjoying the outdoors & watching Netflix only to discover during those conversations I have actually got quite a lot done, it still confuses me how that happens!
So, resting more often, managing your energy more carefully and being tired also doesn’t mean that you never get anything done. In fact, I think sometimes that going more slowly actually speeds up what you can achieve because by going slower you can be more directed and focused on what it is you are doing and why.
I still have issues with scattering my energy and scattering the activities I am doing too thinly. I am such a creative person it is really hard to channel everything I do into one area.
But, I now just give myself permission to be scattered. I have faith that over time I will become more focused, and over time I will find something that just clicks with me, something I will want to keep going with and will not want to start something else.
Once I find that thing, I will already have built up a pretty good base of skills and knowledge to be able to carry on with it to success. Some people are able to work at one thing over a long period of time, I have to work on many, otherwise, my energy doesn’t get to express itself fully and doesn’t flow which cuts off my energy and makes me tired and bored!
It is really important to let yourself be creative and have fun, especially if you have low energy.
Burn out is often a sign that we are not having enough fun.
We are not letting our soul enjoy life! We are just stuck working day in day out without any reward, this shuts down the creative, wonderful person we truly are and our energy starts to shut down with it.
So, allowing yourself to be creative and have fun and express, is really important to get the energy moving again.
Something else which is really great is walking & nature! Spending a lot more time outside and walking next to trees, next to lakes, next to canals, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying being outdoors.
I always feel a lot better when I am outside and close to a tree. It’s tempting to stay inside when its cold but just wrap up and wear a giant woolly hat!!!
I have found that freelancing has allowed me to spend a lot more time outdoors out in nature. My pay as a freelancer is higher than it was when I was working full time, so it means I can free up my spare time some more and enjoy it.
Instead of waking up, rolling out of bed and getting dressed for work with a begruding feeling. I wake up to have a coffee, let my self come round for half an hour or so and then go for a walk or a run. I can fit in my exercise first thing in the morning which instantly sets me up and relaxes me.
Freelancing also enables me to take breaks whenever I need to. I can adjust my work schedule around my own energy and its natural peaks and troughs. I find that during the morning after my run I have a really good moment where I am ready to creatively express.
So I like to fit in creative projects around this time. After lunch I have an energy drip, my worst is around 2pm, depending on how I’ve managed myself and what’s being going on this can be better or worse. Sometimes I can’t stay awake and need to just rest. Sometimes I can distract myself through it and then around 3pm my energy picks up again.
This is the block I get my freelancing work done, between 3 – 7pm as I have good energy levels and I’m in a more productive mode. Working full time in an office just doesn’t give this amount of flexibility.
There are weekly meetings and daily scrums and your expected to be at your desk the rest of the time. Even if you don’t have work. This is what used to bug me the most.
Being forced to sit at my desk when I didn’t have much work to do. So, in the end I am being forced to waste my time & life on a computer not doing anything productive. I used to dream of being outdoors in the countryside.
Now, if I don’t have too much work on, I go outside or I get some errands done, I clean my house or I do my creative projects. This flexibility has been a massive benefit in my life because I can be more balanced, fluid and in tune with myself and my life and what’s needed right now.
I have loads more advice and experience with managing low energy and what’s worked and hasn’t. Too much to fit it all here!
But what I’d really like to do is open up the conversation to you. I’d love to know if this is something you have struggled with & what comes up for you when you read about this.