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Author Topic: Energy; Raising, Maintaining and Conserving  (Read 3614 times)
Mandi
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« Topic Start: July 05, 2007, 02:24:35 pm »

Soooooo.

Oh you mean I have to elaborate huh...

Alrighty,  How do you raise and maintain an energy level that allows you to get in all of the things you want to do? 

I maintain a high paced schedule.  My to do list is usually about ten miles long, and I usually have about ten projects in various stages of completeness in the works at any given time.  I tend to use the shop broom method, pushing the pile along and moving it forward equally as best I can.

In a way I think it's because I'm trying to be fair to my projects.  To create growth in any area you have to feed it.  You have to put something in to get something back.

I also have as many if not more of my projects living on the mundane side of the equation.  There are so many balls to keep in the air in order to keep everything progressing that I often use my less mundane pursuits to fuel the day to day. 

I'm drawing energy out of every place I can make a connection to pour into obligations.  I've streamlined as best I can but when it comes down to it, it's a vicious cycle.  The leaves grow and need support from the roots, which in turn need to be fed and watered, which causes the leaves to grow...  You take in as much as you can on the leaf, but it's limited by what the rest of the plant can process and store.

Taking in new energy stimulates new growth and new ideas that in turn need more energy to be supported.

I also feel like there are things that I HAVE to do.  Not like mundane have to, but in the arts I feel like if you CAN do it, then you shouldn't be letting it rot on the vine.  You need to be out there with your baskets  cultivating it since it's one of the most valuable things that you can contribute to the world.  To let too long go without picking up the guitar, or sketching, or any of the other million crafty things that come to mind is to let those shreds of energy and thought float away on the breeze.

By doing they are made concrete.

To not clean the kitchen, and to not have an environment put together where I can sit down and draw energy just from the layout and stimulation of my surroundings - to let the mundane stuff go is just as crippling.

Unfortunately bringing things over from thought to product takes a lot of energy.  Energy beyond what sleep, food and mental quiet can provide.  Then adding that these things in and unto themselves aren't always reliably employed with the day to day stuff - they require investment to pull energy back out later.  Sometimes you don't make that investment, or have the down payment to invest.

Sometimes the ideas themselves generate enough energy to transition from lightning strike to flame, but other times they bring an energy debt along with them.  The scope of the idea can drain you.

Controlling the panic that shows up when you really realize you are up against the boundless, and that maybe there is just no way to generate enough energy to get through the things you feel you should be doing is another juxtapose.  Sometimes panic can generate a boost.  Other times it just shatters your hold on what little you have left.

What are some places that you draw energy from when you're spread thin?  How do you conserve that energy, making your pursuits more directed so you're loosing less energy out the cracks and to ineffective method? 
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« Reply #1: July 05, 2007, 02:57:42 pm »

Alrighty,  How do you raise and maintain an energy level that allows you to get in all of the things you want to do? 

I don't raise energy in the magical sense, typically.  The closest I come is that when I need a temporary boost, there is certain music I listen to (it varies according to the circumstances and my mood at the time) and sing with, and that seems to energize me a little.

Strategies for doing everything that I need or want to do during the day, though...  I recognize my limits and have learned to say "no" if I honestly don't have the energy.  I am not Superwoman and I refuse to try to be.  I try not to pack my days unless I have to.  Some days just are busy and there's nothing for it, but I try to at least leave half an hour somewhere for relaxing, before bed if nothing else.  I prioritize.  It's almost bedtime and the dishes aren't done?  Fine.  They can wait; they aren't going to grow legs and walk off if I don't wash them now.  I keep a to-do list so I know what still needs done and can decide what it would be most efficient to do next.  I plan ahead so I'm not scrambling at the last minute.  That kind of thing.
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« Reply #2: July 05, 2007, 03:18:38 pm »

Alrighty,  How do you raise and maintain an energy level that allows you to get in all of the things you want to do? My to do list is usually about ten miles long, and I usually have about ten projects in various stages of completeness in the works at any given time.  I tend to use the shop broom method, pushing the pile along and moving it forward equally as best I can. There are so many balls to keep in the air in order to keep everything progressing that I often use my less mundane pursuits to fuel the day to day.
To not clean the kitchen, and to not have an environment put together where I can sit down and draw energy just from the layout and stimulation of my surroundings - to let the mundane stuff go is just as crippling.
Sometimes the ideas themselves generate enough energy to transition from lightning strike to flame, but other times they bring an energy debt along with them.  The scope of the idea can drain you.
What are some places that you draw energy from when you're spread thin? 

Like you, Mandi I am constantly running to try to keep up. At my age, (59) it's not easy, especially with asthma, IBS and Fibromyalgia!

I have learned through experience, not to be so demanding of myself. Much stuff, especially housework is incredibly patient, it will wait for ages. It doesn't hurt to leave the dusting occasionally!

There are things which MUST be done, working, paying bills, etc., but  pacing yourself so you don't burn out is just as important.

I find that I only have a set amount of energy per day, once it's gone, I've had it. If I push myself beyong this limit, I will suffer for a week! So, I conserve my energy, pace myself and get as much sleep as I can.

Hope this helps,

Cheers, Midori
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« Reply #3: July 05, 2007, 05:07:17 pm »

What are some places that you draw energy from when you're spread thin?  How do you conserve that energy, making your pursuits more directed so you're loosing less energy out the cracks and to ineffective method? 

I've been running on fumes pretty much all year (working full time, part time grad-school, plus Pagan group and local Pagan Pride organisational commitments plus attempting to have a personal life sort of did that. Plus several times friends needed extensive help. And three moves in 15 months. Gah.) Since I moved 2 weeks ago, I've also been tending to have extensive naps. (lie down, fall asleep, wake up 4-5 hours later, and then still sleep 8+ hours that night.) It's finally settling down, so I feel like I'm slowly recovering.

I have felt, a lot of this year, that I just am not functioning well. (And in some places in my life, it's been pretty obvious.) I finish my last grad class this summer (and I don't work over the summer) so things are now settling a bit more. (The 3 day retreat I just finished hasn't hurt, either. I feel like I might have a brain again.) 

What do I do that helps?

The single sanest thing I did this year was make an appointment with a highly respected local herbalist (Wiccan, which makes it easier to talk about exactly how I'm busy). She took one look at me, ran me through some diagnostics, and diagnosed adrenal stress issues (erm. duh, in retrospect), and the tea I've been drinking has helped a *lot* with energy levels, more restful sleep, and a bunch of things that were draining energy (low-grade lower-back pain and stiffness, low-grade lung issues) that got much better, while avoiding the side-effects I get from mainstream meds for the latter. I've got a second followup with her on Monday so it's possible my regimen may be changing, but it's some of the best money I've spent.

My theory (and she agreed with me on this, as does my mainstream doc) is that going through the stress is necessary in the short term (for long-term financial stability, I need the income the MLIS will bring, and that will eventually reduce stress), but finding ways to keep me healthy in the meantime was really important.

Other stuff I do:
1) Music. My standard re-energiser, though it is something like writing an IOU - I pay for it later. I keep re-energising mixes (on CD for the car, and on my computer in iTunes and on my iPod for other use) handy, rotating songs periodically. When I get the mix right, 20-30 minutes will recharge me better than coffee for about 4-6 hours, but I need recovery time after.

2) Having a stock of things to help improve quality of sleep. Earplugs, essential and other oil blends that help with sleep for when I have trouble. (I use Mountain Rose Herbal's Dream blend and otherwise a variety of things from Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs - mostly Somnus and TKO.) I used to use teas, but I've been showing signs of sensitivity to chamomile, and haven't gotten around to figuring out what I want to do for a sleep blend instead of the commerical ones I was using (I liked the Republic of Tea's Chamomile Lemon a lot, and it worked well for me.)
 
3) Eating sanely, and even more important, drinking tons of water. It has a serious impact on my energy levels and my ability to function.

4) Air quality function - I have asthma, and I notice poor air quality pretty fast. When I have trouble, it takes me 2-3 times as long to do things (which means I get less done), even before I start noticing breathing issues. Doing stuff that avoids that (air filter, the recent move to somewhere with no carpet, etc.) helps a lot in keeping the rest of my obligations moving.

5) Figuring out what I actually *need* to do in any given week, versus what I want to do, and what can be put off a week without too much pain. Homework and courses won every scheduling thing this year, for obvious reasons, but knowing that in advance both made it easier to talk to other people about, and made it easier for me to make decisions. (Though, even with that, I turned in more stuff this year at 11:30pm for a midnight deadline than in my entire previous academic career combined, though I think I only had one late assignment.) There's other stuff I didn't handle as well, though.
 
6) I've been avoiding caffeine this year (which is probably a good move and helped), but in the past I've used chocolate covered coffee beans as my caffeine of choice when absolutely needed - easier to control the amount, and a whole lot more portable.

7) Recognising that there's just some stuff that was *not* going to get done - the revamp of the Pagan research book, for example, has been on the backburner all year. This turns out to be a good thing, because the last class I'm taking this summer may well revamp things in it again, so I'm glad I have the chance to incorporate that material.
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« Reply #4: July 05, 2007, 05:42:09 pm »

What are some places that you draw energy from when you're spread thin?  How do you conserve that energy, making your pursuits more directed so you're loosing less energy out the cracks and to ineffective method? 

To be honest, when I find myself regularly spread so thin I can't muster the internal energy to keep going, I know it is time to cut back somewhere. There is only so much of me to go around. Sure, for the short term I can suck in energy from the area around me but that's not a realistic solution for the long term.
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« Reply #5: November 01, 2007, 03:41:29 pm »

What are some places that you draw energy from when you're spread thin?  How do you conserve that energy, making your pursuits more directed so you're loosing less energy out the cracks and to ineffective method? 


As a musician and a writer, I understand the desire to "not let those creative energies go to waste," but sometimes you HAVE to let a few of them slide.  You will drive yourself insane if you do not.  You may want to set aside certain days for certain creative pursuits.  In other words, maybe allow for musical creativity one day, and writing the next.  I don't know how well that would work in practice, but it would allow you to structure actual time for both activities, without them both devouring your day simultaneously.

I would also echo Jennet's advice to drink a ton of water (and to otherwise take care of yourself, of course).  I am the kind of person who always feels fatigued, but, despite the fact that I'm working 80 hours every week and sometimes only sleeping 6 hours in a night, my co-workers almost unilaterally agree that I look and sound like the most well-rested person in the office.  I eat as much junk food as they do (possibly more), and I eat fewer full meals every day (I tend to only eat supper with absolute consistency, though I try to eat lunch most days).   My secret?  I drink a BARE minimum of 4 liters of water per day.  In practice, I tend to drink closer to 8+ liters per day (for example, it's 3:30, and I've already had about 4-1/2 liters).  I have conditioned my body to feel like it NEEDS that much water, and I notice myself feeling like crap on days when I don't get enough.

It requires cutting a little more time out of your hectic schedule, but I would also recommend regular massage (e.g., as often as is feasible for your time and budgetary constraints).  I'm not talking Swedish relaxation massage, either...I mean deep, therapeutic massage.  It's great for achy muscles and general well-being, and it should help open up a few deeper reserves of energy for those days when you just have to have it.
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« Reply #6: November 01, 2007, 04:43:54 pm »


As a musician and a writer, I understand the desire to "not let those creative energies go to waste," but sometimes you HAVE to let a few of them slide.  You will drive yourself insane if you do not.  You may want to set aside certain days for certain creative pursuits.  In other words, maybe allow for musical creativity one day, and writing the next.  I don't know how well that would work in practice, but it would allow you to structure actual time for both activities, without them both devouring your day simultaneously.

I would also echo Jennet's advice to drink a ton of water (and to otherwise take care of yourself, of course).  I am the kind of person who always feels fatigued, but, despite the fact that I'm working 80 hours every week and sometimes only sleeping 6 hours in a night, my co-workers almost unilaterally agree that I look and sound like the most well-rested person in the office.  I eat as much junk food as they do (possibly more), and I eat fewer full meals every day (I tend to only eat supper with absolute consistency, though I try to eat lunch most days).   My secret?  I drink a BARE minimum of 4 liters of water per day.  In practice, I tend to drink closer to 8+ liters per day (for example, it's 3:30, and I've already had about 4-1/2 liters).  I have conditioned my body to feel like it NEEDS that much water, and I notice myself feeling like crap on days when I don't get enough.

It requires cutting a little more time out of your hectic schedule, but I would also recommend regular massage (e.g., as often as is feasible for your time and budgetary constraints).  I'm not talking Swedish relaxation massage, either...I mean deep, therapeutic massage.  It's great for achy muscles and general well-being, and it should help open up a few deeper reserves of energy for those days when you just have to have it.

It's ironic to see this topic popping up again, when thrilling thing this, I'm spread paper thin - but then again, I guess I always am.  Whomever littered the path with wanna-do candy is to blame.  Not me.
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And games are just another way of life
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Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
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« Reply #7: November 01, 2007, 05:40:49 pm »

It's ironic to see this topic popping up again, when thrilling thing this, I'm spread paper thin - but then again, I guess I always am.  Whomever littered the path with wanna-do candy is to blame.  Not me.


I know how it feels to be stretched paper-thin.  I'm working 80 hours a week right now, and that's actually a RELIEF for me, because I was previously working 110 hours (all 110 from home, and able to sleep until the phone rang, which was all that kept me sane).  Sometimes you have to be stretched that thin (our finances demanded it of me), but always try to "pull yourself together" as quickly as possible Wink.  Me?  I'm anxiously awaiting my beloved's graduation.  Once she's established, she can earn in a 40-hour week what I can barely scrape together in an 80-hour week.  That should go a long way to helping me reduce my stretchiness.
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« Reply #8: November 01, 2007, 07:32:11 pm »

Controlling the panic that shows up when you really realize you are up against the boundless, and that maybe there is just no way to generate enough energy to get through the things you feel you should be doing is another juxtapose.  Sometimes panic can generate a boost.  Other times it just shatters your hold on what little you have left.

Ooh, I know what you mean about the panic thing! Doesn't happen too often, but when it does I'll be strung out and ready to hyperventilate and cry at the drop of a hat for maybe a week at a time. Doesn't usually give me a boost. Wink But I work out of it eventually.

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What are some places that you draw energy from when you're spread thin?  How do you conserve that energy, making your pursuits more directed so you're loosing less energy out the cracks and to ineffective method? 

Really, the main thing is that I basically refuse to go without sleep. Preferably 8, absolutely no less than 6. It's a major priority for me, and does a lot to keep me sane. Even if I still have stuff to do, it can wait until the morning and sleep always wins out. lol. If I could take a nap everyday, I would do that too. Tongue

Beyond that, sometimes I will meditate and make myself an energy cocoon and chill out for a little bit. A concentrated cloud that zaps negative whatnot and gets everything back in line. Kind of like a spa treatment, really. lol. I usually do this before bed and then let it down and un-ground myself and go right to sleep.
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« Reply #9: March 16, 2011, 05:16:34 pm »

I maintain a high paced schedule.  My to do list is usually about ten miles long, and I usually have about ten projects in various stages of completeness in the works at any given time.  I tend to use the shop broom method, pushing the pile along and moving it forward equally as best I can.

Sometimes the ideas themselves generate enough energy to transition from lightning strike to flame, but other times they bring an energy debt along with them.  The scope of the idea can drain you.

Ah, my life in a nutshell. In addition to drinking enough water to float a house, I SCHEDULE. And that doesn't mean carrying around a day planner and never sleeping. That means creating good, healthy routines with uninterrupted (no computer unless it's writing, no internet unless it's research. No phone until break time.) blocks of time set aside for tasks, and others for eating/sleeping/meditation/ritual work.

I wake up early (used to be a night owl, decided to make the switch and it was one of the best things I've done for myself). I eat good food frequently (6 times a day, sometimes more). And I have a solid bedtime routine that allows me the chance to do little things for me before I drift off. I also work (work= school, art, jobs, volunteering, etc.) 10-12 hour days, 7 days a week.   

I've never been able to create a perfect balance between my ambition and my reality, but if you can create a system conducive to productivity, you'll be left with extra energy to dedicate to other things. Pro Tip: Delegate whenever you can. I hate delegating, but learning how to do so respectfully has not only saved my sanity, but it's actually brought in more healthy opportunities that I can handle.

By the same token, there will be opportunities you'll have to turn down. It sucks, it's painful, it's absolutely dreadful, but it's something you're going to have to deal with if you've got a nice big mountain of things to do.
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« Reply #10: May 07, 2011, 12:12:26 pm »

Soooooo.

I've meditated for several years actually. It really helps me. Even if it's not but 30 mins. It feels great. I have insomnia...really badly. I go for weeks with maybe 10 hours of sleep so meditating helps calm my turning mind.

Just like everyone else here I drink a TON of water. I generally have a 2 liter bottle with me or something. I also drink green tea a lot and eat a lot of raw vegetables. Flaxseed is also a very good option. I'm kind of a health nut, food-anyways.

I know this sounds strange but try some stretching. First thing when you wake up and randomly during the day. It feels so good to tired, spasming or sore muscles. It really perks you up and it only takes 5 minutes of your times to do it. Just don't push your body to stretch farther than comfortable.

Hope this helped. Smiley
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« Reply #11: May 07, 2011, 12:49:10 pm »

I've meditated for several years actually. It really helps me. Even if it's not but 30 mins. It feels great. I have insomnia...really badly. I go for weeks with maybe 10 hours of sleep so meditating helps calm my turning mind.

I know this sounds strange but try some stretching. First thing when you wake up and randomly during the day. It feels so good to tired, spasming or sore muscles. It really perks you up and it only takes 5 minutes of your times to do it. Just don't push your body to stretch farther than comfortable.

Stretching's not weird at all! I do that all the time. Meditating, or even a 20 minute nap can do wonders. I never have had the inclination to raise energy except for magic, if that's what you meant by raising energy, Mandi. The magical energy I raise during a spell has little to do (for me) with the energy that keeps me going and working hard.

Or just listening to fast-paced Irish music. That always gets my heart pumping and just makes me want to get up and dance.
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