Some of you may be able to remember the adverts of the 70s and 80s for Ready Brek, an oat-based breakfast cereal that would give you the “Get Up and Glow” – the energy – you needed to get you through the day.
The adverts included people who had a radiant glow around them to signify the energy they received from their breakfast porridge.
The Importance of Energy
As a leader, I often feel like I need some Ready Brek energy! (Other brands of porridge are available, of course!). Leadership is hard work. It takes lots of energy. Spiritual leadership often includes long days, dealing with pastoral and other issues, preaching and a myriad of other tasks that all take energy. How do you ensure you have the energy to keep going?
Of course, there are very practical things we can all do. Eat well, move about and sleep well are just three. We may be sick of hearing them, but that doesn’t make them any less true!
I need between 7-8 hours sleep every night in order to function well. You may need more or less. But whatever your body tells you that you need, you have to make sure you get it. Squeezing in more work, or one more episode from the latest box set will not help your energy levels! I am guilty of sometimes sitting in front of the television late at night because I am too lazy to get up and go to bed. I pay for it the next morning!
I’m beginning to realise how much what I eat – how much and what kind of food – really affects my energy, as does not drinking enough water. Gail and I were out and about last weekend, and so we ate way too much junk food. I have been struggling for energy since then. I need to get better at asking myself how the food I am eating will affect me later on, before I put it in my mouth.
I often fall for the lie that I am too tired to exercise. That exercising will just take away the little energy that I do have left. But I’ve proven time and time again, that isn’t true. In fact, when I do get to the gym first thing in the morning, I actually have more energy for the rest of the day! Exercise replenishes your energy and helps you sleep better at night.
But perhaps the most important key to having more energy is the one I’ve noticed over the past few weeks: it’s deciding to be energetic. I noticed that before our recent holiday, I felt tired and lacking in energy. I allowed myself to think I was tired. I put in some long days, I didn’t have many free evenings, and even our weekends were all booked out. Of course I should feel tired! But the very first day I was on holiday, I no longer felt tired or drained of energy! That was despite an early morning flight of four hours or so! Feeling tired and drained is just not part of the inner holiday narrative, is it? Deciding to be energetic, or even simply deciding not to feel tired and drained, actually makes a difference! If I move faster, if I sit up in my seat, if I smile and look up, I feel more energetic.
So here’s to the Get Up and Glow I need for the rest of this week! I hope you find yours too.
How do you maintain your energy levels? Why not comment below.
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- 3 Reasons You Need a Holiday
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