Hey and welcome back to Simple Happy Zen, it’s Vera here. And today, you’re going to learn how to manage your mental energy levels better. So that there will be less stress, less tiredness, and more energy, more focus, more positivity, and more creativity. So I’m going to give you eight tips that you can start doing today, to make sure you are feeling good and getting things done. But in a way that you can keep doing for a really long time without getting exhausted. So before we start with the mental energy management tips I want to give you guys a little bit more background info. About how our energy levels actually work and also about the myth of relaxation. Because the way that a lot of people try to find relaxation can be very ineffective and it can even make us feel more tired and more stressed out than we already are. So if you want to go straight towards the tips, then feel free to skip to this part of the video. Otherwise, just stay tuned you’ll get a little bit more info and it can give you more context about everything else that I discussed in the video. So we’ve all been there when we’re trying to cram as many tasks into our day and we want to be productive and effective and get things done. Maybe you even looked at time management tools t.o make the most out of your day But what about energy management? Because all these things won’t really help if you’re feeling really tired. So if you’re feeling stressed or drained or even exhausted, you’re not going to have the energy to do the things that really matter to you, that you find important. And if you keep it up in the long run, it can even lead to burnout. I always like to think of mental energy as a battery, because it does have a maximum capacity and it is a finite resource. And throughout our day, we do different things that can either deplete our battery levels or recharge them. And what these things are, I’m gonna get to in a second. So the trick to mental energy management is to be aware of your battery levels throughout the day. So you know when you’re using it up and when you need to recharge. So that we can keep working and getting results, while at the same time not letting it get so low that it gets depleted and that it needs a really long time to recharge. You’ve probably experienced being totally mentally drained at least a few times. When you just cannot think anymore. You’re completely done. And all you can manage to do is just plop down on the couch and watch some TV or watch Netflix. I’ve been there myself, so no judgement. This is what it feels like when your battery reaches zero. And of course the good news is that it does replenish after a while. And here we get to the myth of relaxation. The way that a lot of people nowadays try to find relaxation is actually not recharging their battery at all and can even drink it further. So let’s use that example of watching TV or watching Netflix. Most people they’ll just put something on, it doesn’t really matter what it is, and while they sort of watch it they’ll also be on their phone, maybe answering messages, be on social media. Some people will even be watching a YouTube video while they’re also watching Netflix. They might eat a snack pretty mindlessly and that’s about it. So they’re not really engaged at all. And another way that people try to find relaxation is doing just that, being on their phone. So depending on the source, most people spend about two to three hours a day on their phone. Whenever they are bored for even one minute or even 10 seconds. They get that urge, that twitch, to grab their phone. And whenever they are tired and they have some free time most people will spend it on their phones, scrolling through social media. Scrolling through that feed, that endless feed of pictures and opinions and videos. And of course I get the irony that this video is also on YouTube and you’re probably watching it on your phone. But bear with me here, because I’m talking about not being actively engaged and where you are doing. And of course if you really are engaged in the video that you’re watching and you’re really enjoying it, that’s a different story. So even when people are only passively engaged in what they are seeing on their screen, it still leaves an imprint on your brain. All these stimuli, every picture you see on Instagram It makes you feel something It makes you think something. So even we’re trying to rest and relax and just recharge our mental energy battery You’re actually draining it even further by subjecting your brain to all these different kinds of stimuli. And of course it’s okay if you need a moment like this, or even a day. But when this becomes a habit it can have a really big impact on your energy and even on your life. Because if you spend a lot of energy doing things that don’t really matter to you, that you don’t really care about You won’t have any energy left over for the things that really do matter. So if this doesn’t work then what does work? What things can we do to make sure we can rest and relax when we need to and manage our mental energy levels better? So that we can have enough energy left over for the things that really matter to us? So I’m going to share eight tips with you here. So the first tip is figuring out when you want to be fully engaged in whatever it is that you’re doing Giving it your complete awareness, and when you can be a little bit less actively engaged. So some tasks they require our full focus and concentration and attention. For example for me, writing a script for a video and doing research is such a task. I cannot do in half way I need to be fully focused, really concentrate deeply, no distractions and really go for it. However, if you’re trying to keep this up all day every day, it is not possible. You’re going to get burned out. So on the other hand, you need to find some tasks that you do that do not require you to be fully engaged mentally. So for example cleaning or making a sandwich, making lunch, or answering a phone call, that’s not that important. So the tip here is to really make that choice about when you want to be actively engaged in things and when you can kind of mentally disengage a little bit. Because like I said You cannot really be fully engaged mentally all the time all day, every day. So you need to make that choice about when to do it and when to switch it off for a while. Because if you do not make that choice, it will be decided for you, because you’ll be too tired to concentrate on anything. You could even make a list for all your tasks for today and just decide which ones require your full attention and which ones not so much, or maybe half. Or you can just decide as you go along. But when you do want that active engagement Make sure to keep the distractions to a minimum. So in this example of me writing a script, I make sure that I’m not also listening to really distracting music. I keep my phone away somewhere else so that I’m not distracted by it, because those distractions will make me really tired. They will limit my concentration, and make me have to work on that specific task for longer. And then when I do the tasks that are a bit less important or less complicated that don’t require that much focus, I just go about them in a very relaxed way, I don’t worry about them too much. I may even slump down in my chair a little bit and just get them done, but I don’t really poke around in my brain too much. The next tip that’s very important is to take frequent small breaks. And when you do take those breaks make sure that they’re actually breaks and that they’re actually restorative. Our body and our mind are not designed to keep working eight hours straight without a break. And even if you can keep that up for a day or a couple days or even a week You cannot keep it up in the long run. So the tip is to take a ten or fifteen minute break every hour if possible. Now if you’re thinking that because of your job you’re not able to take that many breaks I really know where you’re talking about and I’m gonna discuss it soon. Now I work from home. So it’s quite easy for me. What I do is, I set an alarm on my phone after one hour of concentrated work I take a ten or fifteen minute break. Here’s the important thing. To make sure that these breaks are actually something that recharges you. So if you’ve been active physically, then the key is to stop the physical activity for a while and do something with your mind. Most people will have been active mentally and the key then is to do something else and just leave your brain alone. And this is where that myth of relaxation comes into play again that we talked about earlier. Most people if they have a short break they will be on their phone which is still taxing for your mental energy levels So instead try not using your phone, no scrolling. No social media No watching a youtube video, because these things still work with your brain. So do something completely different Stand near a window, drink a cup of tea. Maybe make yourself a snack, go in the kitchen Maybe do some light stretching, or if it’s possible even go for a short walk outside. Now, of course, I realized that taking a 10 or 15 minute break every hour is not possible for a lot of jobs. For example, I was a project manager before and most of my days would be pretty scheduled in. So with the exception of half our lunch break I would have meetings and scheduled tasks all day long. So I can’t really afford to take this many breaks. But what I did do, is try to find really small windows where you can just even for a minute leave your brain alone for a while and stop thinking so hard. So what I would do is I would just walk over to the coffee machine at the other end of the floor and just grab me a cup of coffee or tea or even a glass of water, any excuse really, to walk there and walk back. And this gave me maybe two, three minutes, a few times a day, where I could just stop thinking for a while. So taking all these small breaks might not feel very productive or feel like a waste of time. But really it isn’t. It’s actually very effective because it makes you work harder when you are working. Because it keeps your battery level from getting depleted. So if you are really super tired You need to take a really long break to recharge and most people don’t have that time. You know, most people cannot take a week’s vacation every month. So taking all these frequent small breaks is a lot better than taking a really long break every so often. I’m curious if you have any tips of your own to share about taking small breaks and the activities that you do while you’re trying to find relaxation. So share them down below. I have six more mental energy management tips that I can share with you. I’m gonna go over them right now and a bit quicker than the previous two, because they don’t require it that much explanation. So here we go. The next step is pretty straightforward and that is try not to multitask. Multitasking is a myth anyway, you think that you are working on two things at the same time. When in reality you’re just alternating your focus between one thing and the next very quickly. And of course you can imagine how taxing that is on your brain. It’s also just not that productive, because you get way more done if you focus on one thing then take a small mini break and then focus on the next thing. For this next tip I want you to consider what kind of fuel you’re giving your brain. So what I used to do in my corporate job is what a lot of people tend to do. Is trying to find more energy through caffeine or sugar or both. Caffeine and sugar give you a quick boost of energy and that feels really nice, especially when you feel like you need it. But the downside of course, is that it can also make your energy dip super low after that initial high. Making you want another cup of coffee or glass of soda. And when you keep this up in the long run It’s going to give you very unstable energy levels with high spikes and then deep lows again. So I stay away from all drinks that have sugar in them. Including juice. And I have a one cup of coffee a day limit. And otherwise I just drink water or tea or if I’m really craving coffee I’ll have decaf coffee. I try to eat healthy meals, with lots of fiber and protein. And of course this can be a bit tricky in the beginning, especially if you are used to drinking a lot of coffee or sugar drinks. But it can really help you to keep your energy levels much more stable. Another great way to recharge your battery, your mental energy levels, is exercise. So go outside go for a walk, do some light stretching. I always like to do yoga whenever my mind feels full and overwhelmed and tired. And it really helps to do something active physically to restore and replenish mentally. The next tip is to keep planning and scheduling. So there is something called the mental load which is all those little things that we try to remember. That we need to do, all the kind of little to-do’s. Like for example, if you put in a load of laundry then you need to remember to also put it in a dryer later or hang it up somewhere. I don’t know how you do laundry, but I’m sure there there’s something that you need to do about that laundry. And this is only one example, but our mind is full of all those little things that we need to remember all the time. And it can be really taxing on your brain if it needs to keep all these things active, and not let them sink to the bottom to make sure that we won’t forget. As you might know, I use a bullet journal for my planning and scheduling of my to-do’s. Of course, you don’t have to schedule and plan every minute detail of your life. But for me, scheduling my time really helps me to first stay organized and get things done. But also just have my brain forget all those little things because it knows that they are written down somewhere and it’s really nice to not have to remember all these things. This next tip is more of a reminder because I think you probably already know it but it is very important: sleep. Make sure you are getting enough sleep. It is the minimum of what you owe your body and your mind. If you are not getting proper sleep then you’re not going to have the energy available to do the things that really matter to you. And I’ve been getting some requests from you for a healthy habits for a better sleep video. So I’m gonna be making that soon. Last tip that I have for you today is to listen to your body. Before you click away. I’m not going to go too deep into hippie-dippie land here. Even though I actually kind of like that sometimes. It is just being aware of these subtle signs of your body, listening to what it’s trying to tell you. So let’s say that you have been sitting at your desk all day. Then it helps if you are aware of the subtle signs of tension in your shoulders and your upper back. So that you can maybe stand up for a minute, take a stretch. You know, improve your posture. And the same goes with your mind. If you are just really tired and exhausted it means something and you have to take that opportunity and allow yourself and your body and your mind to replenish and recharge and rest. I have a video about healthy productivity habits to get things done right here. And right here is a video about healthy habits that changed my life. As always questions, comments, conversations down below. I will see you next week my friends. Byebye.