Back in September, I wrote a list of resolutions that I hoped would improve my energy levels. Six months on, I thought I’d provide a brief update on how I got on.
1. Not collapsing on the sofa on my return from work and watching things I have no real desire to watch on the television.
So I continued to collapse on the sofa at the end of each day, continuing to watch repeats of The Big Bang Thoeory and How I Met Your Mother until it was time to go to bed. But I also used the time to be creative – crocheting and making jewellery to the sound of the television. I’m not sure it gave me any more energy, but I managed to hand make most of my Christmas presents.
2. Using the spare time to keep on top of clutter and do something creative each day.
I used the time to craft before Christmas, and afterwards our big moving plans forced me to declutter. Actually, decluttering is an understatement. We had three weeks to get rid of almost everything we owned. It very much reminded me of Miss Minimalist’s post The Great Unraveling. Perhaps when I’ve recovered from the experience I’ll write my own version of this post.
3. Cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. It makes such a difference to come down to clear clean surfaces in the morning rather than chaos that smells a little.
This did not last more than a week. But the surfaces did get cleaner in February when we started to get rid of all the kitchen stuff.
4. Going for a lunch-break run on Tuesdays and Thursdays (fulfilling my need for ‘getting out of the office’, ‘being outdoors’ and ‘exercise’)
Neither did this. Although since the new year I’ve managed to fit in a weekly run with a friend. Even in snow.
5. Eating proper food. Stop using chocolate and caffeine as short term energy boosters.
I’ve been experimenting with quitting sugar. Although I’ve not managed it for more than a couple of weeks at a time, I have cut down enough for it to have made a difference – more energy, less slumps and less headaches.
6. Making time to really connect with friends, offline.
Now that I’ve recognised how much I value this, I’ve been trying to carve out time more and more. After having a long phone conversation, going for coffee or having dinner with a good friend, I’m almost bouncing I’m so happy.
But basically, the biggest source of my energy in the last couple of months has been the decision to move country, making the plans for it to happen, and sorting out practical arrangements. While smaller lifestyle changes such as those above can obviously make a difference, I’ve been on a bit of a high because there’s nothing like making big changes: taking charge of your life, deciding where in the world you actually want to live, how you want to live, and taking steps towards making this happen.
Phase one of this has happened. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of possessions, and moved out of one house to a short term let about ten minutes from where I work. I’m still on an energy high whilst I research moving to South Africa and start saving the money to help me do this. Part of the increased energy has got to be down to replacing my hour and a half drive to work with a brisk walk, making the effort to eat well, and dramatically reducing my caffeine intake – but I suspect most of it has to do with how much I love having big life projects to work on. Either way, I’m definitely out of the rut I felt stuck in during the Autumn.