We all know that keeping up with this big, beautiful thing called Life requires a LOT of energy. Sometimes, even on our best days, just taking care of work, kids, partners, friends, family, pets, and personal time can seem like an impossible task. It’s times like these when we can look at how we’re spending our energy, and notice whether or not we’re being energy efficient with ourselves and our time.
Sometimes, unknowingly, we end up spending more energy than is needed, and this can lead to feelings of depletion, exhaustion, or even boredom. One simple way to check in with your energy efficiency is to notice your tempo as you move throughout the day. Being aware of tempo—our speed of movement and activity—helps us stay grounded and present in the moment, enabling us to better handle our day.
Everyone has a personal tempo that they’re drawn to naturally; some people thrive on moving at top speed, a hundred miles a minute, while others prefer to take things slow and steady. There’s no right or wrong, but if we move only at one speed all the time, at some point we’re going to be left feeling exhausted or stuck. This is where balance comes into play, and the need to incorporate various tempos into your schedule. Doing so will help you feel more stimulated when your energy needs to be up, and will help you relax easier when you have down time.
- Find your personal preferred tempo, then play with it! Are you a fast talker/walker/thinker, or do you like moving slowly place to place? In your down time, do you relax by being passive or active (reading or hiking)? Notice your preferences and then see if there are places in your personal time to indulge in it. Then, change it up! Try out ways to move in the least preferred tempo; if you like moving fast, try taking a restorative yoga class, or if you like moving slow, try kickboxing. You may surprise yourself with how good it feels to step outside the comfort zone.
- Check in with the present moment. Notice if you’re still in “work mode” during your time off; are you talking a hundred miles an hour while you’re having tea with a friend, or running through all of your to-do lists and texts while walking your dog in the park? If so, you’re wasting a lot of energy and missing out on the feel-goodness of having proper down time. Relax fully! Take a few breaths, let your heart rate calm down, and enjoy your free time without racing off to the next moment.
- Get some sweet playlists going. For times when you need help slowing down or pumping it up, there’s nothing like a good playlist to get you there. Music soothes and stimulates our nervous systems, and can instantly change our energy and mood. Make a few different playlists to have at the ready when you need a tempo change, and use them as often as you can.