Are you feeling drained, depressed, unmotivated? That’s understandable. This past year could do that to anyone. In fact, most women I talk to lately are just feeling off.
If you feel like you have no fuel, no fire, no way to get through the day, you don’t have to stay that way. You don’t have to feel like you’re running on empty and listless any longer.
As I was writing my book, When You’re Running on Empty, I addressed the continual rat race we run and how to slow down to refuel, refresh, and re-energize. But you can be bored at home, or lack motivation from feeling there’s no hope, and feel just as listless and lacking in energy.
Here are three things you can do each day, preferably in the mornings, to kick you into high gear and help you feel the power –mentally, physically and spiritually.
- Keep FOCUSED in your mind – through the Psalms.
The writers of the songs in Scripture experienced seasons of weariness, emptiness, and a lack of motivation. They experienced hopelessness, depression, anxiety, and fear. They, too cried out for help. And I began to notice a link between their cries for help while flat on their faces, and their ability to get back up on their feet again. That link in the Bible’s songbook was a shift in focus (following times of prayer and praise) and a sense of determination.
The Psalmists often sang – in their songs of frustration and desperation – the words I will when it came to getting out of their slump.
Asaph, in Psalm 77, was disillusioned with the way life was going. So, he said “I will meditate on all Thy works…I will remember your deeds.”
David, in asking God to consider his sighing and hear his cries for help, said “I will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down” (Psalm 5:7). And when he felt like he was being defeated, he said “I will knowthat God is for me…I will not be afraid” (Psalm 56:9-11).
The Psalmists didn’t say “I think” or “I feel” or “I should.” It was “I will” – a sense of determination – a determined course of action. In all 150 Psalms in the Bible, the phrase “I will” is sung at least 140 times. That made me realize that – whether we feel empty or not, whether we are motivated or not – we need to do something to allow God to infuse that energy into our lives again. Don’t wait until you feel like doing something, because that feeling might never come. Instead, determine to do whatever will put you in the place where God can relight the fire in you and re-ignite the passion that once burned brightly.
Feeling run down is not just a physical thing. Attitude is everything. And we are what we believe. How we start our day, what we fuel ourselves with, who we’re trying to please, why we’re doing what we do, how we respond to our feelings, and who we’re ultimately trusting all contribute to whether we’re feeling determined and motivated to get it done, or whether we’re dragging and feeling we can’t make it through the day. A good solid focus will fuel you, mentally, through what lies ahead and keep you from running on empty. Focus yourself in your mind by starting your day in prayer and in God’s Word, specifically the Psalms.
2. Keep FIT in your body – by caring for your “temple.”
We can feel run down in a number of ways, not just mentally through the wrong focus, but physically, through the wrong input. Keeping a clean heart, a positive attitude, a healthy diet, our bodies moving, and ourselves in good company will produce energy in our lives. In order to run without tiring, we must first lose the weight that slows us down and then fuel up on what will keep us going.
Hebrews 12:1 (NLT) tells us to “strip off every weight that slows us down” and “run with endurance the race that God has set before us.” Stripping off the weight that slows us down may mean, for you, getting rid of a negative attitude, reducing (or quitting altogether) the sugars or carbs that make you feel listless, or limiting your time around (or in virtual contact with) toxic people who tend to drag you down with them. Another great way to strip off what weighs you down is to release mental and emotional stress through high-intensity exercise, or even just a nice brisk walk in the early mornings or evenings.
Scripture says your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. “Therefore, honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV). Is that temple of yours filled with healthy, energy-producing food, or empty calories, junk food, and strange-sounding ingredients you can’t pronounce?
When it comes to diet, do your research, use your common sense, and eat the foods that will produce energy and keep you from feeling run down. And if you have baggage in the dieting, exercising, or eating department, realize that in Christ you are a “new creation.” The old habits are gone, the new attitude has come (1 Corinthians 5:17). You can live a new way when it comes to taking care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and keeping a positive attitude.
3. Keep FRESH in your soul — by getting outdoors.
Getting outdoors into the fresh air and into God’s creation will do wonders for you. In addition to soaking up some Vitamin D from the sun (which is essential for mood and sense of well-being), the fresh air is good for your lungs. Take a morning worship walk and notice the clouds or clear skies animals or creatures you haven’t seen in a while (is there a resurgence of butterflies right now or did I just never notice them before?) and listen to the sounds of nature (bird songs, a nearby creek, the sound of the breeze through trees). Breathe in the beauty of God’s creation and experience what David, the Psalmist, did when he sang, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it” (Psalm 24:1, NASB).
Start listening to the Bible on audio (from your smart phone) as you walk, listening to praise music, or taking out the earbuds altogether to listen for God’s still small voice and commune with Him as you walk. If you’re physically unable to get out or walk, go out on your front or back porch or drive somewhere you can find a view and sit and reflect on creation, and the Creator of it all. It does something to freshen our souls as we get closer to nature.
Which of these steps will you take to add energy to your day? I’d love to hear it in the comment section below.