“The mind and body are not separate. What affects one, affects the other.” —Unknown
We all have days when we’re not on top of our game. Our minds feel foggy, and it’s harder to make decisions about what our next steps are—especially when there’s a lot going on.
Truthfully, some days are just like that. The best thing is to notice, be gentle with yourself, and know it will pass.
But what about when you’re not feeling clear in general, and your mind feels overloaded and overwhelmed?
I was talking with Crystal, my business partner, and we’ve both noticed that when we get into this space, where everything seems challenging because we don’t feel clear, it correlates with how we’re taking care of ourselves.
When you let go of your self-care, you’re not as focused. It’s easy to get distracted and caught up in your thinking. When that happens, procrastination and overwhelm become the default. Things get put off, and decisions require great inner debate and effort.
Yet when you take care of yourself on all levels, regardless of what’s going on in life and work, your mind will be clear, and decision-making becomes effortless. Because when you’re on your game, there are no decisions to make, just the next steps that come forward from clarity and your inner wisdom.
So next time you’re feeling unclear, take a look to see if you’re nurturing yourself in the ways that support you most.
Here’s four low-effort ways to nurture yourself that we’ve both had personal success with. Just these simple things will make a difference in keeping you on your game when it counts.
Move Your Body to Stay On Your Game
Whatever you love to do that moves your body, do it on a regular basis. Walk when you can, and don’t forget to stretch. Your body will thank you for it, and so will your mind.
Even so, don’t forget the fun. When you love your work, it’s fun, but if your mind is feeling foggy, it’s good to step back and take a look at what’s going on. Maybe a break is in order. Taking a pause can reset your energy, clarity, and focus. Professional athletes do this because it literally keeps them on their game—and it will keep you on your game, too.
Feed Your Whole Body, Not Just Your Belly
Sometimes when we’re super busy, without realizing it we forego eating well. Eating processed foods and lots of sugar and caffeine can throw you off big time. And pushing yourself to the point of starvation, and then hitting fast food on your way home is a surefire recipe for taking you from “on your game” to “game over.”
So be aware of what your body needs to perform its best, and eat whole foods that nourish you. Snack on healthy snacks during the day to keep your energy up and your focus sharp.
Lastly, make it a point to drink lots of water. Dehydration can cause mental fogginess. Always keep water at your workstation, and take sips all day long. Consider taking supplements, if you don’t already, as they can help clear toxins and boost your immune system.
Harness the Power of Sleep
In her book, The Sleep Revolution, Transforming Your Life One Night At A Time, Adrianna Huffington writes, “Sleep is a time of intense neurological activity—a rich time of renewal, memory consolidation, brain and neurochemical cleansing, and cognitive maintenance.”
Sleep is key to feeling clear. If you sleep less than 7 hours a night, you’re not getting enough. When we’re rested, we are more productive and inspired. It’s easier to tap into your inner wisdom and stay on your game when you’re rested.
Quiet Your Mind
Take the time to quiet your mind. Let your thoughts come and go, and check in with your innate inner knowing. Meditation, sitting without doing anything for a few minutes, or walking in nature can support you in quieting your mind. Whatever it is for you, make it a point to unplug from everything and listen within.
You’ll notice that when you get quiet and the inner chatter settles down, the thoughts that come up will be ones that are creative and show you your next steps.
All this will support you in staying on top of your game. Make taking care of yourself part of your work routine. Be mindful of what nurtures you holistically, and keep that as your baseline. When you take care of yourself, you are more likely to be in the flow with your work, and any decisions you need to make will come easily from the clarity within.