Lately many of my clients have confessed to me a deep desire for things to feel easier in their lives and work. They long to not have to push so hard as they contend with grueling circumstances and deny themselves time for rest and recovery. Instead they want their work to feel like play. They want to feel a sense of grace in their lives. They desire flow. They want a break from feeling crushing stress as a default mode in their lives.
Given this is my specialty, they’ve picked the right coach! You see, I believe that achieving your goals doesn’t have to be so hard all of the time, and instead rather than constantly pushing yourself in the name of accomplishment, there is a much easier way—a way that involves getting more done in less time while taking awesome care of the body. And no, I’m not talking about a time management system, but rather an energy management system.
Managing your energy is a huge part of achieving ease on your journey to success, and one that is in your control way more than you probably realize. In contrast to cultural beliefs that imply working more creates betters results I believe in the opposite—working smarter (often times this means working less) leads to peak performance. For instance, each of us has a time period during the day when we are biologically wired to get more done. Knowing when that is for you and using it strategically allows you to leverage peak productivity hours to your advantage. Also, being certain to take regular breaks throughout the course of the day, week and month assures that your body better balances stress so that you can continue to work in peak creative zones in a way that is uncompromised by high levels of cortisol, adrenaline and nor adrenaline. (When we are running on fumes and stress hormones we may feel like we are doing more in a bigger/faster way, but in all honesty we are likely working from a more superficial capacity that has a narrow and shallow focus—ultimately not doing our best work or working at all in a sustainable fashion.)
When you tune in and harmonize with the natural rhythms of not only of the world around you (the phases of the moon, the alignment of the stars) but also those that occur within your body there is a momentum, a frequency, a vibration that supports us, helping us to get more done in less time with a greater sense of ease.
There are 3 types of rhythms that influence us as women: circadian, ultradian and infradian. These cycles exist to allow us to stop and recover regularly so we can operate in peak states and have the greatest sense of ease in our lives when it comes to accomplishing our hearts desires.
- Circadian: The most commonly known, this is the 24-hour cycle that regulates our sleep and wake cycle. Circadian rhythms influence sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, and other important bodily functions.
- Ultradian: Ultradian rhythms recur multiple times a day at 90-120 minute intervals. According to research by Tony Schwartz working intensely for no longer than 90 minutes and taking regular breaks in between sessions helps us to get way more done in less time without triggering our stress response by overworking.
- Infradian: These happen on a monthly basis, like your period. (Or, like your period should, or did, or hopefully will at some point before menopause.) Infadian rhythms are monthly cycles that regulate our energy monthly. My colleague and friend Alisa Vitti is a genius at helping women honor their infradian rhythms, which is what she perfected in her floliving program.
When you learn how to understand your personal energy rhythms then find ways to flow with them rather than battling against them, you’ll find that you feel better, accomplish more and enjoy a sense of ease like whoa.
That’s when you start to embody peak performance and wellness.
In honor of your cycles (and because it’s how many I came up with), here are 28 tips to help you manage your energy and find your rhythm of success.
- Incorporate regular stress recovery.
- Honor your ultradian rhythms by taking a break every 90-120 minutes.
- Honor your circadian rhythms by regulating your sleep patterns.
- Honor infradian rhythms by building in recovery days throughout the month.
- Maintain a low-glycemic diet, balancing high-quality proteins with complex carbs and vegetables.
- Have breakfast every day and continue to eat every couple of hours after.
- Exercise regularly. (Try 20 minutes of cardio 3 times a week or high intensity interval training. Incorporate strength training, gentle yoga and other restorative types of exercise.)
- Vary your exercise throughout the month based on where you are in your menstrual cycle.
- Pay attention to your menstrual cycle and give yourself downtime throughout the month so you can decode the encrypted messages your body and emotions have for you.
- Give yourself permission to feel everything – bad and good.
- Name your difﬁcult emotions and diffuse the negative energy with deep belly breaths.
- Consciously use gratitude.
- Reframe negative situations.
- Use your premenstrual and menstrual phases to become introspective, and listen to where you are being guided to make changes.
- Allow yourself time to process emotions.
- Let yourself be vulnerable.
- Operate from your strengths.
- Find activities that allow you to access ﬂow (these are high challenge, high skill tasks that match your talents).
- Connect with your purpose.
- Spend time with the people you love most.
- Understand your values and make them a top priority for each day.
- Develop a spiritual practice like meditation.
- Minimize interruptions when performing tasks that require high concentration.
- Take breaks every 90-120 minutes to honor your ultradian rhythms.
- Effectively prioritize your day so you accomplish tasks with long-term gains.
- Spend less time putting out immediate ﬁres.
- Use your intellectual capacities: read great books, have incredible conversations, engage with art.
- Ditch perfectionism and aim for optimal, not perfect, results instead.
As you move forward into discovering your own RHYTHM, I’d love to hear about your updates. Feel free to leave a comment!
Here’s to you ﬁnding your ﬂow and the RHYTHM for your Success! (You so got this!)
Sending love to you, as I always do,