My tendency, though, is to be a pendulum swinger, going from being FULL ON for days and then, invariably, swinging in the other direction and feeling fizzled out. I swing from 100% to near zero… and then have to energize myself to get going again. This wide swinging is terrible.
Something I’ve been doing for the past year, though, has changed all of this. As much as possible, I work with my ultradian rhythms throughout the day.
I’m sure you’ve heard of circadian rhythms. These are the 24 hour cycles we go through each day that help us with sleep-awake cycles. They’re connected to our hormonal system, specific brain activity, cell regeneration, and other biological processes.
Ultradian rhythms are smaller chunks - typically 90 minutes on then 20 minutes off. During the 90 minutes, we can give it our all and be really energized and focused. After that, though, we need to take a rest of at least 20 minutes, doing something that relaxes our body and brain or changes the energy of what we were doing before. AKA, this means not scrolling on-line, staying seated, or trying to hammer out “one more thing” even if it’s a small task. Be ALL IN and then be ALL OFF.
Personally, most of the day I break this 90 minutes down even further into 30 minute cycles, giving myself a 2-5 minute break in between. I do a few simple stretches, 10 deep breaths, bio break, or check in with my WIN (more on that next week). This helps me stay refreshed and energized, without the end-of-day-dead-tired. And when I do the bigger 20 minutes break, I take a walk, do some jigsaw puzzle, sit in the sun and play ball with Suki, meditate, or take a nap.
And speaking of napping: Yes, yes, yes do it… but not more than 30 minutes. Anything beyond the cat nap situation will begin the 90 minute sleep cycle… which is why it can take hours to “wake up” after a longer nap.
Try working with ultradian rhythms this week and see how your day flows and energy stays more balanced. Again, it’s all about experimenting with optimizing our lives.
Sending you lots of Peace,