Is Mondayitis getting to you? Been sick for weeks and sick of it? Stuck in a rut or a routine that’s okay, but not awesome? You need to shift that blah into some bang!
This morning, I went for a run. It’s a habit of mine and people who know me would not think this in any way exciting or out of the ordinary. But it meant something to me because running is a bang! activity for me – it’s one of those things that after I do it, I feel way more energised than before, and that feeling spills over into the rest of my day. It really stood out to me today because due to a combination of illness, injury and holidays, I’ve barely run for almost two weeks. I’ve definitely noticed the difference, and those people who are around me a lot notice the difference too. I’m less resilient and less happy when I run. In other words, much more blah.
But this isn’t an article about the amazing benefits of running. I want you to find your running – that activity (or activities, I have several, but none are as powerful and effective as running) that turns your energy from blah to bang! The word energy is key here – you’ll know what the activity is by the way it makes you feel – both during and after (not necessarily before – we can easily underestimate how great something’s going to be, as way of getting out of putting in the effort to start the activity).
Get the Bang!
Bang! activities are hyped up hobbies – those things that energise you even if you engage in them a lot. You may already know some of these activities, but forget to prioritise them in your life or even consciously notice the amazing effect they have on you.
Think laterally – it doesn’t have to be an active hobby. It might be something like going to an art gallery that feels energising and inspiring to you. This doesn’t mean you’re an artist – or you have to be. The act of appreciating another’s creativity may be a bang! activity for you. Or talking to other people. Or picking up rubbish. It doesn’t much matter what it is - just look for those activities that bring you energy.
Don’t know what brings you energy? It’s time to find out. This is actually a really fun process. You get to be a scientist on your personal bang! factor as you explore lots of different activities. Ask friends for suggestions of things that energise them, or just check out the ‘what’s on’ section of your local newspaper and go to something that sounds interesting to you. After each activity, notice how you feel. If you stick at it, eventually you’ll stumble across activities that you enjoy and bring you energy, and can then find ways to incorporate them into your life more regularly.
Still stuck? When we’re feeling really blah, it can be hard to get up the energy to go try new things. In this case, do a bit of reminiscing about what interested you as a child, and find a way to re-create these activities for yourself in a minor way at home. Finger painting, mud pie making, building block towers, exploring, games, all have adult equivalents (yoga is just toned down gymnastics!) that might spark some of your childhood energy in you.
Don’t lose the Bang!
Once you know what brings you energy, don’t let it be an occasional occurrence. Change your world so that you’re regularly encountering your bang! activity and getting the energy boost that comes from it. Schedule a weekly cycle through the forest, make cooking from scratch your new priority or get a year-long pass to the museum or a theme park. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of saying you don’t have the time, or the energy – bang! activities give you energy and make you more productive as one of their flow-on effects.
Ultimately, the best way to keep up your energy is to have one activity each day that energises you. Not the same activity every day, but to have several that you know ‘work’ to pick you up – some occasional activities, one that’s good for most days (exercise, talking to your mum, chocolate!), and some bonus ones that might be a bit expensive or time consuming but are guaranteed to fire you up when nothing else is working . If you can get this balance right, you’ll find that life has to work a lot harder to exhaust you, because you’re constantly topping up your energy reserves.
Do you already have a great activity that always takes you from blah to bang? Be sure to share it in the comments below – it might be your suggestion that inspires another reader and brings them their bang! moment.
Know someone else who needs more bang? Be sure to share this post with them!
Want more personalised help with finding your bang? (Sometimes it can really go into hiding). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lana Hall, Psychologist. Helping you to live your best life, using the power of psychology.