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Seven Strategies for Maximizing Low Energy Periods

January 28, 20243 min read

Last week, I found myself staring blankly at my computer screen. It was one of those days where my energy levels had plummeted right around mid-afternoon – a classic energy valley. I had a to-do list as long as my arm, but all I could think about was taking a nap or doom-scrolling.

Sound familiar? If you're nodding in agreement, you're definitely not alone. For those of us with ADHD, these low-energy periods can feel like hitting an invisible wall.

But over time, I've learned that this isn't an insurmountable obstacle. In fact, with the right strategies, it's possible to navigate these energy valleys effectively and even use them to our advantage.

Here are seven strategies you can use right now to turn frustrating low-energy moments into opportunities for productivity and self-care.

1. Acceptance and Planning

Accepting that energy valleys are a part of your day can be liberating. Instead of fighting it, plan around it. Schedule less demanding tasks during these times. It could be a good period for administrative work, a casual meeting, or organizing your workspace.

2. The Power of a Break

Never underestimate the power of a good break. A short walk, a quiet moment with a cup of tea, or just some time away from your desk can do wonders. Breaks are not a sign of weakness; they’re an essential part of managing your energy effectively.

3. Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness or relaxation techniques can be particularly helpful during low-energy periods. Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or even a quick mindfulness exercise can help reset your mind and give you a gentle energy boost.

4. The Right Kind of Motivation

Sometimes, what you need is a bit of motivation to get through a valley. This could be listening to music, having a healthy snack, or engaging in a quick chat with a colleague. Find what works for you and integrate it into your routine.

5. Small, Achievable Goals

When energy is low, setting small, achievable goals can be incredibly effective. Break down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Completing these mini-tasks can provide a sense of accomplishment and a slight energy boost, making it easier to navigate through the rest of your valley.

6. Change of Scenery

Sometimes, a change of scenery can do wonders for your energy levels. If you're feeling stuck, try working from a different location, like a quiet café or even a different room in your home. The new environment can provide a fresh perspective and a subtle mental refresh.

7. Gentle Physical Activity

Engaging in light physical activity can help elevate your energy. This doesn’t mean hitting the gym hard – it could be as simple as stretching, doing some light yoga, or a brief walk. Gentle movement can stimulate blood flow and increase alertness, helping you through the slump.

Navigating through energy valleys doesn't have to be a daunting task. By understanding your patterns and having a set of strategies to deal with low-energy periods, you can still maintain productivity and keep your day on track. Remember, managing your energy is a key part of managing ADHD, and you're not alone in this journey.

Looking for more tips about energy management? Our mini-course and workbook, Understanding Your Energy Patterns: Why It Matters for Productivity and Well-being, is full of information to help you plan your day around your energy fluctuations!

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