Do you have enough energy? Or do the days seem forever long and you’d much rather be catching some “zzzzs” right now?

Energy is a powerful thing, right? It’s the difference between having the strength to get through each day mentally and physically – or not.

From time to time, everyone struggles with this. We get overworked or do too much, and eventually we get to the point of breaking down. Without enough energy, we can quickly become lazy, and the things on our “to-do” list can start to pile up.

Unfortunately many of us adopt bad habits that can have a big impact on our energy levels. We stay up too late, then sleep in and, before we know it, it’s hard to get back on track. This is something I’m sure many of us dog fanciers experience more often than we’d like.

With some big shows and events coming up, I recently found myself in a bit of a low-energy mood day after day. Finally I said, “It’s time to make a few tweaks to my everyday routine to help get me re-energized.”

So I tried the following quick and easy fixes to help give my energy level a boost.

It’s not just the handlers who need their energy! Photo by Kayla Bertagnolli.

Taking Time

Going through an entire day energized and anxiety-free can seem like a big challenge, especially for busy dog show people. But something as simple as taking 10 to 15 minutes to regroup can be beneficial to the body’s overall health.

Although I’ve never been one for meditation – because I can never get my mind to stop thinking – the idea of taking a few minutes for myself sounds really good.

I try to meditate, but I also like to go for a quiet walk, listen to music and take pictures of something in nature to help me get my energy back.

I’ve been putting it to the test these last few days, and it has really seemed to help. I can’t wait to try it out at a dog show!

Eating Out

I will be the first to admit that, while on the road, I absolutely eat out too much. Is there any other way?

Well, yes and no.

Eating out is fine, I think, especially if I’m staying at a hotel with a good restaurant. I just have to tell myself not to overdo it. I usually order something from the menu that I eat on a regular basis at home, like a chicken salad.

Of course, too many pit stops at fast food places are a bad idea. Instead, I like to stop at local fruit stands. It’s the ideal time of year for fresh produce right now, and all those fruits, nuts and veggies make for great snacks both on the road and at the show!

Like everyone, I have my little indulgences, like soda and candy. Along with these sweet snacks here and there for a pick-me-up, I just have to remember to have healthy snacks too and to drink plenty of water.

If you know me, then you know I like my daily dose of Starbucks, especially on a show weekend. A cup of coffee definitely gets me going. Wrong or right, I enjoy it.

Eating ‘Right’

Nutritionists recommend that we eat in a settled atmosphere in order to gain maximum vitality from the food we eat. Well yes, this makes sense, but I can count on my fingers how many times I’ve been able to do this lately.

I’m usually watching TV while eating or discussing stressful work-related business over lunch. It’s the same thing with driving while eating. These habits can create something called ama in ayurvedic medicine, or incomplete digestion, causing fatigue and overall dullness.

So I do try to avoid eating on the run. When I’m at a show, I sometimes like to have lunch at a ring where a breed I don’t know much about is being judged. This gives me a chance to set my camera aside for a while, enjoy my lunch and maybe learn something new at the same time.

Taking a little time to sit down to eat helps me manage my energy during a long show weekend. With this little energy boost, I’m even ready to handle a five-day circuit!

How about you? Let me know what you do to stay energized, especially on show weekends.

Don’t forget. . . Dogs Freakin’ Rule!