Tip of the Week – From Tamara Lackey

There are few things more vital to maintaining and growing a successful photography business than keeping up one’s energy.  You need it for … like … EVERYTHING.

Ever shot a 12-hour wedding before?
A 4-day wedding weekend?
How about triplet toddlers in a crowded studio?
An extended family shoot in a park?
Or an art-directed commercial shoot with only 18 different moving parts?

Oh, and then return to a bustling living station (HOME), where you need to contribute in a multitude of ways, as in help keep things running, be a spouse, partner, parent, active member of society and all the rest of it, whatever it is for you. It doesn’t really matter what your specific situation is, you need to keep your energy up to keep it all going.

Here are a few simple tips for maintaining the power you need to keep up with everything:

Glub, glub, glub.

You hear it all the time:  drink more water.  And yet many causes of fatigue are due to simply not staying hydrated enough.  That’s it, plain and simple. Think of it this way: your body is 90% water and you lose water all day long, just by being human. In fact, if your body dips to just 1% of your body weight’s dehydration, your body will tell you–via fatigue, general muscle weakness and sometimes dizziness.

I think this job makes us dizzy enough!

Aim for a full glass of ice water first thing in the morning, to kick things off right–and maintain by drinking 8-10 glasses evenly throughout the day.  Many laptop and camera bag manufacturers actually know this need and have water bottle holders already built into the bags. 
Use them.

Eat for Fuel.

What do you get from what you eat?  If you’ve been trained to think of what’s not in your food (low in calories, low in fat, low in sugar, etc.), re-frame that and start thinking in terms of what IS in your food.  What are you getting from it?  Are you starting the day with a great mix of protein, fiber and energy-boosting nutrients?  Or are you resorting to a zero-energy-boosting bagel with zero-energy-boosting butter?  Eating natural, whole foods throughout the day with keep you revved up more than processed foods that artificially crank up energy but drop it hard fairly quickly after.

I’m soooo stressed.

Mental stress is a ridiculous drain on our resources–and I mean on all of our resources.  About 75 to 90% of all doctor office visits are initiated because of stress-related ailments and complaints (according to WebMD, who has seen–as well as created–its share of mental-stress-related traffic). You’re looking for causes of fatigue? Mental stress is an immense cause of exhaustion.

As Dale Carnegie noted, “Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” Mental stress has less to do with how much you have to do and everything to do with how much you feel like you have to do.  That means you can come up with all kinds of processes and systems and efficiencies, but if you haven’t stepped back and looked at how you feel most of the time, you’re not really getting to the root of this particular level of exhaustion.

Take active breaks in your schedule to simply do nothing but rejuvenate, and you’ll start to cut down on this powerful, relentless cause of fatigue.

Hope these simple tips help you not only get through your holiday schedule but also allow you to enjoy the everything you do so very much more.

Why else are we doing this, anyway?