Its 3:00 pm in the afternoon. You can’t leave work for another two hours. Child #1 has to be at soccer practice by 6:00. You are trying to secure a ride for Child #2 who has dance at 4:00. Your husband is out of town. Again. You have just received an email from your child’s teacher saying that he STILL does not have his permission slip turned in for tomorrow’s field trip. The neighbor left you a text – she noticed that your gate is open, and the dog is out. You have no idea how you will manage it all. As you contemplate your precarious situation, you are interrupted by your boss…apparently he wants that report on his desk before you leave work. No time for a breakdown today!
Sound familiar? Ok, so maybe the details don’t quite fit, but I bet you can relate. In this day and age, many of us are energy deficient. Unfortunately, trying to figure out how to get MORE energy can be a disaster. It often involves a lot of caffeine and sugar, sometimes by way of a Grande Latte with an extra shot of espresso, or sometimes the stash of emergency candy hidden in our desks.
We can ask ourselves this question: What factors influence my energy levels?
When does my energy seem to be high?
- Is it on vacation?
- Early in the morning?
- On weekends?
- When we are eating right?
- When we are finding enjoyable ways to exercise?
- When we are making time for the important people in our lives?
- When we make time for spiritual connection?
When does my energy seem to go away?
- When we have overcommitted?
- When we need to ask for help, but hate to bother anyone?
- When we are overworked?
- When we aren’t expressing ourselves?
- When we aren’t getting enough sleep?
- When we are spending too much time on technology?
- When we are eating too many processed, low quality foods?
If we are willing to do a little self-reflection, and get curious about our energy levels, we can focus not on how to GET more energy, but instead focus on how to FIND more energy.
We can start by observing: Which activities/situations are draining me? Which ones are nourishing me? Here’s a little task to help you with that question.
“Energy Gainers” V. “Energy Drainers” Inventory
Take a sheet of paper, and draw a line straight down the middle, from top to bottom. On the left side of the paper, write down your “energy gainers.” These are all of those things that give you energy…people, places, things , thoughts, feelings, beliefs experiences, spirituality, food, anything. On the right side of the page, write down all of the “energy drainers” in your life.
Any “aha” moments? What connections can you make from this activity? What can you do to incorporate more of your energy “gainers” into your life on a yearly, monthly, weekly, or daily basis? What can you do to eliminate, or minimize some of your energy “drainers”?
Where is life is calling you to make a shift? What message is your lack of energy trying to give you? True, some things are out of our control. So focus on the things you CAN control. For example, maybe one of your energy drainers is too much “YES”. Maybe it’s too much “NO”.
Of course, there can be many reasons for a lack of energy, from old grudges that we won’t let go of, to hormone imbalances, to mold in our homes. But it is possible to make a significant shift in your available energy by becoming aware of factors that affect your energy, and by making small, meaningful changes in your daily life.
Take Action! Do the Energy Gainers V. Drainers Inventory, and leave a comment with your questions, comments, or AHA moments.