It’s been said that you wake up in the morning with a certain amount of emotional energy to spend during the day. It’s like a bank account from which you can make withdrawals and deposits.
It makes sense to monitor your account balance, and to become aware of any sources of leakage.
We often live like we have an endless supply of emotional energy, recklessly spending it here and there. But like a bank account, if we don’t stay watchful we can wind up with a negative balance.
Here are some ideas to keep your account current….with no overdrafts:
1) Make thoughtful choices about how to start your day. What “fills you up” and charges your emotional and physical batteries? Time spent in reading and prayer, a good breakfast and mindful exercise are good for your body, soul, and spirit.
2) At night, charge your phone across the room or in another part of the house. This will help you resist the temptation to pick it up as soon as you open your eyes in the morning, and get pulled into someone else’s agenda. Even if you think you’ll attend to the matter “later,” meanwhile it will run like a background program in your mind, draining your mental energy.
3) Take care what you click on. Sure, that Facebook story about the murdered child in another state is intriguing, but will you be able to do anything about it? Will it enrich your life to read the sordid details? Is it something you want to spend emotional energy on? Make no mistake, it WILL cost emotional energy and time to read that article.
4) Pay attention to your body’s signals. Do you realize how often you are clenching your jaw or hunching up your shoulders while answering an email? These are physical manifestations of stress, so pay attention.
5) Run from Social Media drama. Whether it’s drama on someone’s wall or drama in a Facebook group, ain’t nobody got time (or emotional energy) for that. When we get sucked in to someone’s drama, we’re giving them all the power….and draining ours.
6) Instead of thinking, DO something. When we stop working we start THINKING about working, and the fatigue of mental resistance to our tasks is exhausting. We use up precious mental energy dreading or procrastinating, when the original task could have been done with far less mental effort if we had just DONE it.
7) Recognize when your account balance is running low. When you feel like you’re on your last nerve, you probably are. Time to take a break to recharge. Whether it’s going outside, exercising, watching a movie, or going window shopping, a change of pace can help restore your balance. Switch to an activity that is the opposite of what you’ve been doing, if possible. For example, if you’ve been sitting at your desk for hours, get up and go outside. If you’ve been on the phone all day, go for a walk alone.
Be kind to yourself and acknowledge your limited capacity for emotional energy. It’s not an endless supply and that’s okay–you’re human! Awareness is the first step in energy conservation. You’ll probably find that your energy has been leaking in surprising ways. Take charge and spend your emotional energy where YOU choose. Like a bank account, protect it from being drained by unauthorized access!
Have you found some ways to protect and recharge YOUR emotional energy? Please share!