Let's chat about energy management. It wasn't until recently where I was sitting in a session with my therapist and we were discussing my new found ability to measure & discern what would empty "my cup"; that she put a term to my new magical power. it was called Energy Management. What's the saying, 'you can't pour from an empty cup'? As a divorced mother of two, diligent co-parent, daughter to an elderly father, sibling, entrepreneur and consummate businesswoman; I have so many things that compete for my energy on a daily basis. There are a lot of 'hats'. It's taken me 33 years to get to the point where I can look at my schedule for the day or week and gracefully identify what's going to drain me and potentially lead to a cacophony of energetic deficits.
The term energy management really quantified the idea of an energetic bank balance and made it something more tangible. Less out of sight and more in the forefront of my mind. Liken it to an actual bank account, a system of checks and balances, credits and debits. The entire goal is to have more credits than debits, yes? But we all have "debits" or tasks that we must complete to maintain our way of life here in the 3D. We have little people that count on us, we have our elders that count on us, we even have professional & domestic responsibilities that we're obligated to...and the list goes on. The goal isn't to avoid life's liabilities but rather to ensure they are vastly outweighed by our energetic assets.
Step One: Stop saying yes when you want to say no
Know your limits. This isn't a 1998 Destiny's Child Album. You can say no, no and no. We've all been there; the plans sounded great at first but as the time approaches you realize that you don't have the energy to do all that "peopling" or you've got a conflict in your schedule. Then the dreaded text comes in, "we still down for drinks at 6"? Let's face it, no one wants to be the 'Debbie downer' that's constantly reneging on plans with friends but sometimes you've just got to say no as a means of self preservation. Especially when your cup is low. We don't want any overdraft fees from The Universe, they can be pretty costly and a pain to recover from. Has life ever caused you to have multiple seats? It ain't what you want. Just say no while you're ahead.
Step Two: Having Boundaries does a Body Good
A classic way to preserve what's in your cup is by erecting boundaries. A boundary is a firm line where your responsibility ends and anothers' begins. Boundaries can help you maintain your sanity, you can't be everything to everyone else and nothing to yourself. Sometimes this looks like erecting a partition with friends who do the same emotional 'dumping' drive-by time and time again about (insert topic). Not to be confused with venting, emotional dumping is a cyclical or almost constant scenario where one is offloading their grievances on you to no avail and often without your permission. Since the first law of thermodynamics tells us that energy can't destroyed only transferred; all this emotional dumping is taxing AF, who can afford that?
Step Three: Monitor Your Mental Diet
You get in what you put out. What are you feeding your mind? Are you even deciding this for yourself or are you simply ingesting what's being served to you? Let us do nothing without intention, that includes curating a mental diet that conducive to the lifestyle you want to live. For me, I stopped watching traditional TV a few years ago. Before I stopped watching television, I'd stopped watching horror films and anything heavily violent....the daily news included. Another measure I found helpful in maintaining a good mental diet has been limiting time on electronic devices and apps. Social media is a melting pot of visual content often with no filter. Studies have shown this to amp up one's risk for anxiety and depression. Being mindful with our audio and visual stimuli are essential parts of maintaining a healthy mental diet. Turn it off and unplug.
Step Four: Do More of What You Love
Find your peace and lean in. Where attention goes, energy flows. Be deliberate when it comes to partaking in activities that fuel your happiness and wellbeing. This will look different for everyone.
Some easy ways to contribute to your energetic bank balance are:
- Moving your body ~ (i.e. yoga, dancing, jogging, skating) getting out of your head and into your body does wonders for mental wellbeing
- Journaling ~ writing has always been cathartic for me. Putting pen to paper is another great way of releasing mental steam. It's also important to note that journaling does not need to be linear. It just needs to get out of your head and onto paper
- Art ~ creative outlets = less anxiety & stress
- Singing ~ sing like no one's around, singing can boost your mood and be a great source of emotional release
- Spend time in nature ~ sunshine & fresh air are natures medicines. If you're lucky enough to live coastaly or near water, pay a visit. Simply sitting at the base of an old oak tree can provide enough grounding to undo some of the most stubborn tension
- Make time for laughter ~ pull up that comedy special you've been meaning to watch and laugh your head off for the next hour
Music ~ listen to soothing music, running water, singing bowls or even binaural beats. Music tuned to 432hz & 528hz are thought to be soothing on a neurological lowering anxiety and increasing a sense of wellbeing
- Do NOTHING ~ veg out! This is one of my favorite indulgences. Although I don't get to partake often; there's magic in this simple activity. It gives the frontal lobe a chance to recharge. It's mindless and I love it. If your brain has to be on most of the time, even into the wee hours of the night, and you find yourself overworked and overwhelmed...try this life hack. It does a body and mind a world of good.