Recharging is about stopping...something

Recharging your energy when you have been through a very difficult time, are grieving from the loss of a job, a friend, a family member, part of yourself in some way… is a very difficult thing. Not impossible! But difficult. So how do you do this? Where do you start? And why am I mentioning when things are really hard? Because most of my patients, friends and family have all had a really, really hard year. Recharging is not about getting massages, it’s about surviving on a daily basis!

In what I have observed in others and practiced myself, recharging is about stopping something that might make you even more tired than you already feel OR lessening your exposure to possible exhaustion. I’ll give an example from my own life (I promise, something relatively light).

I have a toddler. He is crazy. He runs from about 6 am ‑7 pm and what is known as a spirited child. He’s fierce, joyful, and pushes my boundaries all the time. Some days my energy is lower and going out and doing errands with him is unthinkable. Other days it’s possible and we can go to the park after work and school. I must be honest with myself (without judgment) and remove my exposure to a tantrum, or make a simpler dinner (or order in) so I can make it to bedtime without feeling very depleted. This means that when he is in bed sometimes I just lie in bed and watch Netflix. Other days I read a book. Other days I’m in bed at 9 pm. All of my choices are about assessing the energy I have available, and not doing something so I can do something else. Choices.

The recharging happens in small moments as well as longer moments. This allows me to fully rest and accept the rest deeply. And those restful moments really feel delicious when they are there. But I am constantly asking myself: Is this necessary? What does my body need? What does my mind need? What are my emotions telling me? It’s not a lengthy assessment — it’s just giving myself 5 – 10 seconds to see what is really, really important in that moment. In essence, a moving attention to the present moment (also known as mindfulness).

So what happens when I do this? I am more present at work. I am a better listener. I have more joy. This might also mean sometimes I don’t listen to any music in the car or I take the backroads on my commute home to conserve my energy. Some of this is because I know what really makes me feel tired. Knowing myself is part of the key, but daily assessments is where I began. I will describe how you can get to know yourself better next week to really assess what are the best ways to recharge for you.

Energy is neither created or destroyed. You have a finite amount every day to work with, and if you use it wisely, you will slowly start to recharge, even in difficult and stressful times ❤️

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