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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