Hi everyone, before I get into my post for today, I’d like to thank Tiara for collaborating with me for World Mental Health Day! Be sure to check out her post on my site as well.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Johnzelle and I’m a therapist and writer with a passion for helping young people through life’s challenges. Today, I want to talk about energy and how we can protect it in a world that’s always on the go.
The idea for this post came after I dealt with my own bout of burnout over the summer (read more about compassion fatigue in Tiara’s post). From my own experiences, I identified some areas of life that deplete our energy. Since we don’t run off of a limitless supply of energy, we have to be mindful of where our energy is going.
Though relationships with loved ones are essential to our wellbeing, they can also drain our energy. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the key is to consider the relationships that drain our energy without giving anything back. Are there any toxic relationships that you’re holding on to? Is it worth the drain on your energy? Maybe it’s time to consider asserting boundaries in those types of relationships.
We panic when our smartphone flashes the “low battery” notification, but have you considered the amount of energy we invest in our devices? Sure, technology is useful for a variety of purposes but we’re gullible if we ignore the fact that these devices are designed to be as addictive as possible. How many times have we stayed up past bedtime scrolling our newsfeeds, checking email, and responding to text messages? For techniques on how to gain control over the influence of technology in your life, I recommend Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism.
What you do for work will vary by age. For young people, work is attending school whereas adults have careers to support their lifestyles. Since we spend the majority of our time working, it’s important to consider the toll it takes on our energy. Does your work deplete your energy at a steady pace, or does it have you sitting there with a dead battery before lunchtime? Your answers to the aforementioned questions could provide some insight into changes that need to be made. Remember, we work to live, we don’t live to work. The goal is to find a work-life balance.
The key to protecting ourselves from burnout is to practice self-care regularly. Self-care is not negotiable, a luxury, or selfish; it’s essential! Do you call your iPhone selfish when it needs to be recharged? Exactly! So treat yourself with the same amount of concern. Self-care involves all aspects of life. At a minimum, we should be eating right, getting regular physical activity, spending time with loved ones, and getting enough sleep.
While many things can consume our energy, the key is to prioritize what’s most important. Some of the categories discussed above should be on the top of your list whereas others could use some downsizing.
Thanks for reading! How will you protect your energy today? Share with me in the comments!