...how she learns to improve her energy
Sarah had a long day Monday. She got lots done and felt good from all she accomplished, but she was tired so she went to bed early.
When she woke Tuesday, Sarah felt restored, but for some reason, the day ended up being significantly harder than the one before. Someone was parked in her stall when she got to work and then there was a conflict with a co-worker. During lunch, her sister-in-law called seeking support for her struggling marriage with Sarah’s brother. The rest of the day was challenging and Sarah became physically drained and felt stressed and discouraged.
“I wish I could go home to bed,” Sarah thought. But there were still two more hours at work, then the kids needed to be picked up, fed and taken to practice.
When the day finally ended, Sarah closed her bedroom door and dropped onto the bed. Her daughter was probably still texting her friends instead of doing her homework. Sighing to herself, Sarah let it pass, too worn to deal with anything else.
Certain things deplete our energy and affect our fatigue, stress or discouragement
This is Sarah’s story: some days her energy gets her through her day and other times she’s depleted by noon. How you consume your daily energy may not be exactly like Sarah’s, but what’s common for most of us is how certain things deplete our energy and leave us susceptible to physical fatigue, feelings of stress, and discouragement.
Gauging our energy
Being aware of exactly what type of events deplete us is hard to do. Even if we know which activities deplete our energy, it’s often hard to avoid them. If only we had a fuel gauge like on a car that helped us measure how quickly things were draining our energy. We could then eliminate those things or, at least, choose how and when to deal with them. Your mind and body are much like any device that uses energy. The harder it works the more energy it burns.
The importance of your psychological state
On Sarah’s good day, she had plenty of energy and accomplished everything she wanted to. She felt good about herself and content with her work. Her relationships were peaceful and she was thankful as she fell asleep.
But difficulties Sarah experienced the next day caused bouts of feeling angry, shame and stress. Worse, she couldn’t shake it off. Her energy levels declined as the day went on. In other words, Sarah’s psychological state played the major role in determining her daily energy levels. That’s typical for most of us.
Is there a different way to approach our challenges?
If only I could eliminate the challenges in my life and fill my days with mostly good things. Then I would start feeling better and stop feeling my energy draining away.
Unfortunately, that’s not possible. That’s not how energy and happiness work. Life is always a blend of good things and difficult challenges. Accepting this will help you to develop the skills needed to get through those challenges more quickly and lessen their impact on your energy levels. In other words, reacting to a difficult situation with a negative “I Hate It” perception only strengthens its ability to cause increased frustration. It’s like driving a car down the freeway in first gear. The engine screams and progress is slow. When you shift into a higher gear, progress improves, there’s less wear on the vehicle, and energy consumption becomes more economical, letting you travel further.
Is there a higher psychological “gear” we can shift our lives to?
Living with awareness
Each morning you wake with a limited amount of energy. If you spend it all before the day is over, the result will be higher amounts of physical fatigue and lower emotional tolerance for difficult things and hard decisions. Yet, it is possible to live in ways that conserve your energy and increase your power to do what you need to do, while maybe helping others too.
Budgeting your energy first, and not just your time, produces real rewards.
It’s possible to learn:
- how to gain awareness of your daily energy levels.
- how to recognize activities that deplete your energy and how they affect you physically and mentally.
- how to face challenges without depleting your energy.
When our energy is low, we’re susceptible to an escalated psychological state. Just knowing that can make a difference in how we feel.
A USA study indicates that 37% of workers suffer from fatigue.
Learning skills to manage your energy
We understand the benefits of budgeting our money; managing our income and expenditures help to create financial growth. Some people manage their time to increase their efficiency in accomplishing more. Budgeting your energy produces real rewards.
- Do things that add to your energy
You can practice rejuvenation activities to ward off energy depletion and even add to your energy reserves when difficult events occur.
- Invest your energy in what’s most important
Just like people pay the mortgage and utilities first, invest your energy in higher priorities first.
- Don’t keep spending more energy than you have
Things like busyness, work/life imbalance, loneliness, and decision-making fatigue can reduce your energy levels. Like a person at a gym, using our energy doesn’t have to deplete us; it can strengthen us.
Would learning how to manage your daily energy levels be something you could benefit from?
If so, read on and together, with your other Credit Union co-workers, learn what kinds of things deplete your energy levels and which things conserve or even replenish them.