I touched the “dismiss” button on my cell phone and kept talking until the phone went dead. I was cut off mid sentence with no other way to call the person I was speaking to back. There were signs along the way, as I was alerted many times by my phone, but I ignored it.
We often ignore nudges, hints, whispers and out right alarms blasting, that our inner battery, our energy reserves are getting low. So instead of waiting until it’s too late and you are totally drained, let’s create a plan for you to remain fully charged. In order to do this, you must be willing to be awake, alert and pay attention to you.
Many people get in the habit of caring for others before they take care of themselves. There are many reasons for this including a learned belief from family, getting attention/seen, attempting to secure a relationship, or being thrust into being responsible at too young an age. This caring for others then becomes a habit, an identity and role in a group. If the caregiver is not careful, a full battery drain will occur.
“The time to repair a roof is when the sun is shining.” John F. Kennedy
We’ve all heard the metaphor from the airline industry about putting on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. If you haven’t, here’s the reason why: you cannot fully assist others if you are not taken care of first. You can manage our lives better when you take that same caregiving spirit to yourself first. For many people this idea brings up the word selfish. If it does for you, ask yourself this question; if you had no oxygen flowing to your body, how would you live or assist others?
If I have your attention now, it’s time to begin noticing the signs of a low battery and create an action play to recharge before your energy reserves are depleted. Here are some ideas to consider:
Noticing is the first step. Just as your cell phone warns you that it’s low, how well do you listen to your body, emotions, and thoughts? Some nudges that might be trying to get your attention can include: feeling edgy or short with others, fatigue, being consistently late, addictions, tripping/falling frequently, or even fantasizing about running away to the beach can be a clue.
2) Take Inventory
What or who is depleting you? When you name something, you make it real as it’s no longer something you are just thinking about. Write down a list of who/what is draining you and share this with a trusted friend, family member, counselor, or clergy member. By having a witness to share with, you create a deeper level awareness because someone else knows what you are experiencing. You are not alone.
3) Create a Plan to Recharge
Ask yourself; what creates a sense of renewal for you? Who do you spend time with that uplifts your spirit? What or who brings you joy? What does your body need to feel nourished? Write down the answers to these questions as this is the road map to your own personal “Recharge Plan”. Renewing doesn’t have to mean a week long retreat somewhere, it could be though. Research has shown that simply sitting in silence and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes can recharge your inner battery for the entire day. Consider adding small amounts of recharge time to your day including time in nature, turning your phone ringer off, eating nourishing food, talking to positive people, engaging in creativity, listening to music, napping, are just a few ideas to get you rolling.
Recharging your own internal batteries is important to your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self. Well-being begins with taking excellent care of your inner and outer world first. You’ll then bring a fully charged you to your relationships, work, with enough energy to create the life you desire.