How Are You Recharging Your Energy?
In the Am I Hungry? Mindful Eating program, one of the points on the mindful eating cycle is “Where”. But this isn’t “where you eat” – it’s “Where do you spend your energy?”
That’s a good question, but it’s also important to consider the other side of the coin.
Where do you get your energy?
After all, physics tells us that you can’t simply create energy. You can only transform the energy that you take in.
Now, much of your energy comes from food. That’s what gives your body the nutrients it needs to go about breathing, pumping your heart, etc.
But you’ve probably noticed that different activities impact your energy levels, too.
What energizes you?
Take a moment and think about what leaves you feeling filled up, ready and eager to go about your day.
The answer to this varies a lot from person to person. For some, energizing activities are ones where you’re interacting with lots of other people. It might be playing sports or other games, going to a concert or party or hosting a big event.
For other people, though, quieter and more solitary activities are energizing. Going for a walk, creating art of some kind, listening to music, or doing crafts could all fit the bill.
And for still others, it might be something more spiritual in nature. Energy might come from prayer, meditation, or volunteer work where you know you’re making a difference in someone’s life.
All of these and more are perfectly valid answers. The key is to find what’s right for you.
Are you taking time to recharge?
But even if you know what energizes you, it doesn’t do any good unless you take the time to do those activities.
This is a challenge many of us face because it can too easily feel like everything else is a higher priority.
If you have a family, you might always be focused on making sure the other family members have what they need: food, clean clothes, hats and mittens in the winter, transportation, etc. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for you.
Or even if you’re single like me, there’s always grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, and household chores to do – plus playing with cats. And if you do volunteer work or have paid work, that all takes time and energy.
The important thing to remember is that if you push yourself too hard, you won’t be able to keep going anymore. You’ve burned through all your energy and can’t start up again until and unless you recharge.
And for however long you’re burned out, you can’t help anyone else.
That’s why it’s much better to rest and recharge as you go instead of waiting for things to get critical. That way, even if you have to move more slowly, at least you’re still moving.
Staying energized during the holidays
So, as we approach the holiday season, I encourage you to make it a priority to find ways to energize yourself. Because as nice as it may be to visit with family and friends, it can also be a challenging time, with more activities than usual and more potential friction with people you don’t see very often. And for some, the holidays are a reminder of loved ones lost or how not all families are ideal.
I’m not saying that staying energized will make everything perfect and smooth because it won’t. But if you’re nurturing yourself, you’ll be much more able to cope with any challenges and get through them gracefully, perhaps even with some humor. And that will make the holidays brighter all around.