Sometimes I learn lessons and it takes time before I can break them down into understandable pieces and explain them clearly. Finding the language to describe and explain my feelings and experience seems to be a key factor in my discovering how to continue to improve and grow. We all understand things differently, so what I want to share might not make a lot of sense to everyone. But if for some of you these words feel true, I hope you can use my experience to improve and grow, too.
I’ve spent the last two years trying to make weighed and measured decisions about how to spend my TIME. I felt the fullness of life drowning me, and began cutting out activities, focusing on things that made me happy, and trying to create space for breathing. Even slowing things down, sometimes I still couldn’t keep up! I would explain to Dave “Today has been hard. Nothing is really wrong, I’m just feeling low energy.”
The more I’ve trouble-shot that feeling of being overwhelmed, tired, or frustrated, the more I’ve discovered that when I experience those feelings, I literally am LOW ENERGY. Not out of time, or even over-scheduled. Just out of energy to process even simple things in the day. The way I manage my time doesn’t mean a whole lot if I am not also managing my energy. I can have extra hours and still not feel happy or accomplish anything if I haven’t cared for my energy levels so that I feel up to doing something. Also, it can take a very small amount of time for something negative to drain all of my energy. Likewise, there are things that help me to recharge very quickly. We all have 24 hours in each day, but the amount of energy each of us has is different, varying by our genetics as well as how well we manage it.
I’ve realized that energy is everything! Just as a battery runs down and needs to recharge, so do I. As my energy gets lower, I become slower, more tired, and less efficient. This can happen several times throughout the day, requiring quick pick-me-ups as well as longer, more sustainable attention. When I am high energy, I can think clearly, process efficiently, and be more creative.
As I’ve begun recognizing my own energy levels and patterns, I’ve been able to create a schedule and some quick-charge methods that set me up for success so that I can keep myself charged in my safe range, where I can function most happily. I now talk with myself and Dave in terms of my energy, instead of my time, and I’ve felt more able to balance my roles and responsibilities much easier.
I want to share more about this process and some of the tools I use to manage my energy levels. It feels like too much to share coherently all at once, so I’ll put together my thoughts and advice in pieces. *Update, I’ve written about some of the following: recognizing what types of activities build your energy versus drain it, how to schedule regular recharge into your life, what it means to automate and unplug household duties to relive their background energy drain, and removing energy-wasting decisions from your schedule, and creating a Minimalist Meal Plan to stop wasting energy on dinnertime.
I’m excited to process through some of these life- changing lessons with you, and hopefully continue to learn and improve as I do so.