Energy is Everything

 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.

14 Comments

  1. Cheyenna
    Posted March 26, 2015 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    oh my goodness! this totally clicked with me. you put words to how i’ve been feeling! i can’t wait to hear more from you and to spend some time and energy thinking about my life and my energy.

  2. Jen G
    Posted March 26, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Makes perfect sense!

  3. Sandi
    Posted March 26, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Miranda!!! I love your wisdom!! I very new at parenting, but I’ve learned quickly that the days I put household and life priorities over Erin and myself are the worst days. A lot gets done, but it feels so empty. Aside from making sure her needs are met, the two things I keep on everyday’s to do list is my personal scripture study and working out. Nourish my spirit and my body. You can’t draw from an empty well, and if we don’t do things for ourselves we become soooo empty. So sometimes the sink is filled with dishes. Oh well 🙂

  4. Posted March 26, 2015 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    So true! If I’m feeling energized, I can get a million things done during my kids’ naptime. But if I’m not, a whole day off won’t get me anywhere.

    As an introvert I really need alone time to recharge, which is unfortunately hard to come by as a working mom. But I’ve had some good conversations with my husband (an extrovert) and he finally understands how important time away is. Usually I can get some time by myself at least once per week!

  5. Kate
    Posted March 26, 2015 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m very intrigued to learn more!! I really get where you’re coming from. And currently feeling extremely low energy and this has given me a constructive, mindful way to think about why I’m feeling that way and what I can do to regroup (other than coffee and chocolate which we all know is a temporary fix and probably makes the whole problem bigger!!).

  6. Posted March 26, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    OK- I can’t wait to hear more words of wisdom! I have 3 little ones just like you (actually my youngest little girl is the same age as Plum) and keeping up with them just sucks all the energy out of me. Plus I am an older mom (39) of younger kids compared to a lot of people I know which does make a difference in energy levels too. It is a vicious cycle- I need to create to be happy, but I don’t have the energy to create so I get stuck in a rut. So I can’t wait to hear more about this. New idea to me.

  7. Michelle
    Posted March 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    This is a light bulb turning on for me, excited to hear more.

  8. Brooke W
    Posted March 27, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    This is very much ringing true for me. I look forward to the upcoming installments (when you have the energy for it!)

  9. Posted March 27, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to these – I am definitelyore productive and happier when I takee time to recharge. It’s funny that taking time to manage that actually gives you more productive time instead of slogging through.

  10. Allisen
    Posted March 27, 2015 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    I wish I could share a hug with you for writing this. I dont even have words to convey how much I needed this, and how much I’m looking forward to what else you’ll share. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU so very much.

  11. Posted March 28, 2015 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Exactly what I’ve been feeling lately. I’d love to read more on how you deal with it, because I might be needing some advice here.

  12. Andrea S.
    Posted March 29, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I’m new to the blog (found you via #DMKidRooms) and absolutely love this post. I can’t wait to read your follow up ones.

  13. Posted March 31, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    So interested to hear more of your thoughts about this! I can balance about 1000 things at once and remain fairly energized… until I can’t anymore! It sounds so wise to investigate energy level patterns and figure out how you work best. Looking forward to your follow-up posts!

    • Miranda
      Posted March 31, 2015 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

      I could have guessed you are a super high-energy gal. It comes through on your blog, and through IG! I love that about you! (and also relate, both to the energy and to those breaking points.) Thanks for joining in the journey!

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