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I’m a little jealous of my brother’s energy. He has so much of it. The boy could be sound asleep and pop out of bed at a moment’s notice ready to go and lay back down and be sound asleep as soon his head hits the pillow. It’s amazing, and sometimes quite amusing, to see. I don’t know about you but I do not have that kind of energy.
For whatever reason, some of us have energy that drains quickly and we need a little more time to recharge our minds and bodies. That’s why others will find us chatting for a few minutes at parties and then sitting quietly to the side, why they will sometimes think we are stuck up or don’t like them, or they think we are antisocial. It’s also why we have to be very careful with the energy we do have.
There are a number of energy drainers that we deal with:
Large Gatherings or Parties
The number one energy drainer for most people, by far, is being a part of crowds at large gatherings or parties. The mental energy it takes to talk to multiple people and take in all the noise and goings-on around you is enormous. It’s hard to explain to the social butterflies of the world, or people like my brother, the toll these types of events take on our mental and physical energy. At some point, you are done. And when you are done, you are really, really done. Don’t get me wrong, I love these events. I really, truly enjoy them. It’s not me, it’s my energy levels.
These types of events are usually planned in advance which works in your favor. You can prepare yourself and those you are going with. I find it always helps just knowing I will be in a crowd on a certain day and I am able to mentally prep for the experience. I can breathe a little deeper, give myself more time, and slow myself down so I don’t feel overwhelmed at the constant barrage of sights, sounds, and conversation. Depending on who I am going with, I may drive separately so I can easily leave without making others leave or so I can have a quiet place, my car, to escape to in order to recharge before joining in again.
Just know that if you get to the point that you are done, don’t feel bad. Sometimes it sucks but it is what you and your body need to live your best life. And, if you feel yourself getting to that point, start making your goodbyes early enough that others don’t feel you have left abruptly.
Needy and/or Negative People
I am constantly in a quandary. On the one hand, I have a love for the human race and really want to help and serve those I come into contact with especially friends and family. On the other hand, I am dealing with the energy issues. I am good at getting something for someone that they need or listening to a problem they may be having once or twice. However, when you run into someone who suddenly clings on and uses you to vent their problems or frustrations on a constant basis, your energy will plummet.
Now, everyone is different but, if you are like me, you become a little quicker to snap at people or look disinterested when your energy is gone. You just don’t have any more to give. It’s just not our gift in life to be what that person needs at that moment. Unfortunately, this is where it becomes a little more difficult. You may need to cut those types of people out of your life. Do what you can for them and move on. While we should help people, we can’t do it to our detriment. We have to take care of ourselves, not just for ourselves, but for our family as well.
Now, I am not saying you should never see them again if you feel you want them in your life. But, perhaps, you should limit your time with them. Don’t answer every phone call, call back right away, or meet up with them multiple times a week. Once they reach out, that puts the ball in your court and allows you to then plan or prepare for it. You can plan an exit strategy and also prep mentally for the call or meeting.
Unexpressed emotions can be one of the biggest energy drainers caused by internal sources rather than external. When we hold things inside, they can fester and chip away at our inner peace and cause us to go over things in our mind constantly thus draining our energy just as quickly as if we were facing the original cause. You have to let those emotions out in some form or another.
Since sharing those feelings with the cause isn’t always feasible, or advisable, there are few things that can really help you deal with them. Talking with a friend, channeling those feelings into a workout or creative outlet, and journaling are all effective ways to manage emotions. If those feelings run really deep, you may even consider speaking to a mental health professional who could help you work through them.
My favorite method is journaling. I can go sit, by myself, in a quiet space and just pour it all out onto a page or “write a letter” to the person or situation that caused the problem. Just that simple act can really clear your head and help you to move on. Honestly, another favorite way to let go that I have found effective for me, personally, is to play really loud music and either take a drive or dance around my house depending on the situation. Just shake it right out.
Other Mental and Environmental Energy Drainers
Finally, we have to be on the lookout for energy drainers created by our own actions that drain us of our mental energy. These include things like procrastination, thinking too much about the past, being unkind to yourself, and committing to too many things. Anything that causes your mind to race and to think too much can drain your energy. We have to be kind to ourselves and keep on top of our tasks list so we don’t become overwhelmed. Also, it’s a good idea to learn to say no and only commit to those tasks you really want to do or have time for.
And then there is your environment. One of my biggest beliefs about living a fabulous life is that your environment and the people and things you surround yourself with have a huge impact. An unclean house, unorganized desk, clutter, etc. can all contribute to your energy levels. Watching too much tv (so, so guilty of this one) can affect your energy. Make sure you have a clean and organized environment. It will really do wonders for you.
In the end, once we have faced the energy drainers and found ways to deal with them, we still have to take the time to recharge. The best way to accomplish this is through “alone time” or “me time”. This is time to ourselves to think over things, journal, breathe, relax, etc. Anything that you enjoy, that helps you to recharge, is a good activity. And, once you recharge, you will be ready and able to go back out into the world and face it all over again.