Protecting my energy by Catherine Ronaasen

How to protect your energy

Energy levels are something I have always been aware of, but lately I have chosen to be much more mindful of what boosts and what drains my batteries. Recently making some big, (and very good!), changes in my life, I’ve realised how critical it is to always be energised and fuelled to achieve my goals. We get a lot of fuel from what we eat, but equally so from what goes on in our minds and emotions. I have become more mindful…

That my energy is important and should be protected in order for me to be effective, and to grow.

When it comes to mental energy, introverts have the hardest time. Ticking off most of the boxes with this personality type myself, I tend to agree. A classic introvert may come across as quiet or reserved but are instead observers, have extremely busy minds, and are very selective about who, or how they share their time and energy with. People often mistake this for quiet or shy, and over-compensate which can be overwhelming. These are some of the things I have learnt, and practice regularly.

Watch your energy levels around people – It’s quite normal to come home tired after a busy day, exciting evening or fun party, but it’s not normal to feel totally drained to the point of heaviness after being around people, (unless you are coming down with the flu). Watch what, or who, does this to you, and start reducing your time in these places. Your body and mind are telling you something, so listen.

Too much noise – Being a good listener, and believing when it comes to words that less is more, I’d love it if Imodium would launch a pill for verbal diarrhoea! I am lucky enough to be surrounded by outgoing, chatty friends, and I love that. People like me need that balance, and these people recharge my batteries. On the flipside, somehow I attract other people that are extremely verbose, and talk at me rather than to me. I struggle to get a word in during long monologues and leave feeling drained. The source of this is not the people close to me, but rather strangers and some other harmful people that I have distanced myself from. How or why these kind of people gravitate to me, will always remain a mystery, and my greatest lesson, but I have learnt a few tips that may help if this also drains you:-

  • You can politely and firmly cut these monologues short, or ask the person to stop.
  • Practice some visualisation exercises to block the words or energy from entering your space and drawing from you.
  • If it doesn’t serve you, grow you, energise or inspire you – walk away.

Make sure you get some time on your own – Alone is not lonely. It’s important to be able to be away from the ‘noise’ of a busy life, and all the things that compete for your energy or attention. I try for this regularly. I look forward to that time so I can catch up on some time with me! If you live with other people, this may be a bit more tricky. Going for a walk around the neighbourhood, or some similar outing / activity on your own is a good way to touch base with your inner voice, recharge and stay in tune.

Exercise & creativity – Those are things that energise my body and my mind. I find it’s helpful to have a mix of creative projects and physical exercise goals to keep things interesting. Try and get a good balance in yours with some diversity, find a variety of things you like doing, and make some time for them to keep things stimulating and exciting for you, (even if you set your kitchen timer for 10 minutes for colouring in, you won’t regret it).

One on one time – It’s lovely spending time with a bunch of friends together to catch up on all the news, recharge and relax. Amongst this, make sure to make some time to have proper one-on-one time with those close to you as a chance to really have some meaningful time and conversations together, as group gatherings may sometimes lack the depth of conversation possible over a short space of time with a crowd. It’s all in the balance, and I cherish both sorts of interaction just as much but I find the balance is what energises and inspires me, by far.

Take a break from Technology – We all know those days… Every possible messaging app is chiming, emails are flooding, phones are ringing, people are messaging you to check your emails – your whole day goes from proactive to reactive. How did you feel afterwards? For me, it leaves me feeling panicked, rushed and ultimately drained and sometimes feels invasive.  As a result, I have made a firm stand to put my phone away / on silent at certain times, and especially when I am visiting friends or family. I make sure I take specific times to be offline in order to be present. It has really helped with focus and relaxation and I think the people I spend time with appreciate it too.

Well, as a person who is not a fan of verbal diarrhoea, I certainly find it easy to exceed my word-count, so I’ll leave you with this wish: Here’s to good energy, balance and interactions that recharge, motivate and inspire you going forward!