Energy, like money, has a flow; it comes in, it goes out. There should be a nice balance so you are neither jumping off the walls nor ensconced in bed for days. But what happens when the flow is off? When what you have coming in is less than what is going out? That’s when you have a deficit and experience fatigue. Sometimes, it’s a temporary situation. Maybe you stayed out too late on the weekend having fun with friends or you’re going through something really stressful like starting a new job, moving, the end of a relationship, the loss of someone you love. You find you’re not taking care of yourself, eating the right foods, getting enough sleep and for a short time, you feel run down and tired. You may even become sick, picking up a virus from your kids or from coworkers. Think about the holidays. How many times do we get sick when we are “supposed” to be enjoying time with family and friends? We often get stressed to the max, but we know that if we shut down for a while, tend to our needs with a little self-love, we will bounce back.
But what happens when you can’t bounce back or it’s not a temporary situation? What happens when your energy flow feels like it’s all just pouring out of you into a massive pit and leaving you so depleted that you cannot get through your day without a nap, multiple cups of coffee and maybe even loads of sugar? Those of us in “giving” positions; moms, teachers, nurses, caregivers, etc, tend to experience this reverse flow of energy more often than others but no one is immune.
It’s then that we need to practice noticing. Notice when you feel your lowest and when you feel your best. How do you feel after a conversation with a certain person or after a night out with good friends? How do you feel immediately and even hours later after you eat something or don’t eat something? Noticing how we feel after certain situations, experiences or people is an important part of figuring out where your energy is going. What does your body, mind and heart feel like before, within and after any given situation? Does just the thought of talking to a particular person or engaging in an event trigger anxiety? If so, that is an energy drain and needs further examining. If you consider yourself a “healthy eater” what are you adding in that is best left out (too many frequent cocktails or multiple cups of coffee?) or what are you leaving out (lots of vegetables or filtered water?) that is best added in? Count your fruit and vegetable consumption each day. Are you getting close to the 7-13 colorful servings we need? Many of our clues lie in noticing. For this week, practice noticing, maybe even jotting down notes or writing in a journal. You might be surprised at what you discover. To find out where your energy may be going, take the ENERGY QUIZ here!