Wears Me Right Down
I struggle with fitting everything into my day and not ending up exhausted. Any suggestions?
Signed: Wears Me Right Down
Dear Wears Me Right Down,
In her blog last month, Kathy Archer described the 3 main energy drainers of the day as “People, Projects or Problems”. I liked the way she captured it in a nutshell! While we usually cannot simply just cut out all of the situations that exhaust our energy, we can reframe how we engage with those people, projects or problems to ensure we get done what is required, without it being at a complete cost to ourselves.
Start by limiting the things you are doing or the people you are being around that are drains without any purpose. Reflect on your day before it begins (the night before is even better) and try to cut out any wasted energy moments, preventatively. Your time and effort are valuable – and you want to be able to give of yourself to the best of your ability, not just to a bare minimum. So be selective in what you agree to take on each day and don’t spread yourself too thin. As the saying goes, “Taking good care of YOU means people in your life will receive the best of you, not just what’s left over!” This applies to the beginning of the day as much as it does to the end.
When facing the drains that cannot be removed, reframe how you are dealing with them. Our mindset plays a huge role in the emotions that get created. If you have some inner dialogue happening that is all about the dread or annoyance you anticipate feeling when you interact with certain people or certain situations, then the drain has already begun. Lying to ourselves by pretending that we are enjoying something that we are not never works. But we can change the trapped, helpless, powerless victimology that we sometimes fall into. Reframe the self talk and recognize your own strength and control and choice. Remind yourself that the moments of challenge are limited and have an ending. Break these draining tasks into more manageable steps and allow yourself to savour the moments of success that each bite size piece brings, once accomplished. And remember to reward yourself (we often skip this step entirely) for the effort and energy it requires to deal with the negatives in life.
Finally, be sure to build resets into your day on a regular basis. When we run marathons, we plan intervals into the route that allow us to catch our breath. Sometimes this means we just slow down for a bit, pausing in the momentum of the day. Other times, we need to stop to refill our energy completely by participating in tasks that rejuvenate us. Consider the balance of your day and ask yourself if you have created counter balances for the people, projects and problems you are dealing with – are there just as many (or more) moments that make you feel good and replenish your energy as there are moments that are draining you? If not, there is absolutely no way you will not end up feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. If we are adding ingredients into our day that add up to burnout (instead of balance), then that will be the end result that gets achieved.
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