by DLCC Coach Brian Yaucher
I look at our emotional energy as rechargeable batteries. When we are fully charged we are productive, energetic, happy and engaged with others. But over time if we do not ‘recharge’, we start feeling unhappy, stressed, exhausted and unfocused.
How many of us make it back from a vacation and feel great? We are relaxed, in good spirits and ready to take on the week. As the week goes on, and we are back to the daily grind with all that entails, by Friday we feel exhausted. What happened?
The sponge effect
On any given day, we may encounter toxic people. You know who I’m talking about: people who like to gossip and complain about everything and anything. By the end of the conversation, we start taking on their problems like a sponge. As we absorb their problems, we often lose sight what is important to us and our emotional energy gets drained. What can we do?
Conserving and recharging your emotional energy
- Be crystal clear on your values. This will help you find out what’s really important to you and find out what your willing to accept/tolerate and what you are not. If you are not clear on your values, you might be at risk of taking on other people’s values. This can cause you to focus more on what is important to others, and invite more negativity into your life.
- Find out what drains you. For a week, try writing down what drains your emotional energy. For me, one draining activity was watching the news on my phone and TV. Any time I turned on the news it felt like doom and gloom, which was affecting the way I felt about life. I decided to slowly stop watching, and just started looking at my weather app on my phone, which was the main reason I even watched the news. I was amazed at how much my attitude changed for the better. I still hear about all the important stuff, but have saved myself from a daily influx of bad news.
- Set boundaries. After you discover your values and what drains you, it’s time to set boundaries. Boundaries are about taking control and making a conscious decision to either eliminate or limit your time with people or activities that don’t serve you in a positive way. I know there are places, like work or family, that are difficult to avoid completely. In these cases, boundaries might include limiting your time, having no opinion and having a positive attitude. Just remember: toxic people don’t want to be around positive people – misery loves company.
- Do things that make you happy. It’s important that we all take the time to do the things that make us happy. Whatever you choose, it’s important that you first give yourself permission to do this without feeling guilty. We need to allow some time for ourselves not only to have a more balanced life but also to recharge our batteries.
I encourage everyone to take some time and and ask yourself ‘how do I protect my emotional energy?’ Identify your values, figure out what’s draining you, set boundaries and take the time to do the things that make you happy. Then I think you’ll find that you ready to take charge of your daily interactions and encounters, and to empower yourself to take control over your emotional energy.