let's talk about: energy.

Today I got to thinking about ENERGY: how we spend it, where we get it and how best to use it. At this point in my life I feel like I have a lot of energy (and time) to devote to my own pursuits. Still, there a few things in all of our lives that threaten to drain our energy:

The energy drainers:

  1. Lifestyle Choices: We all require energy to live but some lifestyles (being overly busy, focusing on consumption or mindless activities) require much more energy than we should be spending day in and day out.
  2. Physical activity: We often over-exert ourselves during a workout or over-extend ourselves with commitments, leading to a hurried life and physical exhaustion.
  3. Relationships: Often a relationship can demand more energy than the amount of positive energy we receive from the relationship. We can also waste energy by focusing on past relationships or relationships that need repair (without taking action).
  4. Work that is not meaningful: Each day we are given energy to put towards a meaningful endeavor, but some jobs or work environments can use up that energy before we’re able to put it to good use.

Here are some changes that we can all make to spend energy in a way that gives back (to ourselves and others):

  1. Figure out whether you gain more energy from internal or external sources. If it’s internal, schedule alone time. If it’s external, call up a friend for coffee.
  2. Examine your day to day activities and reevaluate what really matters. Do you really need to watch that late night t.v. show, or would an extra hour of sleep be more beneficial? Do you need to spend hours shopping for a new item, or could the one you already have be good enough?
  3. Focus on the types of exercise that leave you feeling more energetic, instead of worn out. Do you dread running? Try yoga or taking long walks.
  4. Take a closer look at the relationships in your life: Which ones are draining? Which ones give you positive energy to carry you throughout your day? Consider which relationships need mending and which ones need ending.
  5. Think of the moments when you lose track of time because you’re fully engaged in an activity. Carve time out of your day to do more of that thing.

By taking starting with a few small steps, we can regain energy and put it towards more enriching activities.

(Photo via vrno.)

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