In the real world I am a teacher. So, by nature I am a give it my 100% best all the time type of person. Balls to the wall, hit things on full force with all my energy. Sounds exhausting doesn’t it? Well, no surprise there, IT IS!
Recently, I had to participate in a professional development day. Within the first hour, there was something that hit me like a bus! The keynote speaker shared with us his biggest downfall since our world was turned upside down in March of 2020. His downfall was that he was continuing to give it his 100% best all of the time and it was burning him out. His wife gave him a wake up call, she said, “You are replaceable at work……. You ARE NOT replaceable in our family.” He was so focused on his work and engaging his students, that he was disconnecting from his family and other loved ones. It didn’t take a pandemic to know that this type of situation has been a problem all along, as many continue to struggle with balancing all the aspects of their life. So I ask you this…..
How often do you find yourself taking a step back and saying this time, I am going to take it down a notch and not exhaust myself, but then you feel guilty and exhaust yourself anyway? How often are you still continuing to give more and more of yourself each day? Each week? And not being able to fully recharge to a healthy physical/emotional place. COVID-19 shifted our way of life and many of us are still just powering through at 100% thinking that “someday” we will be back to “normal”. I know that we are just shy of a year since our state was shut down and some things are reopening, but nothing has been “normal” since.
When the keynote speaker reflected on his situation and the stress this last year put on him and his family, he and his wife sat down and created a plan. They decided together that they were going to “ration” their energy for the week and check in with each other at the end of each day.
Think about it this way. You are lost in the woods and have some food. If you eat half your food on Monday and the other half on Tuesday….. Where does that leave you for the rest of the week? Hungry…….. That’s where.
Now apply this concept to your physical and mental energy, if you use all your energy in the first two/three days of the week it is going to leave you burnt out and exhausted. We are so accustomed to giving it 110%, that on most days we are functioning on less than 5% of our physical and emotional energy. THAT IS NOT OKAY!
What is OKAY, is to reflect on your day and say, “Wow I really gave it my all today!”, whether “your all” was a huge success or not, that doesn’t matter. What is important is knowing that tomorrow you can scale it back and only give 70% or 80%, because it will help establish healthier physical and mental energy exertion!
Over the next couple of weeks try to visualize your energy in some type of PHYSICAL form, something you would actually be able to see (food/water for the week). Then each day, picture taking away your percentage of energy you use. Be honest with yourself, if you are taking more energy for one day/week than you intended to allow yourself to try again the following day/week! I plan to track my energy via chart form to compile my own data at the end of the week to create a baseline to help me ration my energy for the next week and eventually to a lead a healthier life.