How full is your energy reservoir?

Energy is your fuel.  You need energy to function.  We can do everything we want to do all the time, and do them well over a sustained period of time without sufficient emotional, mental and physical energy. As you navigate your day, your energies start to deplete.  Sometimes from external sources like work or home responsibilities, and sometimes through your own thoughts and self-talk.

Nataly Kogan wrote about the energy reservoir and how having too many leaky parts will drain your energy to the point you end up doing less and less. She suggested a number of areas which you could contribute to draining your energy reservoir:

  • Multitasking
  • Mindlessly scroll through social media
  • Overconsuming news
  • Talking negatively to and about yourself
  • Trying to do everything perfectly
  • Making lots of decisions (and trying to make each one perfect)

Learning to manage your energy reservoir, becoming more aware of your emotional, mental and physical energies, requires self-care.  Self-care should not be regarded as a luxury, or only for those who have worked hard and deserve it, or only available to you after you’ve crashed and burned.

Kogan uses the analogy of a car and how it can’t run on empty or fumes.  If the car runs out of fuel it stops.  When you run out of energy you stop.  But running on fumes, or almost empty isn’t good either. It stops you being good at all the things you care about. You can’t be good at your job if you’re exhausted, you can’t be a good friend if you have no energy to spend time in their company. Its harder to focus, takes more time, you can’t think clearly when your emotions, mental wellbeing and physical needs aren’t being met.

When you practice self-care regularly, you are keeping your energy levels topped up.  Again, a bit like the car, if you fill up with petrol when the tank is half full already, it takes less time than it does to fill up an empty tank. When your energy reservoir is fully empty, it’ll take longer to recharge it, but if you top it up daily it takes less time and effort.

Kogan suggested three questions to ask yourself:

  1. How is my emotional, mental and physical energy reservoir right now? – be specific.  You might feel alright in one area and not in another. Don’t judge your response, whatever comes up is the right answer.
  2. What has been unnecessarily draining my energy today, and can I do it less? – again be specific.  Is there something specific about work, or a relationship that is draining you? Take time to accept the struggle and shift your thoughts so they drain you less.
  3. What can I do to fill my energy reservoir today? – a short walk might do the trick.  Sitting down to read with a cuppa is just as good.

Start doing this practice once a day, put a reminder in your calendar if you need to. As you get the hang of it start practicing it throughout your day.


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