When I am working so hard on chasing and building my dreams, it’s really easy to get tunnel vision and leave ME out of the success equation. It’s easy to put the energy into my business, into my clients, into the next video and into the latest and greatest technique of helping people.
It’s not always easy to truly prioritize me. To take a break when I need to take a break. To turn off all electronics in the evenings and weekends so I can listen to me, to what I want and to what will make me happy. To do what lights me up rather than continue doing what I have always done.
The good news is that when I hit a low, I always learn something of profound importance to me. This time…
My biggest realization has been to look at everything in terms of energy.
When I go through my day…every activity…every thought…every action I engage in either depletes me or adds energy into my system.
When my negative energy activities outweigh the net positive ones, I am completely spent at the end of the day. The more depleting days I string together, the more tired I feel. And the longer this goes on, the more true fatigue sets in. And when I am fatigued, even the activities that used to give me positive energy are no longer serving me the same way they once did.
So the secret to avoiding burn out, or recovering when you’re already there, is to…
Be absolutely conscious of engaging in significantly more positive energy activities, thoughts and interactions than negative ones.
To help me with this, I have been doing a time log of all my activities and rating them from -5 to +5 (with -5 being very depleting and +5 being rejuvenating/energizing).
I have also been on a decluttering spree – letting go or minimizing my depleting activities and replacing them with my most rejuvenating ones. This has been a gratifying experience but not an easy one. Letting go and restructuring can be a difficult process.
Another important lesson in all of this for me is to…
Be aware of the INTENSITY in my activities
For example, I used to play a lot of poker. Playing poker was an intense hobby…it actually took away a lot of my energy because of how intensely I competed. Just because I love something does not mean it’s good for me.
I became more aware of the tension I build up during intense activities. Even watching a movie can be intense if it’s a thriller or horror movie.
As an example, I’ve been watching a lot of mindless sitcom comedies. These aren’t the kind of shows I’d ever normally watch, but I feel my body relaxing when I view them and it’s super important I keep my mind and body in a peaceful, low-intensity state.
This is the kind of self-care habit I want you to practice daily.
Another practice that has been incredibly rejuvenating is…
Keeping a gratitude journal.
I write down the things I’m grateful for everyday – everything from the people in my life, to lessons and realizations, to the little things in my life like the sun on my face, the trees in my backyard…
Gratitude is one of the most healing energies and I do everything possible to bask in its glow daily.
I’d love to share more of my daily self-care habits with you in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, please share your own ideas for self-care in the comments below.
This will be a great opportunity to learn from each other how to better take care of ourselves as we continue reaching for greatness!