I was talking recently to a friend who was in the midst of a challenging life moment. I shared with her one of my regular strategies for managing any tough situation, especially ones that concern relationships. I told her about my Energy Audits.
When I am struggling, I try to do an audit of where I am expending my energy. If I can’t figure it out right off the bat I take a few days and ‘read’ my body throughout the day. What do I mean? Ok. When a certain person is in my presence, particularly one I am in either direct or latent conflict with for one reason or another, I scan my body. How does this person make me feel right now? Is my heart rate up? Am I physically ill at ease? Focused? Scattered? I find most people either generate energy for me or deplete me. As I get older and wiser, the most precious commodities in my life are time and energy. I strive to spend them wisely, though I don’t always succeed.
Checking in with my body and learning to value its reactions to certain people or situations invariably helps me make better decisions. Call it a gut check if you will. But do it. Your body is smarter than you give it credit for and sometimes (often, if you are me) our brains impede our bodies’ ability to advise us on what seem to be complex problems. Sometimes it’s as simple as “I get a stomach ache when so and so calls.” That is incredibly valuable information to me, and I do best when I ascribe real weight to that feedback. Try it!!
This weekend I chose to spend time with my USTA tennis team, battling it out in the year end district tournament. I have long since identified tennis as an energy giving activity for me, and I find the camaraderie with my fellow enthusiasts to be pure fun and enjoyment. We fought hard and supported one another doing the thing we all love. No body scan needed here. This is always a home run!
This week, value your time and energy as a priority. Think of yourself as having X amount of bandwidth. How much are you willing to give away carelessly? Naturally, there are things you have to deal with this week that are non negotiable and not always things you are looking forward to. That’s not what I am talking about, after all we are all adults with responsibility and commitments. Its that leftover bandwidth that is our gift. Make it a gift to yourself. Choose wisely and don’t give it away to undeserving recipients or situations. You will be amazed at how you feel when you say no, and hopefully a new habit will take shape that serves you far more than it depletes you.