Updated: Oct 14, 2020
I recently returned from a one month trip to Nepal. It was full of adventure, creating new friendships, visiting family and exploring sacred temples. Upon my arrival home I realized how drained and low energy the trip left me. Travelling tends to have an after effect of needing a vacation from my vacation. No wonder I am always skeptical to leave my home in Canmore. It is my safe space, the place where I have created around me all that I need to nourish the self and enjoy my surroundings fully. When I leave here I can at times feel like a cat dropped in a bath tub, *frantic*
As soon as I arrive at a new destination excitement sets in. Suddenly I have an urge to explore all around me, see and do a million things to digest as much as possible from the foreign place before leaving. And when visiting family in Edmonton the same feeling takes over of: “I need to see every single person and devote every minute to them while I am here, because I am not here often.” It’s as if I forget each time I leave my home of the self imposed damage I am about to embark on. Your needs, your wants and your soul food comes first….not last. Especially when you are out of your sacred space, your home. That is when you are challenged the most and you need an abundance of energy to fuel you through the activities and conversations. It becomes so easy to burn out once you are overwhelmed and over exerted in your output. When you are outputting all of your energy and not refueling yourself, a burn out is eminent.
The truth is many people suffer with this issue at all times. Not just on special occasions, but even in the midst of everyday work and home life. You can be running around from task to task and forgetting to stop, breathe and replenish your body. I’ve come up with a few points on how to put YOU first and how to drop the surroundings.
1. Check In
We can not rely on others to check in on us. We need to check in on ourselves multiple times throughout the day. The best place to start is first thing in the morning. As soon as you wake up, ask yourself how am I feeling right now? Tired, well rested, worried about the day? And give yourself a few deep breathes to honor whatever you are feeling and send yourself a little reassurance that if you are tired you will take a nap later or go to bed early tonight. If you are worried step outside of your day and look at your life, evaluate how worrying about this small thing that you will forget about in five years will effect your day and how it will effect your day if you are worry free. If you are well rested, deeply feel the joy in the moment.
As you continue in your day, keep checking in. You have all of the tools to tend to your energy levels at all times, believe in yourself. You can not solve an issue if you are unaware of it, checking in is the first step to your mindfulness. If you are not checking in, your energy level and attention span will check out.
2. Find your filler
How do you fill your personal gas tank? You may already know the answer to this. For some it’s having a tea or coffee, reading a book, exercising, meditating, reflecting or connecting. We have two aspects of our energy, one is masculine (yang) and the other feminine (yin). Our yang is often the one we are over abundant in. This includes things like: Physical exertion, brain exertion, really the output of our lives. The yin is the input, the rest and digestion of life. This includes activities like mental calmness, mindfulness through meditation and presence, appreciation for all of our hard work. The filling of the gas tank means having balance in both areas of your life.
Do you feel pretty balanced? If so, nice work! If not, you are not alone. Your filler should make you feel calm, at peace and present. Maybe taking a bath with some nice essential oils or going for a slow walk in the woods will do the trick.
Of course our go to excuse is there is no time. We are too busy to nourish our wants and needs. Filling your cup, your energy reservoir is not a want. It needs to be seen as a need. A need that makes every following action more purposeful and lived with presence. It is understandable halfway through your morning at work that you don’t have the time to do a yoga class. But you do have time to take a few deep breathes, let your muscles and your jaw relax, reflect on your recent accomplishment: Working hard.
It does not have to be a 30 minute or 60 minute activity, it can be a 30 second one. A meaningful 30 seconds for you to be attentive to your self. For you to sip your tea or coffee with gratitude rather then ritual. And yes the 30 and 60 minute time you do not have in your day you can CREATE in your day. You are the creator of your life, so you are the manager of your time.
What do you value? What do you need? Make it happen. Time is somewhat of an illusion. If you are focused with no distractions or worries in your mind you can be 10X more productive in your work, freeing up more time for you to be attentive to your self. But most of us spend time worrying about the next work project, or cleaning the house, etc. If you cut out all of that worry time by being present you create time to do those things you are wasting time worrying about. If you need tips on being present read my meditation blog for some great tips here:
Breathe in, breathe out. You have the tools to feed your soul. Let’s make it happen everyday. At least once a day. And eventually you’ve created your new habits of self love and self care. Your energy tank is full and you are ready to take on the world!