Do you ever feel like you’re in a boxing match with yourself? Fighting to keep going, struggling through each day, while you continue to smother the little signs your body is whispering to you, enough.
Energy is vital. It is the foodsource for our ideas, creativity, and passion. However for many of us, giving ourselves permission to take time out, seek solitude, relaxation, and me time, seems like far too big a task.
But what is the alternative? Exhaustion? Overwhelm? Illness? To name only three of many possible outcomes of continuing to ignore your energy needs. Western society encompasses a culture of doing, doing and more doing. When was the last time you experienced what it really feels like to stop? Do, nothing. And then allow yourself to become acquainted with the energy comes from being still, emotionally, physically and mentally.
An introvert’s energy is depleted in highly interactive environments. Quick, impulsive and gregarious are not ways of being that sit right with you. You were not programmed that way. Consistently going against the grain, we are going to feel rough. Trying to appease expectations on the outside, while our energy seeps out of every orifice, leaving us a surface level imitation of who we really are.
The down time we seek and need, to replenish our energy is available to us.
Getting your needs met is not selfish; take the time alone you need, you’ll be a better friend, colleague, sibling and partner when you need to be. Give yourself time to be quiet, and you’ll have the energy you need to communicate when you have to.
Getting your needs met
1. Communicate your needs with the people around you.
This may sound counter productive, feeling as though you have to explain yourself can be draining in itself, however, the energy that you consume from not communicating your needs is also draining. Help people understand your needs. In the long term, this can help to alleviate the stress and the argumentsyou often experience as a result of being misunderstood.
2. Create some boundaries with the energy vampires.
Whether it’s the phone calls after 10pm at night, the friends who don’t stop talking, or the work colleague that has made it his mission to get you out of your shell.
Make some small boundaries and build them up slowly. When you stop answering the phone late at night, remain unapologetic for deciding to going straight home, and set yourself a time limit with the talkative friend, they will soon get the message, and you can then relax.
3. Seek out activities that replenish your energy.
Think of three things that you absolutely love and make time for them. Whether it’s walking, art, music or cooking or whatever, notice the energy surge you gain from doing something you’re passionate about.
4. Seek out the right people
Not every interaction will drain you. The few that you can be completely yourself around, and who emanate the same passion with which you feel and connect with others on a deeper level; those types of relationships emit energy.
5. Decline assertively.
In Introvert Power, Laurie Helgoe describes the difference in responses that lead to succinctly but politely refusing invites, rather than feeling the need to explain yourself or encourage more conversation on the matter. “No thank you” is enough.
6. Practice Mindfulness
Allow yourself to become completely present in one activity each day. This might be paying attention to all the tastes, textures and aromas when you eat lunch, or paying attention of small details in nature such as colours and shapes on your way home from work. Being present gives our minds a break and our emotions some relief, while we experience a few moments of calm.
7. Be authentic.
Trying to be something you are not is draining. It’s a bit like trying to fit into shoes that are simply too small for you. You might manage to do that but it’s going to be uncomfortable, painful and your inner spirit may suffer a few blisters. Deciding to like yourself, just as you are, can take a little work. Here are a few things to start with.
- Write a list of everything you are good at.
- Ask those close to you, what they feel your best qualities are.
- Take all of those strengths and qualities and then write two ways each of them can add value to your life.
Do you have any other tips that work for you? I would love to hear them!
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