May 03, 2011
Mindfulness and energy
Have you ever noticed that when you are with some people you feel energized and when you are with other people your energy is drained?
Do you have a difficult time saying “no” when someone requests something from you, and then find yourself feeling exhausted and resentful?
Do you put your own responsibilities on hold in order to do things for other people?
Have you been, or are you now, feeling like there are not enough hours in the day to do all that you need to do? Are you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted?
If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions, mindfulness can help you to be aware of how, and with whom, you expend your energy and therefore take better care of yourself by using your energy wisely.
I have belonged to an organization for eighteen years. I believe in the mission of this organization because it changes peoples’ lives for the better. It has changed my life for the better.
Over the years I have been happy to do whatever I could to see the organization thrive, including: fundraising, listening to people who are going through difficult times, teaching classes, catering for events and attending more meetings than I can count.
Because there were so many things that needed doing, and I believed in those things, and I knew I could do what was needed and do it well, I had a difficult time saying “no”. After so many years of doing so much, my energy was drained.
And I was exhausted. When I woke up in the morning I did not feel rested. I knew that exercising would help me feel more energetic, but I felt too tired to exercise, I just wanted to stay in bed as long as I could each morning.
When I became aware of the decisions I was making, in terms of how I was spending my time and expending my energy, I started to decline “invitations” to take on more and more responsibility - but it wasn’t easy.
People were used to having me take on more and more work. It was difficult to say “no” but I realized I needed to take care of myself as well as caring for others.
In fact, I realized that unless I took care of myself, I could not take care of other people wholeheartedly.
Is it time for you to become mindful of how you expend your energy in terms of what you do and who you spend time with?