How do you re-energize and center yourself when your emotional batteries are low? Personally, I’m a big fan of alone time spent reading novels, watching movies and TV, and drinking a glass of wine. I guess you could call that escapist re-charging and for me, that’s phase 1. For me, this helps because alone time is an essential, non-negotiable part of my life. In case you haven’t heard this before, the prime difference between introverts and extroverts is where each get their energy. Introverts get energy from being alone, while extroverts get energy from being around people.
Phase 2 re-charging is a bit more active and involves taking care of my body. So, hitting a Pilates class or the gym and eating a healthy meal.
Phase 3 recharging is after my alone, quiet quota has been filled and I can focus on the “lifters” in my life – the people that make me feel energized, motivated, and importantly, loved. So that normally means a coffee, wine, or long-distance phone call date with a close friend. Once I’ve accomplished these three phases, my battery is juiced and I’m ready to begin again.
For some reason, I love visualizing myself as containing an internal phone battery who need to ‘charge up’ from time to time. I imagine watching the green light on my human body iPhone progress further and further to the right of the screen. While we know our phones are dying because we see that lovely percentage indicator going down, how do we know that it’s time for us to plug in and charge up? It’s so easy to keep pushing and pushing and pushing…to the neglect of ourselves. Should we have warning signs for ourselves?
I have three main red flags that mean I’m need of juicing up: when I find myself being snappy with people, I know it’s time for a re-charge because I’m not normally a snappy person. Secondly, if I find that I’m starting to see things in a consistently negative light, I know it’s time for a break. And thirdly, if I just find that I’m not finding joy in things I normally enjoy, I know it’s time to settle in and let myself relax.
The funny paradox about re-charging is that it’s not about ‘vegging out’ or totally relaxing yourself into a comatose state (though sometimes that’s both nice and needed), it’s about re-connecting to yourself. Finding your ‘zone’ as it were, finding that motivated excited self.
So, here’s a little drawing of what my battery re-charging looks like. What would yours look like?
Pardon my super dorky rendering! Never said I went to art school.