Discover more from Disco Dialogues
Protecting and replenishing your energy
Q: How does your energy level impact you and those around you?
It’s 4.30 am on Saturday, November 20th. I’ve been up in bed for the past three hours, reading articles, browsing Instagram, and chatting with Mitali (surprisingly she has been up too). I finally give up on the idea of going back to sleep and get out of bed to write.
So let’s talk about energy. How do I ensure I don’t run out of it. Because I know that I don’t perform well when my bucket is empty. These last two weeks have been full, very full. I have…
— launched disco dialogues with Mitali,
— had anxiety about, but met post-covid social obligations,
— hosted my uncle and aunt at home for a couple of days,
— tried to help my parents through some problems they were having
— birthday celebrations that included two dinners out and one evening at the theater
All of this while working on my day job, and being a mom. So yes, my body finally gave in last night and I fell sick. So it makes sense that I’m writing a post about protecting my energy at this time. I haven’t figured it out yet. But I wanted to share an exercise that Mitali recently introduced me to that I think is quite helpful.
Consider the areas of your life that are significant to you right now. Write a brief “headline” for an area of your life where you are gaining, draining, and investing energy. So here are mine:
Gaining energy: from being creative, from launching disco dialogues
Draining energy: from trying to meet all the post-covid social obligations
Investing energy: deepening my meditation practice, sleeping on time, and making exercise a priority. Basically real self-care. I haven’t been prioritizing this in the past two weeks, hence I’m picking this as an area I want to invest my energy into.
This exercise helps me think about my energy and how I want to prioritize my time.
When I took a break from work 2 years ago the idea was to focus on my health and my relationship with my family. As I started to get older, and saw my kids go through different phases in their school journeys, these priorities became non-negotiable to me.
The pandemic brought these priorities into stark focus as I was forced to pause and give my full attention to myself and my family in 2020. In the process, I started to think of habits that I could bring into our lives that would stick and survive once I decided to go back to work. Over time my self-care habits turned into rituals that helped me feel more grounded with myself, with my family, and with my friends. Some rituals were as simple as having an order in which I do my skincare routine in the morning. Some required a bit of effort like doing family picnics every Sunday at our favorite local park. Other rituals have been more deliberate like making time for meditation and consistent social connection with friends that replenish my energy. This article on the surprising power of daily rituals (BBC Future) has made me realize how these rituals have been key to my mental health during the pandemic and hopefully beyond.
“...the benefits of rituals also extend beyond the individual – they're evident in groups of people, too. Ritualistic behaviour can improve social bonding when we practise it collectively. "Having social networks has frequently been linked to wellbeing, and it is thought that rituals – frequent group gatherings – are particularly good at facilitating such networks," says Valerie van Mulukom, a psychologist at Coventry University in the UK and co-author of a study on the effect of secular rituals on social bonding.”
As I enter the holiday season and things start to get hectic again, this is my reminder to take care of myself first. Because my energy defines how my family functions through these crazy/busy times. #mefirst
If you are looking for inspiration, this article has some simple, practical ideas to help ground yourself and replenish your energy.
Come dialogue with us!