Whether its covid-19, introvert tendency, or an overactive empathy muscle, interactions with fellow humans can sometimes be exhausting.
We are not all at the same level of self awareness. Sometimes it might feel like you are the only person following the rules and the only one breaking them!
It's ok to start listening to your body and spirit. It's a soft gentle voice that guides you to rest, eat, take good care, set good boundaries.
The world is full of distractions and obstacles to contend with. Life moves so quickly, stillness can feel scary.
"I'm focusing inward," is a simple way to describe the act of protecting one's energy, before accepting invitations or taking on more.
Protecting your energy is an act of prioritizing your wellness in the short term in order to make room for others in the long term.
It is a way to give yourself permission to review your resources before possibly over extending yourself; we, who have been conditioned towards selflessness for no good reason, especially need to know... you are in service to no one but yourself.
We can give and receive as we are able. We decide when and how we are able.
Your health and wellness matters and learning how to protect your energy is a good exercise in undoing the conditioning that suggested that you and your wellness can wait.
I have a short list I can go to for immediate assessment:
Have I eaten?
Am I hydrated?
Am I appropriately medicated?
The answer to all of these must be, "yes!" to have the energy and patience, to deal with anything. Sometimes that's not even enough. Sometimes, there's something more:
Am I rested?
Am I safe?
Can I cope?
If the answers to any of these are no, it's time to pull back and take it easy. Reset, regroup, and ask for help if it's necessary.
"I'm struggling, I need help," can also explain how to protect your energies. This takes practice and a real devotion to yourself.
For some help means quiet time in solitude. For others, it's time with friends and family. Maybe a combination of both, maybe it's something else.
There are research papers written on the best ways to engage our brain in creating all the good, satisfying juices! Find them and try it all.
Often times our journey towards self care leads to all manner of connectedness. Not only to ourselves but to people, places, and things...
Art, music, sports, spirituality, travel all give us some of our control back. Listen to your inner being before being moved!
I know it is sometimes strange to think about our needs first, it feels selfish. I promise when we tap into our needs and satisfy them in healthy ways, we can afford the luxury of being more selfless.
A lot of people swear by meditation, including myself. There is something very powerful about centering yourself in the universe. We deserve healing light and safe space. Liberate is a great app to help get you started.
However you decide to move toward protecting your energy, give yourself a soft place to land. Room to recharge, to unplug, and find peace. Some may be unfamiliar with the boundaries you're setting, may be use to having all access, may be mad or jealous of the room you're making for yourself, choose yourself anyway.
Their response is not your concern. Those feelings are for them to unpack, not you. Your work is in protecting and loving yourself.