Has your car battery ever let you down?
You might have noticed it’s been taking a little longer for your car to start in the mornings, but you hadn’t thought too much about it until the morning came when it wouldn’t start. At all.
It’s annoying and frustrating especially as it invariably happens that day when it was especially important to get to work on time.
And to add insult to injury, you can’t find the jump leads, that a distant memory tells you, you lent to someone a while ago, but who?
Just like our car batteries, it’s easy to take our energy levels for granted too.
After all, you’re busy, you’re trying your best to eat well, get some exercise when time permits, and you know you’re healthy.
Which is why it can come as a rude shock to reach that point where papering over the cracks of your underlying fatigue and overwhelm can no longer be hidden.
You want to feel energetic like you normally do and don’t understand why your energy levels have become so depleted.
If you know deep down, you’ve been running on empty for some time, it’s natural to look for an instant pick-me-up.
You’ve upped your coffee intake from one to three. And that’s just to get you to the office. In survival mode, you’re operating on very short time frames. One. Day. At. A Time.
You’re faking it. Your enthusiasm and excitement when evident is all superficial.
And when things go pear-shaped, even the smallest issue feels a monstrous problem.
You’re collapsing onto the couch at the end of the day resuscitating with an extra glass of wine or three.
You’re snappy with the kids and your partner, which makes you feel bad, because it’s just your grumpy mood and not their fault.
You’re avoiding those who would call you out.
You’ve lost your passion, your brilliance has lost its lustre, and your mojo was last seen in the dog’s basket.
You know things must change, but you’re not sure where to start because you don’t have the headspace or the energy to come up with a plan.
Choose to restore your energy
While your wellbeing is something you’ve always believed to be important, keeping your energy batteries topped up must be a daily commitment.
The biggest killer of wellbeing at work is, unsurprisingly, work!
Somehow, it’s become normal to always be ridiculously busy. You laugh at the notion of it being a badge of honour, yet you’ve had it pinned to your jacket for months.
You’ve accepted that self-sacrifice, working hard, and putting in many hours, is essential to your career success. After all, your family depend on you to bring home the bacon and to maintain the living standards to which you’ve all become accustomed.
You’ve got so used to being chronically tired, you can’t remember the last time you got a good night’s sleep that allowed you to wake up feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
Managing your renewable energies
The last few years of the pandemic especially have created what has been called, a collective trauma, depleting energy levels far below their usual.
Knowing everyone’s health and wellbeing has been impacted to a greater or lesser degree, means you are not alone or weird for experiencing this.
If you’re highly independent, accomplished and hate asking for help. Remember so do the other highly independent, accomplished people around you.
It feels awkward, you’re disappointed in yourself. You might even experience guilt or shame.
But there is no shame in acknowledging that as a human you know we all have limits that occasionally get breached.
Why choose to drown when there are life rafts all around?
The prevalence of burnout and mental exhaustion is at an all-time high.
If you know things need to get sorted, take a deep breath and reach out for help.
Because, with support, you can begin to identify what led to your own personal energy crisis
and start to put the first small steps or recovery into place to get back to the real you, perhaps even with a little extra zest and vigour!
Creating the headspace needed to achieve this starts by asking,
What do I have to persevere with and get done?
What can I delegate?
What decisions and tasks can I ditch altogether?
Delegation is a fantastic leadership tool.
As a leader/team leader/professional/hardworking person, it relieves you of trying to do everything (not possible or sustainable) and have all the answers (also not possible) and enables those who work for you to step up, assist and develop their own capabilities.
Isn’t it the role of the leader to raise others to succeed?
In his time in the White House, Barack Obama had over 100 assistants to help him on task, briefed and informed.
Angela Merkel was famous for having the same jacket in multiple colours. No wasted time for Angela in deciding what to wear. And of course, Steve Jobs was well known for only ever wearing black turtlenecks.
We all have different energy batteries to enable us to function optimally, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.
When you have established the energy restoring habits you need, you’ll have the confidence and capability for consistent and sustainable high performance.
While it may sound counterintuitive, many of the ways of restoring energy come from cutting back and doing less.
This is like your battery-operated toothbrush. Leaving it switched on means it will either go flat or need a recharge much sooner than if you had remembered to turn it off when not being used.
As Tony Schwartz from the Energy Project reminds us, “Manage your energy not your time.”
Lifestyle is a choice and when life gets tough, we make decisions or develop ways of coping that while providing short-term relief, can aggravate the problem in the longer term.
That’s why working with a lifestyle health practitioner, can help you restore your physical and mental energy safely and quickly.
Your wellbeing depends on the energy YOU need to stay healthy and happy.
What action will you be taking to restore your wellbeing and be your best energetic self?
Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life (Wiley) is now available for purchase.
To discover if my programs on burnout recovery and prevention would be helpful for yourself and your team, you can book an obligation free 30 minute clarity call here.