Back in our school days, we were very confident in defining energy as the capacity of a body or system to do work. A bookish and physics-bound definition we took pride of when reciting the definition of energy. As we grew up, we realized that energy can exist in a variety of forms and can also be transformed from one form to another. Still essentially a physics-derived definition, but we found out that energy is applicable beyond the laws and bounds of physics. We realized that energy can also be our ability to be active: our physical and mental strength that allow us to do things.
Our mental and emotional energies are just several forms of our energy. Like the types of energy described in our physics class, mental and emotional energies can be transformed from one form to another, and they can also be utilized and can be drained too. They are also essential energies in our lives too, and thus we should protect them from abuse and exhaustion. Here are a few ways we can protect our mental and emotional energies.
1) Know your energizers and drainers. These are the people and activities that energize you mentally and emotionally, and those that drain these energies. In order to remember your energizers and drainers, write them down on a piece of paper or a journal. The list can help you identify the things you need to do to protect your mental and emotional energies, and the steps you may take to strengthen yours then.
2) Make a quick review of stressful or draining relationships. Again, a journal or notepad can be useful in keeping a record of relationships that have become stressful or draining for you. Then review and reflect on the list to see if there was that certain time that you allowed a boundary to be crossed,
3) When faced with a new undertaking, contemplate and ask yourself questions. It wouldn’t to stop and think whenever a new commitment or demand comes along. Also consider asking yourself (and your body) if you really want to do it. Practice listening to your feelings and being true to how you feel. Say no when you need to.
4) Look at situations in an objective manner. If you find yourself in an upsetting situation, try to identify what specifically upsets you about it and what you could do to change it in the future. Being objective also discourages you from making uncalled for reactions and feelings about the situation, which can drain your energies further.
5) Don’t be afraid to draw a line or make boundaries if you have to. Learn to be more assertive when it comes to your priorities and preferences. Draw the line if you think the requests of other people come into conflict with your priorities and your time.
6) Make your activities worthwhile. Again, things go down to priorities. Keep in mind to choose attending to what most needs doing. Do not waste your energy and time by doing things that you don’t really want to do, shouldn’t be doing, and shouldn’t have said ‘yes’ to.
7) Make a clear set of goals and priorities. Your notepad or your journal will come in handy again. Jot down and describe what are the things that can make your life “just right”. What are the things that are important to you right now? In the future? Who are the persons you would be spending time with? What activities would you like to do and be involved with? These are just a few of the questions you have to give clear and definite answers which should be written down for your reference should you need it.
Your mental and emotional energies are your important assets. You should learn to use them wisely and not exhaust them needlessly. You need rest, relaxation and time for yourself in order to effectively do what you set out to do, and what God has set out for you to do. So use your energies well and guard them, and find time to have them rested within you.