America’s standard of life usually means being busy, and in turn, being stressed. Whether or not we want to acknowledge it, almost everyone experiences high levels of stress at work and in their personal lives. Being stressed leads to a serious energy drain—when you feel your most stressed, you’ll be less productive, more tired, and overall, much less likely to feel energized and inspired.
Regardless of what causes your stress, you might experience emotional and physical symptoms when you have a buildup of stress, from a lack of motivation to insomnia and headaches, with lots ranging in between. Stress also has long-term consequences like raising your blood pressure, causing obesity or cardiovascular disease, and triggering mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
Luckily there’s something all of us can individually do every single day to ease the strain of stress: self-care. Self-care is absolutely essential for preserving your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. When we recognize that something is acting as an energy drain, we’re able to implement self-care strategies to restore ourselves, replenish our energy levels and resources for coping with different stressful situations, and become more productive moving forward.
Identify All of the Ways Self-Care Can Help You with an Energy Drain
One of the first steps in helping resolve an energy drain is identifying when those typically happen to you, and assessing how self-care could be helpful. Usually, when we experience stress for a long period of time, we can become overwhelmed and forget to even pay attention to how we feel, let alone implement self-care.
Aside from not recognizing an energy drain and acknowledging the need for self-care, another huge problem surrounding this topic is guilt associated with implementing self-care. Sometimes, when we practice self-care, we feel like something is wrong with us or we are weak for even needing it. We go through phases where self-care feels natural and easy, and phases where we have to really force ourselves to slow down and take care of our needs.
One strategy is to make a list of all of the things that lead you to feel drained and stressed. Identifying the different types of energy drain experiences you have frequently makes it easier to actively see when to regularly add in self-care. For example, when making your list, if you notice that certain tasks at work or times of day leave you feeling an energy drain, you can create a habit of doing self-care at those times so it doesn’t feel like such an endeavor.
Identify Negative Mindset Shifts in Your Daily Life and Correct Them
Negative thought patterns slow down your business, professional, and personal goals and lead to an energy drain. Especially when you have a cycle of negativity, an energy drain can form and leave you feeling stressed. It’s important to start off by identifying negative mindset shifts in your everyday life and in the grand scheme of your lifestyle so that you can start on the path toward correcting them.
You can track negative thinking and mindset patterns by actively noting when these things happen. When you wake up, pay attention to where your mind goes—do you think about what you’re looking forward to, or what you’re dreading? Do you focus on positives from the day before, or do you dwell on what stressed you out? Continue this process throughout the day and work on correcting negative thought patterns as they occur. After you know where you’re experiencing negativity and energy drains, you can implement self-care strategies.
To start your day on a positive note and create an active positive mindset for the rest of the day, implement self-care in the morning and establish a morning routine. Your morning routine should obviously have essential steps like getting ready and having breakfast, but adding in even small self-care steps can drastically impact your mood and mindset.
For example, journal for a few minutes out on the porch. Listen to a favorite song or podcast while you get ready. Read something encouraging while you have your tea or coffee. This will help to prevent an energy drain early in the day by refueling your mental energy through self-care.
Identify One Act of Self-Care that Will Have Widespread Positive Results in Your Life
One act of self-care won’t completely eliminate stress, anxiety, or energy drains from your life, but it will give you a break and restore your mental health and happiness. By giving yourself a reprieve from an energy drain, self-care helps you recharge, improving the quality of your future work and your overall quality of life.
When you’re experiencing an energy drain and feeling unmotivated, it’s important to refuel your passion and energy. It can be overwhelming to have no ideas for self-care, but it can also be overwhelming to have too many options—when you’re stressed, making decisions gets challenging. Instead, focus on one simple self-care act that you can use to benefit you in a number of ways.
For example, if you’re feeling tired, stressed, and anxious every afternoon, try going on a walk or doing some deep breathing exercises. These help you physically, but these small acts of self-care also help alleviate an energy drain by restoring your mental health and emotional wellbeing.
On a larger scale, you can also choose a self-care act that you work on in the long-term that makes you feel restored and energized. Whether you try to learn a new skill or you connect with friends socially at least once per week, make a plan for small, regular self-care tasks that can have huge impacts when you experience an energy drain.
Ask Yourself If You Are Willing to Commit to Doing That Act of Self-Care Daily.
When you’re trying to combat an energy drain, you have to be excited and be able to do your chosen act of self-care on a regular basis. For this reason, don’t pick any self-care activity that you wouldn’t be willing to do every day. Keep yourself accountable and check in with yourself.
During an energy drain, you need to check in with yourself frequently and consistently so you can be aware of the right times to implement your chosen self-care strategies. Additionally, set yourself up with small breaks throughout the day to avoid building up to an energy drain. For example, take a five minute break where you focus on meditation and breathing regularly throughout the day.
Start with Setting Up Regular Self-Care Times for Seven Days
Big, overarching goals are amazing for keeping us focused and driven to accomplish big things, but small goals keep things manageable and attainable. We can develop a habit by setting a small goal and really following through. For self-care, you need to regularly practice it, but be specific and intentional about how you’re doing it. At this point, you’ve already chosen some regular and habitual self-care strategies to implement when you’re experiencing an energy drain; now, commit to doing those strategies every day for one week. When you’ve successfully done so for a week, you’ll feel empowered to set larger goals.
Being in tune with your body and your mental health is so important in recognizing an energy drain and implementing critical self-care strategies. If you’re feeling inspired to try out self-care, try creating a habit tracker for yourself to physically record when you successfully curb an energy drain with self-care on a daily basis. You’ll feel so much better and more energized when you regularly add self-care into your routine!