Confession: I've been feeling pretty drained lately.
Are you feeling it too?
Astrologically, it makes sense. We're in a period of major transition. Last week marked the beginning of the Year of the Goat, the Sun moved into Pisces, Venus and Mars danced into feisty Aries, and in a few short weeks we have the final alignment of Uranus and Pluto. The times, they are a changing.
You're going to need plenty of energy make the most of these cosmic shifts. So, how do you replenish your personal energy supply?
You've got to stop your energy drains.
Here are a few of the most common energy drains I've seen in my own life:
Talking too much.
I know, I know. Aren't we supposed to express ourselves? Certainly. Venting can be healthy, but when does it cross the line to become gossip? When you talk, you're exchanging energy. What kind of energy do you want to put out into the world? Be intentional with your words. What are you saying? What are those around you saying? And most importantly, how does it make you feel?
Also, in my practice I've found that talking too much about a project (especially a creative work) before it's complete can be detrimental to the final product. Scientists have found that talking about something you're going to do gives your brain the same rush as if you actually did it, which makes you feel less pressure to complete it in real life. Yikes!
In today's nonstop society, it's easy to succumb to the constant demands on our time and energy. There's an unspoken expectation that we should be available around the clock, when that's not necessarily the case. Of course we all have responsibilities that must be met, but it's ultimately up to you to determine what's urgent and what's important in your life.
How much of your money, time, and resources can you commit without spreading yourself too thin? Or, how much can you do and still feel energized? Remember, you can always say no.
This one may be the straightforward, but it's probably the most difficult one to deal with.
I've heard many people say that you're the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. If that's true, then who are you?
Do you have any friends, acquaintances, or colleagues that seem to always need something, but somehow evaporate when it's time to return the favor? Or, is there anyone you have to interact with that leaves you feeling grimy, like you need to take a shower? In metaphysical speak, we call them psychic vampires. To put it simply, they drain your energy.
Psychic vampires aren't necessarily doing this maliciously. As a matter of fact, many probably have no clue that they're making you feel this way! In this case, make sure you put number two from this list into practice and communicate clear boundaries for your interactions with them.
Lack of self-care.
As much as we'd all like to think that our personal energy supply is an unending well, each of us has fluctuating energy levels. The ubiquitous posts on “how to be more productive” can leave you feeling less-than when you fail to measure up. If you're already feeling drained, another productivity worksheet may well sap your energy even more. In order to bounce back, you've got to care for yourself.
The word “self-care” is tossed around a lot in personal improvement conversations, but what is it really? Self-care is any activity you do to help care for your body and well-being. Usually, there's an implication of sensuality as it relates to these actions. Yoga, taking a bath, lighting a beautiful candle, and going to bed early are all common examples of ways to practice self-care.
My personal self-care secret is this: when times are tough, don't strip your life of all luxury. Instead, give yourself a few strategic indulgences to replenish your dwindling reserves. You deserve it!
When the bottom of your personal Maslow's hierarchy is off (food, shelter, etc.), everything else will crumble because it lacks a foundation. Tend to the fundamentals of good food, adequate sleep, hygiene and exercise. It seems obvious, when when the going gets really tough, it can be easy to forget.
I absolutely, wholeheartedly hope these suggestions help you replenish your energy and brighten your life.
PS- Going through a difficult time, but still want to do some magical work? Here's how to tap into your intuition when shit hits the fan.
PPS- A while back, I had the honor of writing for Esmé Wang's Off We Go series on entrepreneurship and mental illness. Check out my essay on managing my energy and living well with ADHD.
Photo credit: This card is the 4 of Water, from Joanna Powell Colbert's Gaian Tarot. It's all about paying attention to your inner well of energy and making sure you're living a sustainable lifestyle. Fitting, no?