An ever-spiraling list of needs requires your energy each day. Work, social activities, and appointments show up on your radar. Certain elements draining your stamina fly under the radar. Though preventable, they continue to suck joy from your life because they remain unrecognized. What if you could disarm your vampires? The following tips can help you can identify, confront, and eliminate the parasitic elements of your life.
1. Audit your time. Chart your emotions and fatigue during all parts of each day for a week. For optimum data, carry a small notepad or use a voice recorder on your phone to document the way you experience how your time is spent for at least a week. Include how you feel about your morning routine, interactions with certain people, parts of your household and career-related duties, etc. Use highlighters as a shortcut for identifying which situations energized or drained you. This might seem tedious, but a thorough audit has more chance of discovering lost energy.
2. Categorize your vampires. List the energy drainers in three categories: disarm, delegate, or eliminate. List activities you alone can accomplish in the disarm section (parenting, exercise, prayer, for example). Anything which cannot be eliminated but could be done by someone else belongs in the delegate section (housework, errands, extra job duties). Unnecessary vampires belong in the eliminate category (interactions with toxic people, anxiety-provoking media like newscasts, negative habits). These categories remain a starting point, as few of us can afford to delegate every unpleasant task. For now, just list activities in the areas they could potentially occupy. Some things might serve as a goal, something to work toward delegating or eliminating in the future.
3. Disarm the immovable. Some energy drains might be immovable during the season you’re in. If you’re a caregiver for elderly loved ones, a mother of a newborn, or experiencing temporary stress at a job you cannot yet leave, there will be some strains which must be reframed instead of eliminated. Disarming the responsibilities you must manage yourself will minimize their negative impact. Attitude comprises ninety-five percent of how we experience our circumstances. Find a way to reframe your unpleasant tasks with positive thoughts and goals. I hate housework, for example. But I am thankful for my home, and I love the result of a clean environment. I didn’t enjoy changing baby diapers, but adored my children enough to overlook the unpleasantness of the task. When your chore exists for a temporary amount of time, keep that in mind. Look past the immediate activity toward its benefit and a bigger meaning. Write thankfulness statements about the time investments you cannot change.
4. Plan to delegate. People often list things they prefer done a certain way in the wrong category. It’s worth the trade-off to delegate parasitic activities to someone who’ll perform the tasks a bit differently. Energy vampires suck joy and time you could apply to improve your life’s quality and success. Order the list of items you could delegate according to how soon you can remove their impact on your life. Begin with the items within short range possibility and strategies ways to shift these burdens to someone who might find them less troublesome. If finances create a barrier, think of creative ways to trade chores with someone. Maybe you don’t mind shopping, but your friend who hates it doesn’t mind the lawn care you abhor. Your kids will learn fiscal responsibility by having to work for the money you’ve been offering them to use on outings with friends. Take one at a time, and make the rest of your list a set of goals to work toward.
5. Eliminate leeches. Some toxic lifestyle elements have remained with us simply because we didn’t notice their impact. A sedentary lifestyle, for example, caps your energy level. Passive media (television, magazines, books, internet) makes indelible impressions upon our mindsets, so paying more attention to the content we take in will benefit our emotional well being. Excessive violence, vulgarity, and discontent shifts the viewer’s perspective whether or not she realizes it. If you tend to experience anxiety or depression, news channels can even fit into the eliminate category. In addition to video and musical impacts on negativity, examine the people you spend time with. If there are toxic (abusive, untrustworthy, lacking healthy boundaries, e.g.) people with whom you can limit interactions, do so. Reduce exposure to gossip. Purge as much negativity from your lifestyle as possible, including your own words. Fast from complaining to discover how much you need to cut back on toxic verbal habits. Learn to maintain healthy boundaries and create a positive environment for living well.
Which of the energizing strategies are you planning to implement today? I look forward to hearing from you. Next week, we’ll look more closely at optimizing physical habits to further enhance your well being.
Until then, be encouraged!