In September, I planned to write about renewing mental, physical, and emotional energy, but my strangest 9/11 story wanted to be told. Still, the topic of replenishing energy kept coming up in coaching sessions and in conversations with friends, so, let’s talk about it from a slightly new perspective.
In the original article on managing your energy, I talked about ways to check whether your battery is full or empty, what you can expect when running on empty, and what you can realistically do to recharge your battery.
Here’s a fresh idea: what if instead of one “general battery”, we have at least three separate “batteries” – mental, physical, and emotional? (Some may say that a spiritual “battery” is also separate; for me, it blends in with the emotional, but I’m curious to know how it is for you).
There are two important things to remember about energy management:
1. Each of your batteries – mental, emotional, and physical – needs to be charged separately, and differently.
For example, if your physical battery is full (i.e. you have physical energy), you can still feel emotionally drained, or mentally spent. Charging one battery doesn’t necessarily replenish the others. Intellectual stimulation does not substitute attending to your emotional needs or your physical energy.
Mental, physical, and emotional batteries need to be refilled with their own kind of fuel, even though the charging can happen in parallel. For example, you can go for a run (physical battery refill), and listen to an inspiring podcast (mental battery refill) at the same time, but one does not substitute the other.
2. There are two strategies for charging each battery; you need to learn how and when to use them.
One strategy to charging a battery is about “doing more”; the other is about “doing less”, because you can feel equally drained from using your mental/emotional/physical energy too much, and from not using it enough.
Let’s take a look at refilling your “physical battery”. “Doing more” may mean going to the gym, having great sex, or taking a walk outside. “Doing less” could mean sleeping, resting, or doing nothing at all. Both types of activity can give you more physical energy. The trick is to know yourself well enough to understand whether you should “do more” or “do less” under the circumstances in order to recharge your battery.
For “mental energy”, “doing more” may mean intellectual stimulation: a great book, a thought-provoking conversation, an interesting lecture, etc. If your mental battery is on empty because you already process too much information, then “doing less” is a better strategy: make quiet time , spend time by yourself, watch something light-hearted on Netflix, or read a fun-but-mindless “beach book”.
For “emotional battery”, “doing more” is about emotional engagement: intense emotional connection, deep, soulful conversations, creating or watching emotionally engaging art. If you are already spending too much of your emotional energy, consider “doing less”: disengage from attending to others’ emotional needs, give yourself worry-free time, etc.
The precise recipe for mixing the strategies for refilling each battery is unique to you. Moreover, your unique recipe is changing all the time, because you and your circumstances are constantly changing. So, self-knowledge plays a significant role in your ability to recharge your batteries.
If you want a bit of help figuring out your unique recipe, and you’re open to the idea of working with an executive coach, you know where to find me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, observe yourself, and notice which of your batteries have more juice, and keep track of different recharging strategies seem to work best for you in various circumstances.
* * * * *
SAVE THE DATE! On Sun., December 15-ish, around 3:30-5:30-ish pm, I’ll be teaching a workshop on intuition for analytical thinkers, “Intuition: Myths, Science, and Practice”. It will be held in Northern NJ, open to the public, with limited class size. (Please, let me know if you want me to reserve a spot for you.) Details TBA.
Just for Fun:
As you may know, I travel to the UK to take classes for my PhD program. On most days, it is almost dark by the time I get out of class, but this time, earlier in October, I caught Glasgow in the sunlight.
Upon return, we explored Lower East Side in Manhattan, and the city did not disappoint with flavors, from fried pickles by The Pickle Guys to amazing doughnuts by the Doughnut Plant, and of course, dumplings.
Also, this is what I’m reading (ok, Trying to read, as there’s not always time to “just read”…). Have you read anything great lately? Would love to hear what you’re reading!
* * * * *
Would you like to talk about any of this? I would love to hear from you. Just reply to this newsletter or email me at Alina@AlinaBas.com . Also, if you’ve read all the way up to here, thank you for the gift of your attention. I’m thankful we are connected.