When I first started regularly blogging again I knew I would eventually want to tackle this topic. Time and time again, I hear from influencers, clients, friends, and family members that they are simply drained. Their energy is depleted. Their calendar is booked. Their time is accounted for with appointments, commitments, and deadlines that are not their own. And you know what, I feel it at times too.
There’s no easy formula that everyone can follow to protect their energy. There’s no one-size-fits all for setting a boundary. We all have our own individual journeys in protecting our energies. But there still are successful strategies we can take in protecting what energy we have. That’s what I’m writing on today. I’m going to share parts of my own story and weave in ways that you, too, can hopefully apply them in your lives.
Let’s get into some clearly outlined steps on how you can protect your energy once and for all. Once you protect your energy, you won’t be drained AF, boo.
The first step in protecting your energy is unplugging from all electronic devices, including phone, tablet, laptop, computer, smart watch, all of it. I’ve done this before and let me tell you, it works. After Month 3 of COVID-19 and social distancing, I felt so drained and I worked to pinpoint why. I decided I was going to give myself a full 24 hours of absolutely no electronics (except for my phone for UberEats). What happened was incredible.
After a full 24 hours with no laptop, no Instagram, no Apple Watch on my wrist, and absolutely no workout with my tablet, I felt more rejuvenated than I ever have. That’s when I realized I was too plugged in. Constantly texting messaging back within 5 minutes, obsessively checking Instagram for new DMs, persistently scrolling through workout options on apps, I was experiencing decision fatigue and straight up drainage.
When you decide to give yourself time off electronics, it gives you time in the real world. You then cling to new experiences that can become more serving, including play-time (I personally love to color) and face-time (paying attention to the people right near you or around you). Unplugging from your electronic device will also give you clarity on what drains you and what you can do better.
Once disconnected from electronics, take inventory of two key aspects of your life: what serves and what drains. I subconsciously started to look at what serves and drains me throughout my unplugging from electronic devices. The bliss of not being plugged in every single second, literally, was just what I needed to gain clarity on what I was missing. I wasn’t serving myself while I was giving myself. I repeat, I was not serving myself while I was giving myself! What a realization, huh?
Realizing that I wasn’t equally serving myself as I was giving myself, I then identified the ways that I was serving and draining. I wasn’t working out as often, but spent more time scrolling through workouts just to decide not to do so. I wasn’t connecting my real-life people as much as I was connecting with Instagram people. I was glancing at my Apple Watch and tracking my workouts more than I was actually enjoying my workouts when I did them. I wasn’t experiencing life, I was doing life.
When you detach from your electronics, you’ll notice some things boo. You’ll notice what you gravitate to and what didn’t serve you. You’ll start to experience the bliss of disconnection and notice what you want to become connected to when you get back from your break. That’s when the magic happens.
After you’ve taken inventory of what drains you, then identify the boundaries you can set to protect your energy. I have a hard time with this, I’m going to be honest. I’m an extroverted extrovert who loves to be connected all. the. time. But in my unplugging, I realized what drains me the absolute most is messaging. Texts, DMs, Slacks, emails, all of it.
After my digital break, I decided to cut down on my messaging in these ways: I’d let a text message sit there until I was ready to answer, or just tell a friend that I can get back to them later. I keep DMs on unread until I’m ready to sit down and have a DM time session. I write emails only when they’re in my blocked calendar time of “Admin” for both work and side hustle. I also now leave IG posts until the end of my workday so that I can sit and really pay attention to all of the awesome comments, DMs, and messages I’ll receive. And now? I’m served!
What you can realize in taking inventory of what drains you is that it is probably what serves you. You’re just doing a bit too much of it. In my case it was messaging. It serves me because I love to connect and support others. But, a bit too much of it was depleting my energy. So, I decided to set boundaries in my messaging habit. You can set the boundaries you need to. I believe in you. It might not be messaging for you, it might be adding things to your calendar. Whatever it is, protect your energy.
What are you setting boundaries for so that you can protect your energy? I invite you to give yourself permission to say no to what doesn’t serve and say yes to what serves. I invite you to look at what you do on a daily basis and determine how you can make it more sustainable. While something may serve you, it might become draining if you don’t do it in moderation.
Wishing you the best as you protect your energy. Know that I’m rooting for you. If you have more thoughts on this topic feel free to share more below. I love to hear from you!