How are your energy levels at the moment?
On the floor? Grounded, centered and focused? Calm and energised? Wired? Anxious? Frustrated? Spaced out and out-of-body? All over the place? Hyper? Angry? Sad? Reactive? A walking zombie?
All of the above?
These are just some of the things people are telling me they feel. I have felt some of the above myself. There’s a lot going on as we all continue to move out of lockdown and back into the world at large. Some people are loving the increasing freedom and are feeling happy and focused. Some are feeling anxious and lost. Some are angry and volatile. All of our varying situations and feelings will create varying energy levels and this can be difficult to navigate ourselves, let alone with each other.
Try to be patient. Try to remember kindness. With others, and with yourself.
We really are all doing the best that we can. There is SO MUCH going on internally for so many people right now that it’s creating everything from spaced-out walking-zombies, highly-triggered ready-to-fight-or-run explosions, all the way to those that are happy and blissed out with full appreciation for all life. We’re all feeling very different right now, and that’s OK.
The most important thing in steering our way through the coming months is to really take notice of, and address, our own energy levels and how we are feeling.
What do you do when you notice how you’re feeling? Do you honour the reality of your real energetic state or do you ignore it and carry on regardless?
Notice your energy levels – and act accordingly, and lovingly.
Drop any self-judgement. You feel how you feel. Your energy levels are what they are.
Check in with whether your energetic state is there because your emotions, feelings and mood are trying to bring your attention to something you’re ignoring. You may want to explore that further by journalling on how you feel, what your recurrent thoughts are, and what action might be needed to address this.
Maybe everything is OK but you’re simply exhausted because you’ve been working really hard and have been juggling a lot of pressures in and out of the workplace. Listen to whatever is causing the exhaustion and do your best to look after your own needs in the midst of everything you are doing. Maybe you need to get support or speak to the GP or another expert. The most important thing is to tune in to how your feel and get proactive in self-care with whatever you find.
If you’re exhausted – rest as much as it’s possible to. Take breaks throughout the day (like a minute of breath focus, a 10-minute tea break without doing ANYTHING else, a walk, a lunch break, an early night, a break from technology). Pace yourself and manage expectations. Avoid agreeing to do things that you know you don’t have the time or energy for.
If you’re wired/anxious/restless – get physically active by doing something that helps get that energy out of your system. Have a regular routine that moves your body in whatever way works for you. Practice a regular practice that helps focus your mind in a settled way – pick something that works for you (mindfulness practices, yoga, meditation, colouring, drawing, crosswords, fishing, creative projects, number games, reading) Just avoid online games that fire up your fight-flight nervous system. If there’s something on your mind, don’t fester on it. Speak to whoever you need to speak to. A problem shared is a problem halved.
If you’re energised but lack focus – make a list of priorities and then break them down into small steps. Then get started on anything on the list and keep going step by step. Try not to get overwhelmed by the enormity of what you might be trying to get done, every step in the direction of your goal closes the gap. Step. By. Step.
If you are feeling great right now and are super inspired – use your energy in the direction that is aligned with your goals and the life you wish to lead. If you’ve got a big project on, take a step back and review the bigger picture to check-in with whether the current plan of action is still aligned and then get to action! Look after your energy levels and take regular breaks to help to maintain your focus.
As said, the one thing we are all going to need to navigate is all of our varying energetic states and the interplay those have on each other. The below golden tools will help us to navigate our different energy levels:
Talking of these golden tools…..something else we will need to navigate is our differing opinions. The pandemic continues to show us just how varied our opinions are on it all, and of the respective choices we ourselves then make. The mindfulness concept of non-judgement can help us to navigate the many different view points we all have, not just about the pandemic, but about all life. Not being ‘with’ someone doesn’t need to mean we are automatically ‘against’ them. Remember, we’ve all had our own unique experience of the pandemic and it’s respective implications, so we’re likely to have different viewpoints.
Sometimes, when one person has a different viewpoint to another, there can be a desire to prove that there is a ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ We all see the world through the lens of our own life experiences. In any given moment, there can be the neutral reality as it is, which is then perceived through the filters of our own lens as ‘the reality as I see it’ and there will be another person’s perceived reality as they see it through all of their filters. These three different realities may be the same, have overlaps, or be completely incongruent with each other.
What matters is our attempt to understand each other and to accept that we may often see things differently. Not seeing things in the same light doesn’t mean that we need to be against one another. Neither does having a different opinion to another need to mean that you or they have taken offence at that. Having conflicting viewpoints doesn’t need to be viewed as a criticism. It’s just different viewpoints, that’s all.
Of course, there are occasions when passions run high and debate gets heated. The actions of others may well positively/negatively impact the lives of other people beyond themselves, just as ours also do. Let’s never forget though, that we all have the common ground of just wanting what we think is best – even when that may or may not be the outcome.
As someone that has been mostly conflict avoidant in life, I recognise the many times that my lack of ability to navigate differing opinions with others, led to stalemate and played it’s part in causing limited, finite outcomes that could have been so much better had I had the skills to navigate disagreements. I needed to learn to listen far more and try to understand why someone else saw it a different way, even if I didn’t see it that way.
Obviously, none of us intentionally judge or react, but we do all the same. The more we recognise our tendency to do this, especially when triggered in fear/anger/frustration, the more we can take a deep breath, step back, and try to understand each other. We’re all doing the best that we can – even when that’s not great.
As we go forward in the challenging world that we live in, I think it will serve us all to develop the ability to agree to see things differently and use that as a starting point to see where we can come together and find common ground.
Let’s not assume offence.
It is easy to assume offence when our nervous system is on high alert or when we are struggling in life. Patience, kindness, and some established breath practices can help us to settle the nervous system and help us to feel less defensive should we feel that way. Self-acceptance, self-soothing, and self-love also can all help us to feel more secure and less threatened.
I personally try to assume good intent, and to remember that we are all doing the best that we can given the circumstances. We will all continue to experience both the pandemic and life itself in such different ways, let’s remember that. Your way may not be my way – that’s OK. My way may not be your way – that’s OK. The most important thing, perhaps, is to remember that we’re all just trying to find our way, as best we can.