In today’s society, there are just so many things to try and balance all at once. It can feel a bit like there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
Between work, the kids, sorting out the bills, cleaning your home, and trying to maintain social hours with your friends, there’s just too much to do.
I know it can feel almost like a duty to ensure that you are there for everyone else whenever they need you.
You just aren’t going to effectively be able to help anyone else if you are physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.
And while that infectious smile and can-do attitude of yours may seem like it is limitless to others. All that energy of yours is going to drain away to nothing pretty quickly if you’re not setting aside time to recharge.
There are several ways that you can protect your energy to make sure you don’t burn out, and we’re going to talk about the ways you can do so in this article.
1. Set Clear And Firm Boundaries From The Get-Go
Trust me when I tell you that it is much harder to establish boundaries once they’ve already been overstepped.
Setting clear boundaries from the beginning is an act of self-preservation that is vital to keep that energy flowing.
Sure, you may offend a few people at first by not being available 24/7, but can you honestly say that others are constantly and consistently there and waiting whenever you call?
Setting boundaries (see also ‘How To Not Be A Pushover‘) such as this particular time is mine or saying no every once in a while doesn’t make you a bad or selfish person.
It just means that you are ensuring that you are meeting your own needs before you help others meet their needs.
2. Set Aside Some Me Time
Me Time can look like a plethora of different scenarios and situations. But whatever you class as enjoyable and relaxing – you need to make time to do so.
I find that turning your phone off for an hour or so a day can be a really great way to just be with yourself.
For years people were not available at all times day and night, and others will survive without you for a short period of time – so don’t feel bad about it.
Now, I’m not saying to isolate yourself completely, but just make sure you are taking some time to be with yourself.
This could be putting in some headphones and going for a run, it could be snuggling under a duvet and watching your favorite film, it could be running a nice bubble bath, it could be going for a bite to eat by yourself.
Whatever sounds good to you, just make sure that you do prioritize some of that so important Me Time.
3. Recognize Your Emotions
For those of us who like to spend our time helping others, we can often push our own emotions and feelings to the side, arguing that they don’t matter. Someone else needs us, so there’s no time to react. You can only respond and help them.
But not releasing those emotions, ignoring them, burying them away – it doesn’t get rid of them.
It’ll just manifest in other ways, and you’ll find yourself run down and potentially getting ill. Stress in particular can really manifest in your body.
You are allowed to feel emotions (see also ‘How To Stop Being So Sensitive‘). They are just as important. And you’re not going to be able to continue ignoring them.
Eventually, they’ll build up and build up until they overspill and completely overwhelm you.
Let yourself feel how you feel. Others will be there for you just as much as you are for them. And if they don’t, well they were never really true friends (see also ‘How To Be Your Own Best Friend‘).
4. Limit Your Exposure To Negativity
You will adjust to the environment that you are in, and you’ll respond to the energy around you. If you spend your time with very negative and pessimistic people, you won’t pull them up. They will only drag you down.
If the people you speak to are always judgemental, gossiping, and complaining. You’ll find it will deplete your energy pretty quickly because negative energy is really exhausting. More so than you might actually realize.
Instead, surround yourself with people who make you smile and laugh. People who look for the best in situations and others.
These people will not take such a mental toll on you, and they are going to be much more genuine and actually care about you.
Protecting your energy can feel like a difficult thing to do. And that’s because it involves putting yourself first, something that not all of us tend to be great at.
It’s so easy to ensure that your friends and family are looking after themselves, but when it comes to ensuring that same happiness for ourselves, we can brush it off because there are more important matters at hand.
But there is nothing more important than your own mental health and happiness. And if you have no energy, you can’t be there for yourself, and you’ll also be no use to anyone else.
It’s not selfish to ensure that you are setting time aside for yourself or asking people to respect your boundaries.
I know that there is this real emphasis on being there for others and giving away a lot of your time and mental capacity.
But doing this to the point of exhaustion is actually quite problematic.
And there are a lot of people in this world with a less kind heart than you, and if they think that they can take advantage of your giving heart, they will.
You do not need to give yourself away completely to be loved and validated.
If the people you are surrounding yourself with make you feel this way, then it may be time to distance yourself from them. Because they cannot have your best interest at heart.