4 tips to keep your Energy Bank Account from going into overdraft

Do you realize your energy levels have a changing balance like a bank account? Energy deposits are the things that give us more energy – activities that energize, relax and inspire. Withdrawals are the events and activities that consume energy. Activities of life can either create or deplete our energy, often they can do both but one predominates, creating a net deposit or withdrawal.

Tip #1 – Understand the importance of regular deposits

There are many ways to make deposits into your Energy Bank Account. It is not the activity itself but whether doing that activity energizes, relaxes or inspires YOU. What one person enjoys another doesn’t. The trick is to find what works for you and embed it as routine in your life. In this way you do not have to think about generating energy deposits; they occur regularly as part of your daily and weekly activities.

Here are some examples. Do any of these activities appeal to you? Is there something else?

  • Gardening

  • Exercise/Sports

  • Journal/Writing

  • Coffee with friends

  • Drawing/Painting

  • Time outdoors, enjoying nature

  • Reading

  • Fixing or tinkering

  • Meditation/Prayer

  • Music

  • Volunteering

  • Baking

  • Crafts

Remember, when you are doing an activity for self-care (an energy deposit) it is not about performance, i.e. how much, how long or how well you do it. Instead you are doing it for enjoyment – for energy, relaxation or inspiration. Don’t make a potentially enjoyable activity, e.g. drawing in nature, a performance task by worrying about how well you are drawing, what other people might think, or how much you achieve in the time you have available. Instead focus on the pleasant aspects of the experience – creating, what you enjoy about drawing, the sensations of being in nature etc.

Tip #2 – Save for a rainy day

Just like having extra money in the bank never hurts, we can also keep a good balance of energy by looking after ourselves. In this way we have energy reserves for times of unexpected or increased demand. Operating with a low energy balance means that we can easily go into overdraft should even a small extra demand in life occur.

Tip #3 – Know your regular pattern of transactions

When you are aware of the regular demands of life that consume your energy, you can match your self-care activities (energy deposits) to ensure that you keep a positive balance (of course saving some extra for a rainy day). This awareness is critical to ensure you don’t regularly find yourself in crisis and managing an overdraft – just trying to get back to zero. Keeping a healthy positive balance will help you to thrive in life instead of just surviving.

Tip #4 – Adjust for unexpected large withdrawals

Many people manage regular energy transactions quite effectively. It is when a large, unexpected demand or an unrelenting series of demands occur, that we can find our reserves are insufficient and we go deep into overdraft.

In these times we often have shock to deal with as well as finding our way through the demand, e.g. job loss or change, illness, death, breakup, child being bullied, conflict, etc. Even positive events such as a promotion or pregnancy can be a shock and a drain on energy levels when it is unexpected and there are conflicts with our current lifestyle.

While the difficult and challenging events of life are great in the long run for learning and resilience – in the short term they are a major energy drain where our mind, body and spirit need time to absorb the shock and adjust.

A typical error that people make in these situations is to try harder and do more, be more. At the same time they pay even less attention to self-care (energy deposits) thinking that spending time in that way is a luxury they cannot afford.

It may seem counter intuitive but at this time, more than ever, making energy deposits is critical. When you are in overdraft the only way out is to make enough deposits. So self-care is not a luxury, it is a necessity. Be kind to yourself; give yourself permission to take time for self-care. Be kind to others; encourage them to take time for self-care. Everyone benefits.