We all have bank accounts for our finances, and most of us manage them with some care, because we know that being overdrawn is not good – in fact it costs us even more than we owe.
It is the perfect metaphor for our energy levels, because our energy is equally vital for our survival, yet most of us take very little care of our energy banks.
Our energy banks fluctuate more, but at the same time, they are easier to top up – we are not reliant on an external input once a month, and can have more control over both inputs and outgoings.
What do I mean? Well, the inputs to your energy bank are simply all those things that energise you, many of which you can actively bring into your life. And the outgoings are all those things that drain your energy, many of which you can exert some control over.
For example, you may find physical activity energising, or the company of good friends, or just having a rest. You may find certain aspects of your work draining, or certain relationships, or housework.
By the way, it is a little more complex than this: sometimes the same activity can be both draining and energising at the same time, so we need to assess whether the overall ‘balance’ is in the black or the red. And some activities may be draining one day, yet energising the next: for example, you may feel good doing some gardening one weekend, and exhausted by doing it the next weekend.
Our energy bank matters because it is what fuels us to live our lives well. When it’s well topped up, we achieve more, we are happier, and we are lovely to be around! When it’s in the red, everything becomes more difficult, and we damage our health by over stretching ourselves.
Obviously we can’t control everything that happens in our lives. There will always be the unexpected or unavoidable that lands in our laps and drains our energy bank – or tops it up!
However, we can learn to notice what’s going on with our energy bank, and deliberately choose to do something to top it up if it is running a bit low. By becoming consciously aware of it, we can ensure that we keep it as well-filled as possible.
So start by making a list of some of those things that usually give you an energy boost, and those that usually drain you – you know what they are, and you know which ones are within your control, because your physical and emotional reactions tell you. Then list those that can come into both categories, so you are aware of them.
And now find a couple of extra things you could put on the energy-giving list. They don’t have to be complicated: reading a chapter of an enjoyable book; phoning a friend; dancing to a favourite music track.
With this awareness, you can now take more care of your energy bank balance. You can plan in some energy-givers, particularly when you have to do something that drains you, and when you have time to do some extra topping up.
If you have a healthy energy bank account, the world is your oyster, life automatically gets better.