What’s Draining You?

If you were to ask any touring musician what the one thing they cannot leave home without, 9 times out of 10 they will say “my phone”. We practically use our phones for everything while on the road. That can be business emails, reaching out to family, using WiFi at venues to surf the net, and generally staying connected to those we love. The challenge, however, is keeping the battery charged. Once we see the battery headed into the dreaded red zone, our means of connection with family, loved ones, and our lives appear to be ending. So each of us is quick to run to whatever power source we can find to charge our “lives” back up.

I’m sure you’ve noticed how we rely on our phones for our livelihood, and yet when the battery begins to die we will furiously pull up app after app or makes calls until it finally dies.

Our lives are very much a reflection of battery life. People around us need us, ask things of us, give us responsibilities, or chores. We even set goals, dreams, and aspirations in our own lives that drain our battery as much as other people can.

The question is, “How do we charge our battery?

Often times, it can really depend on the person and how they experience “recharging”. Some people like to binge on Netflix or TV and shut off their mind. Others enjoy reading a book and having alone time. Some love to sleep. Or maybe you’re the extroverted type that gets filled up around friends or activities. Maybe it’s as simple as dinner and a movie. But whatever it is that we do to charge our battery, we need to make sure we’re actually being charged and not just actually adding more to our plate.

Phone

For me, that balance has always been the struggle.

For a long time when I’d go on tour and then return home, I would always want to work on HeartSupport projects. When I was done working on them, in order to “relax” I would go out with friends, but all I could ever talk about was work. I never really just sat and relaxed.

Other times when I planned to recharge I would go out with friends for dinner or a drink, only to find myself staying up late talking and getting very little sleep. The next day I would wake even more exhausted than I had the day before and even less recharged.

What I discovered is that it’s important to get our minds to a place where we can rejuvenate and give our bodies rest in order to keep up with all of the expectations we have for our lives and those we support around us. So how do we know if we are recharging our battery or if we are draining ourselves when we say or think we are “relaxing”?

The first step is this:

Question what you do for relaxation.

“Is it really relaxing? Is it really your solitude time or an activity that brings you peace, relaxation, and calmness? Do you feel refreshed afterwards? Or is it draining, aggravating, and exhausting? Does what you surround yourself with really give you what YOU need?”

If it’s draining don’t be afraid to tell people “NO”. Just because your friend or significant other wants to do something and you happen to be worn out, respect yourself and your needs and let them know “next time.” Remember, we are useless if we are running on empty. An empty cup can’t fill another. We can’t focus, we can’t work, we can’t enjoy life, laugh, or love if we are dragging our feet with our head down let alone being able to see what’s in front of us.

Each of us needs balance. Don’t overwork yourself, but also don’t under work yourself. Find that nice line in the sand that keeps you healthy in your mind, body, and spirit. If you’ve got to say “no” in order to relax, then you need to do that. Take inventory of the things you do to “relax” and really think about how they affect you and if they truly recharge your life battery.

Just remember, if your battery is drained you can’t “recharge” others. Learn to recharge first.

[clickToTweet tweet=”If your battery is drained you can’t “recharge” others.” quote=”If your battery is drained you can’t “recharge” others.”]
Showing 2 comments
  • Lati
    Reply

    Very good article Jake. I also would like to add that finding things that calm you down or relax you could be very confusing, and a hard task. For example maybe you’re in an environment you don’t feel comfortable, or with people that don’t suit your idea of “peace” or “quiet/relaxing time”. Let’s say you like chilling with soft music at a normal volume, breathing in and out, trying to relax and suddenly your little brother busts in screaming out loud and making noises 😛 This might seem silly, and it is a silly example but it’s true. And this is something little, but often times there are a lot of… “background tasks” (phone reference since the article makes it a subject) are happening where you are or with the people around you, and it might not be as easy as the brother example to spot out, thus you might get confused and maybe in the long term, think that what you do is not relaxing at all while in reality, is something else not letting the thing you like doing make you relax or “recharge”.

  • Daniel Bennis
    Reply

    Hey Jake, I’ve known too that it’s hard to settle down and just relax when your constantly on the go or busy as with myself my job is very busy and demanding and it does take a toll. But i’ve found that like you said also, balance is important. Because when we tip the scale too far one way or the other than our perspective on what’s important is constantly changing. I’ve always found it helpful to have a nice conversation with someone I’m close too to recharge.

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