Everyone needs to recharge their internal batteries. No one is the Energizer Bunny who can just keep going at top speed until the end of time. That would be impossible. Eventually everyone needs a break.
I like to think of things in a logical way (yay engineering), so I always feel that I have a physical, mental, and emotional battery. And sometimes, the things that drain them, are the very things that also help us recharge. For example, with regards to mental health, there are times when physical contact agitates me. So hugs and being close to people (or animals) just drain me out. But other times, being held, or holding someone or something is exactly what I need to recharge. Now is when you all sympathize with Dan who deals with this every single day. Trust me, it doesn’t make sense to me either.
I even feel it in my physical battery. After long or intense workouts, sometimes my body just needs stretching and a good night sleep to recharge, but other times I need to get up and go for a brisk walk with Luna to get blood pumping and my muscles working.
It is important to tap into each of your batteries and learn what you need to recharge to avoid draining yourself too much. While everyone’s batteries recharge at different rates and each individuals recharging tactics are unique to them, here are some great ways to jump start your recovery.
- A Recovery Workout: Seems like an oxymoron I know, but sometimes going for a brisk walk, gentle bike ride, or slow swim can really help your muscles recover. If you are physically exhausted, be it from long work days sitting at a desk or out in the field or intense workouts, consider a light workout to get endorphin’s pumping through your system. If you aren’t feeling the cardio, then yoga and stretching is also amazing.
- A Hot Shower or Bath: Everyone showers (I hope) so let the hot water do the work for you. If you are more of a warm or cold shower person, turn the heat up on the water. Let it beat down on your neck and shoulders. If you like baths, then you can get salts to help with physical recovery.
- A Nap or Good Night’s Sleep: There is no shame in napping, at least not to me! Sometimes on a Saturday, Sunday, or day off, you just need to crash for a few minutes (or hours). If you aren’t someone who can nap, make sure you set yourself up to get a solid night sleep by going to bed early, making it darker or cooler than usual, or waking naturally with no alarm clock.
If you are a student, have a challenging full-time job, or suffer from a mental health disorder (anxiety, depression, etc.), recharging your mental batteries is a must. Sometimes though, staring at a screen or watching TV can make it worse.
- Read a Book: I am not saying to pick up a dense classic or some long novel where you have to wrack your brains to keep up. But for me, it can be very relaxing and recharging to pick up a favorite book, like the Harry Potter series. If you want to try something new, usually YA books are great because they tend to be surface level with content and quick and easy reads.
- A Hot Shower or Bath: This one is a double whammy, and will be a triple whammy once I get to emotional batteries. Taking time to let the hot water and steam roll over you and do some deep breathing. Try not to think of to-do lists or stressful things and just be.
- Meditation: This is challenging for a lot of people, because meditation is extremely difficult to master; however, sometimes just taking a few minutes to deep breathe or reflect can really do a lot to recharge your batteries.
- Get Moving: Whether it is working out or simply playing with your dog, getting moving is a great way to recharge your mental batteries. It seems odd that possibly draining your physical battery could recharge your mental one, but find a good balance between the two possibly tackle recharging both your physical and mental batteries.
- Take a Break from Social Media: Social media is great, it is probably where you found this post, but sometimes we need a break from it. It can be exhausting and may actually increase depression as you tend to see only the positives in people’s lives.
Emotional batteries are the hardest to recharge, and in my opinion, unique to every individual. So while these are suggestions, please listen to your body to recharge how is best for you.
- Physical Contact: Whether it is snuggling with a significant other or holding a pet, physical contact can do wonders for your emotional health. Hunker down for a movie with a friend or family member and cuddle up close or read a book with your cat or dog next to you, whatever you need to help you.
- Alone Time: Here is that oxymoron again. Sometimes you really just need to be alone, and that is completely normal. Give yourself a break from life and other people, even if that person is a close friend, spouse, parent, child, or sibling. Alone time can be anything from taking a walk, reading a book, napping, whatever you need to do to recharge.
- A hot bath or shower: Triple whammy. See above for descriptions 🙂
- Have a good cry: Sometimes, this just helps. Of course for me it is always unplanned, I am not talented enough to whip out the tears at any given moment.
Recharging your batteries is SUPER important, or you could burn out. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable or admit to yourself, or other people that you need a break. The first step is ALWAYS admitting it to yourself though. I urge you to take some time not only to determine if you need to recharge, but also how you are going to do it and keep yourself happy and healthy for the long term.
Want more on mental health? Click the links below to check out my other mental health posts!