How to chill

How to chill!

I had several large boxes and a huge mound of my son’s books in my home office whilst his bedroom was redecorated.

Today I finally cleared all of it (back to his bedroom) and jettisoned (to Oxfam) a few of my own books – surplus to requirements. I felt a huge weight lift – and clarity returned.

It set me thinking about personal energies and about books …. different subjects but, for me, intertwined.

How do you refuel your energies? It’s often a personality thing and it also depends which energy we are talking about. Is it:

  • Physical?
  • Environmental?
  • Mental?
  • Emotional?
  • Social?

There is also Purpose energy – but that’s a bit different and it’s too big a topic for this post – I’ll put it on the backburner and return to it for another post.

So, one small example – and this is not me. Let’s assume you are a very active get-it-done type person. If you’ve over-used your mental energy (too much brainwork, stress, decision-making etc), to refuel it, you’d likely get very active – run, cycle, get physically busy. You might complete the process by active chilling e.g. doing some DIY.

Back to my home office.

Environmental energy is the energy we gain (or use) from how we do things, space, comfort in our surroundings (whether that’s for work or play) and avoiding the distractions – which can be many-fold with emails, dings, pings, news, videos, Facebook, a home-delivery etc.

I need space around me to feel comfortable and work motivated. I also benefit from my “normality” of jazz and animal pictures and a large World map on the walls; and of my bookshelves, computer etc. That base level of environment enables me to think, create, innovate – generally working on the ideas I’ve woken up with, created on walks or dreamt up in a coffee bar.

And I use music and references from my own books to kick things on when I need them.

As you’ll imagine, becoming the repository for my son’s paraphernalia drained my environmental energy. But it had further effects. I felt physically worn (demotivated by not feeling like doing much), mentally and emotionally taxed by feeling the need to get on with things but, somehow, “not being able to”.

I recognised the problem.

For me, the solution was giving myself permission to have a few days down-time; and refuelling with music and new reading (Amazon and Waterstones benefitted). I added some walks (exercise and changes of scenery) and a short trip to the seaside (45 minutes’ drive each way and a wonderful complete soaking on a very wet and windy beach).

But the full chill wasn’t complete until I could reclaim my space.

So, what works for you when you have over-used any of your personal energies? How do you refuel? Think of it like your car – the tank is empty. You’re going nowhere until you fill it again.

It’s important. This is how you stay sane, de-stress and give yourself scope to live life to the full.


Photo – Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash