Energy Drains


A funny thing happened when I started a blog about taking great care of yourself…I was challenged to take my own advice!  

As Moms we all know that there are “seasons” in our life that are unpredictable– when weeks pass by like a breeze, everything clicks, time seems ample and everyone in the family unit is getting along beautifully.  Then other seasons blow in where the frenzy of things to do seems to knock your schedule out of whack, detours start to pop up, and you feel like your sucking wind just to get through the day.  When times start to feel a bit rocky I often return to a simple tool to help me reassess what needs to stay, shift or leave for the time being to regain some balance.   

There are many good, great and better things that come into our lives, but not everything is always good for us right now.  As sure as the seasons change, our lives are always growing, shifting and reordering.  It makes good sense that not all things are right for us at all times

I use this litmus test often to take stock of when things or relationships may have become imbalanced or negative in my life.  Here’s the question I ask myself:

Does this thing or person give me or drain me of energy?

First, an important distinction.  I do not mean does this thing or relationship require energy.  Many good things take energy.  I mean to emphasis the more subtle, deeper, kind of energy a thing or person holds in our life.  Does the thought of doing this thing stimulate or depress you?  After spending time with someone, are you more enlivened or drained?  The energy shift you feel is the important part to consider. 

I use this energy question in many areas like

  • when I have to reconsider what is on my plate
  • when I need to decide what to keep and what to let go of
  • when I feel overwhelmed or frustrated for too long with something
  • when I have the growing sense that I don’t have enough time to get everything done 
  • when I am trying too hard to do something that should probably be coming a bit easier

I STOP, slow down, pay attention to what I am fitting on my plate and ask this question for everything that is not an absolute necessity. 

In fact recently I had to ask this question in relation to this blog.  A few months ago writing was energizing.  I couldn’t wait to stay up after the kids went to bed to pound on the keys and put out another post.  Recently, the habit of writing 3-4 times a week has felt draining and exhausting.  Paying attention to the shift and deciding that I’ll plan to post more like once a week has brought the joy and energy back into my experience with this blog.  It also reminded me that we too often put obligations on ourselves that we don’t need to.  Listening to our “energy” language is just as important as our “body” languagethey are both part of our “inner language” that has wisdom to share.

How do you take stock and access what is weighing you down?


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Great question. I notice I need to ask myself this very thing when things that I want to do have become things that I have to or should do. That subtle shift in pressure is all it takes to make something energy giving become energy draining. I love your posts, even once a week:) Thank you.


Kim- Exactly what happens with me…too often things that are actually optional somehow become mandatory in my mind and I feel all sorts of pressure to keep everything up!! It feels good to remind myself that many good things are in my life because I choose them to be so if they need to be tweaked or taken out that is perfectly OK :)


Sometimes, when things in life that I normally enjoy become stressful, I realize it is not necessarily the particular activity but some other underlying stressor in my life which has robbed me of energy and joy. I try to pinpoint this source of stress (and deal with it) and offer myself grace to let go of certain things for a while (like certain chores that don’t hurt anybody if they aren’t perfectly done) so that I don’t feel so overwhelmed or anxious. I respect your choice to cut back on blogging. Last fall I commited to writing a monthly, homeschool newsletter but it was stressing me out so I decided to publish it every two months instead. In this way, I felt I was still honoring my commitment to myself (and my kids who are involved with it) but it wasn’t a source of stress anymore.


Great post! A very good question to ask about all areas of our lives. I like the idea of prioritizing my goals and then asking if what I am doing and where I spend my time/energy is helping me actually move towards those goals…I think I do it more informally, though, and it might be good to actually sketch some things out on paper…I think I tend to resist getting too rigid, and yet sometimes I tend to be quite optimistic about what I can handle and that doesn’t work so well, either. :) BTW, once a week posting sounds great to me!


Very good advice. I admire your choice to cut back on blogging – and can relate to the “pressure” to post. I’ve taken a little break too, until inspiration hits!



@Becky– Love your thoughts on tying in our goals while we access what we have on our plates…so helpful!
@Steadymom- Yes, inspiration! I also was feeling that I’d rather put out less posts that I feel good about than more that are less than inspired :)

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