NaBloPoMo: Recharable Batteries

Thursday, January 3, 2013
What is your favourite way to recharge when you feel drained of energy?

Hello. I’m 3 for 3! I refrained from peeking at today’s “prompt” so I could do a little stream of consious writing.

My favorite way to recharge is to sleep. I love sleeping. It is one of the most underappreciated and devalued health tools – but I had a doctor show me years ago that a consistent sleep schedule is the best way defense and I’ve tried to live by it – in bed by 11, up by 7. Doesn’t always work out, but I’m a believer – sleeping in on weekends and holidays is a very slippery slope. I’m not a regular napper, but I’ll get myself up with promise to maybe take a nap. I do find that when I’m just completey exhausted, a short nap helps – but I don’t do well if I have to put a constraint on it (like a 20 minute nap, etc) – that always ends poorly.

I think the concept of energy is a good prism to examine sleep – keeping batteries fully charged. Overcharging them would be a waste of energy (in the sense of keeping the charger itself plugged in) and undercharging them is precarious. And replacing batteries is expensive and bad for the environment – I suppose the analogy can stretch to finding new “things” to recharge us?

A similar tool for me is to just “stop” … sometimes this means pulling over to a coffeehouse with my laptop and getting lost in my own space and sometimes it means turning off everything to lay down on the floor with the dogs. Unfortunately, the dogs are quite perplexed when I do this and often end up barking hysterically at me because they probably think I’ve had a heart attack and might not recover for dinner time. And stopping in a coffee house sounds super great on Twitter, but then there are issues with getting a table near an outlet and balancing your stuff and hoping no one weird sits too close and hoping the employees’ music choices are decent … God.

Scrap that. I recharge by trying to stop on a more micro level (I hate the precious term “meta” unless its being used by Aristotle) – so I installed a “Mindfulness Gong” on my phone. It rings randomnly every 3 hours during the day and I’m actually pretty consistent at stopping to pull my awareness into the moment. To my delight, this has been very helpful. I may keep talking and reach to turn off the app, but I’m doing a mental inventory and at least being mindful of my physical self.

Now … being “post-concussive” has thrown all of this out of whack. I sleep crazy hours and my doctor told me that’s best. I am not driving yet so no coffee houses, but I do make it at home where I’m always guaranteed an outlet and no annoying neighbors. Definitely avoid encouraging loud barking (they win b/c i bribe them with extra treats). That leaves the gong app … I still use that. Mindfulness is still an effective tool and often more so because my injury on top of the holiday has left me so disconnected to my daily activities.

This daily writing exercise is helping me to recharge. It is focused and defined. It gives me pause to think but the topics are not so weighty that I feel despondent.

Watch your sleep folks. It can really help.



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