When my beautiful daughter Zoi took her life four years ago, it took me months before I felt somewhat normal. I wasn't exercising, I wasn't sleeping, I wasn't eating well, I just wasn't myself. And, it took a long time for it to sink in that Zoi would be so upset with me if she knew that I was letting all those good memories from her life stop me from living mine. But it wasn't as easy as me just flipping on a switch and saying, "I'm okay now, I'm resilient." No, it actually took me a while to understand that I wasn't protecting my energy.
And what I mean by protecting my energy is that I was letting outside influences affect my everyday life. I didn't feel grounded, some of the people I was hanging around really weren't the best options for me, and I wasn't taking care of myself. But I'd like to share with you three things that you can do to protect your energy, and they are centered around those three things.
The first thing is to ground yourself. What I like to do is I like to step on a rock. Every morning, I'll step on a rock and I will just let it dig into the sole of my foot. I'll put a lot of weight onto it for about a minute or so, and move it around. And, it feels so good because when I take my foot off the rock and put it on the ground, it feels like my foot's growing roots down into the ground. Another thing to ground myself is that I inhale through my nose and exhale through my mouth three times deeply. The last way I ground myself is that I say to myself three times slowly, "I. Have. Time." Those are three ways that you can ground yourself.
The next way that you can protect your energy is to take a look at the five people that you hang around with the most in your life. Who are these people? Because we are the sum of these five people that we do hang around the most. Now I realize we have family members, that may be your five, and that's okay. But I'm talking about friends, colleagues, coworkers - people that are close to you, who are these five people? Are they supporting you the way you need to be supported? Are you finding that you're kind of drifting away from them because something doesn't feel right? Now I'm not suggesting that you go and wipe out and clean house of your friends and your coworkers and your family in terms of relationships. What I am suggesting is that you just spend more time with those five people that you can support the most and that support you the most. They accept you for who you are.
The last thing we can do to protect our energy is to know that it's okay to take care of ourselves. Again, I wasn't doing that, but what I found was that when I started to take care of myself, things started to shift for me. I started to feel more energetic, I had more energy to deal with some of the other stressful things that come along with navigating any challenge in life. And are you coming home from work? Are you feeling drained to the point where you're giving more to others than you are to yourself? Are you finding yourself not wanting to go and do certain things anymore because you are tired?
And look, challenges in life, they are draining. But if we protect our energy, we'll know that we are more resilient, and what we're doing is we're actually building our strength up. We're building our resilience up while the sun is still shining, or we're building it up as we're navigating whatever challenge or struggle that we're dealing with. It's okay to do that because when we take care of ourselves, we restore energy, we build our energy, we build our resilience, and now we have the capacity to help others, and that's what this is all about.
As always, I hope this helps.
Overcome adversity and build the resilience leader in you.
Struggle is inevitable. And, inside of any struggle we face lies the opportunity to navigate our way through it and thrive because of it. We ask questions that must be answered in order for us to move forward to the other side of that struggle. We cannot look outside of ourselves for the answers. We have to look inside.
When we are empowered to answer these questions, we build the toolset that helps us not just survive the struggle, but to thrive when we are in it. By a process I call MAPS, you too can address struggle in all aspects of your life including the workplace and at home. This is the process I use daily, and it has helped me navigate some of the most difficult struggles I've faced in life.