I am my own Energy Vampire
Spending so much time in isolation lately, I've been able to pay attention to my habits and routines a lot more clearly.
Here's a look at my energy levels from January 2019 till now.
2019 was a pretty tough year for me, and for most of the year, I felt like I had no energy at all. As you can see, things have been getting steadily better since last fall. Whereas in June, my energy was almost a 0 out of 10, now it's back up to about a 6.5 out of 10.
And when we look at things from a far away month-by-month basis, the trend looks relatively smooth. But up close, things aren't so linear.
For the last three weeks, I've been paying close attention to my energy levels throughout the week, and a clear trend emerges.
On Monday, I am rejuvenated after the weekend and ready to take on the world! I do a zillion things off my weekly to-do list and basically feel like the Hulk all day long. House is clean.
And then on Tuesday, I wake up with much less energy. Turns out, doing so much on Monday kind of burns me out. I take it slow and easy but feel really guilty about it. Counters aren't swept.
On Wednesday, I wake up with more energy, having rested a bit on Tuesday, and once again decide that this week, I am going to become that superhuman employee I've always dreamed of being. I get a ton done and then crash at night. Dishes aren't cleaned. But I still try to rally, and after work I usually do an art project or create something.
Come Thursday, I am mentally limping. "Just one more day till Friday" I tell myself, as I rally my own troops and push through the day as best I can. Dinner is usually leftovers; I don't have the energy to actually make things. The kitchen looks like a disaster. I lay on the couch and watch YouTube videos at night.
On Friday, all hope is lost. I am utterly incapable of creative thought, and can only get through menial tasks and thought-free meetings. I feel guilty but I know that I'll recharge over the weekend and come Monday, I'll be good again. At night, I collapse.
Saturday, I lie on the couch all day and watch videos. I drink a lot of tea and rest and do laundry. By nightfall, I already feel way more recharged, and I do a deep clean of the house.
And on Sunday, I go on a roadtrip somewhere gorgeous. Time in nature only recharges me more, and by the end of the day, I am like a full battery, nourished by sunlight and trees and the smell of ocean or trees.
Next week, I think to myself, I will REALLY kick ass. I have SO much energy! Next week is going to be great!
And the cycle repeats itself.
Now that I can see this trend, and see that I'm clearly overworking myself and causing minor burnout throughout the week every single week, I can start working out plans to even out the energy levels and not totally crash come Thursday every single week.
I will try to incorporate more breaks. I will try to take things slower so I can last longer. I will try to work fewer hours on Monday and Wednesday so I can balance it out Tuesday and Thursday.
The goal: keep a clean kitchen every day of the week. I can only do it if I have energy, so it'll be a good way to gage my progress.
I'm not sure what changes will work, but seeing my patterns is the first step to changing them.