It's been a pretty stressful few months for me, which has forced me to be intentional about the time I spend on things outside of work. When work is draining your energy and you aren't able to replenish it through normal daily activities, you have to think about what actually recharges your battery. Here I have outlined the process I use and tips for me to feel charged up.
After reflecting on my daily routine, I realized that spending a lot of time in meetings is draining for me. The act of being present - talking, absorbing information, and organizing thoughts - leaves me feeling exhausted. It's important to recognize this aspect of yourself, especially when you have plans with people outside of work. To recharge, I prefer to sit in a quiet room with dim lighting and decompress. Sometimes, I listen to light meditation music from the Calm app or YouTube. This helps me transition out of my drained mood and become more engaged in conversations with friends and family.
When I'm doing unstructured work such as pulling together data for project timelines or chasing down leads on how to get things done with partner teams, I usually want to have a very rigid task list and feel organized. This is where cooking comes in for me. I love to put on some Spanish guitar music and go through a new recipe. I've even made it a goal to cook more new recipes. Cooking is my current way to relieve stress and also enjoy a great meal.
I walk a lot. So far this year, I've walked about 100 miles. I try to take a couple miles walk during lunchtime, and after work, I walk another 4-5 miles. Walking provides dual benefits for me; physical activity for overall health and mental stimulation. Walking also helps me detach from work and other stressful things, giving me time to contemplate and contextualize things that are stressing me out. I find that I have most of my revelations about my current stressors while on a walk.
It's no surprise that sleep is one of the best things you can do to recharge your energy. Not only does it help you mentally, allowing your brain to work out problems as you dream, but it also helps you physically. I can't tell you how many times a good 9-hour sleep has boosted me up when I was feeling physically drained after long work hours and on the brink of getting sick. When life gets stressful, it's important to prioritize sleep. Find ways to get more quality sleep, such as keeping your room colder, wearing an eye mask, or drinking sleepy time tea before bed. Also, make sure to avoid screen time for at least an hour before sleeping.