capturing the beautiful calamity of healing in therapy

How To Charge Your Emotional Batteries

Nothing runs forever without maintenance, and we are no different. Just like the cell phones so many of us are hooked to, we frequently run ourselves to “low battery,” and this existence can drain our happiness, affect our physical functioning, and harm our relationships. Just like our phones on low-battery, we simply do not perform as well, and we live at risk of “shutting down.”

Because we do not come equipped with handy wall chargers, we must take care of this need by locating and utilizing more creative charging stations. Just like we cannot use an iPhone charger on an Android, we do not all sync up to a one-size-fits-all charger for our own internal batteries. I emphasize this frequently: humans are incredibly and beautifully complex with varying needs and unique languages and flows that make our hearts hum and souls sing.

Therefore, of course, it makes sense, that we all recharge a bit differently.

If you struggle to know how you best recharge, you can start by asking yourself, what makes my soul happy? What makes me feel grateful to be alive? What makes me excited? What gets me out of my head? Where am I, and am I doing when this is happening? What parts of my body are being activated? Which senses are being engaged?

How can I take care of myself, not just in crisis or extreme stress, but during the daily minutia, the busy grind that can insidiously bruise my soul? When my batteries are running low, or even somewhat low, what helps them surge? 

So, how do we recharge? As mentioned, we cannot depend on some one-size-fits-all universal answer. Rather, like myriad of cell phone chargers, we have our own complex systems at play as well. I can list hundreds, but I believe the following six paths most strongly align with our deepest physical, mental, existential, and spiritual needs.

M.Y.S.E.L.F offers six of my favorite avenues of care that cost exactly ZERO dollars, can be done in less than five minutes, and can be completed with very little equipment and resources. They are all variable and extremely broad in nature, and can be advanced, customized, and interrupted in whatever way needed. They are not destinations; rather, they are paths to take towards greater health, healing, and happiness.

MUSIC

Music is art for our souls. There is nothing like the right song, in the right moment, to improve our moods. Immerse yourself in it. Listen to what feels good, right now, no judgment. There is no excuse. If you can read this blog, you can Google a song. I have my own playlist titled “HAPPY” that I listen to whenever I need a pick-me-up. I have several other playlists labeled for various other moods or situations.

YOGA

It doesn’t have to be in a studio or even on a mat. It can be simple stretches in bed, or it can be headstands in the living room. It can be deep breaths while lifting your hands towards the sky. We carry tension and stress in the body. The physical breathing and release represents active mindfulness. For active souls who prefer kinesthetic pleasure, this is  an amazing way to recharge.

SPIRITUALITY

This is broad for a reason. Spirituality can refer to anything from prayer to staring up at the clouds and pondering the universe and all its entirety. It can be reading religious text or attending a service. If it hums to you, connecting to something other and even greater than yourself, can be an insane recharge for the mental batteries.

ENVISION

This is for all the artists, writers, and dreamers. This is for when the present feels too overwhelming. Envisioning can mean anything from looking up future vacations to crafting out a vision board or creating a bucket list (I do all of these, and regularly). Get yourself out of the present and daydream for a moment; this actually helps orient us towards the big picture we’re living. It can put current stress into perspective.

LAUGH

Humor is a natural depression and anxiety remedy. It’s not a cure, but it’s a wonderful method of coping. We wouldn’t have laugh reflexes if they weren’t evolutionarily beneficial. This is for the inner child in all of us who needs to let loose. Podcasts, Youtube videos, stand-up comedy gigs. It doesn’t matter. Get out of the seriousness and laugh shamelessly.

FLOW

Flow is an amazing psychological term that refers to the act of getting lost in something. It represents total immersion, where time and responsibilities sort of just melt away. We all can find flow in something: a good book, playing an instrument, surfing, gardening, even doing household tasks. Engage in flow. Lose time. It’s another form of active mindfulness.

So, if you don’t know where to start, then start with some exploration with these six paths. Start with what feels best first. Move from there. You are the expert of your own life, and only you can know what will recharge a “low-battery” soul.